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Luigi Lambruschini

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Cardinal, b. at Sestri Levante, near Genoa, 6 March, 1776, d. at Rome, 12 May, 1854. As a youth he entered the Order of the Barnabites, in which he held many important offices. On account of his learning he was made consultor of several Roman Congregations, and in 1815 accompanied Cardinal Consalvi to the Congress of Vienna in the capacity of secretary. After his return to Rome he was made secretary of the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, then recently instituted by Pius VII, and thus took a great part in concluding concordats with various states, especially with Naples and Bavaria. In 1819 he was appointed Archbishop of Genoa and governed the archdiocese with prudence and zeal. His eloquent sermons attracted large audiences, and his pastoral letters exhibit much spiritual unction. In 1827 Leo XII sent him as nuncio to Paris, but the Revolution of July, 1830, compelled him to interrupt his mission. On his return to Rome he was made a cardinal (1831) by Gregory XVI, who, on the resignation of Cardinal Bernetti, appointed Lambruschini Secretary of State. This appointment aroused much discontent among the Romans, but it was soon evident that Lambruschini was the proper man for the post. His character and disposition accorded perfectly with those of the pope: in the ecclesiastico-political relations with other nations both were persuaded that it was time to abandon the conciliatory policy inaugurated by Benedict XIV, a conviction that was soon justified by events. The occasion was the Cologne question, which had arisen in 1837 out of the imprisonment of Mgr. Droste-Vischering, Archbishop of Cologne. The diplomatic documents exchanged at this time between the Holy See and the Prussian Government, and published in 1838, are models of clear exposition, close argument, and elegant form. Görres described the series as a "calm, vigorous, masculine, and substantial polemic". Lambruschini's firm stand caused the recall of Bunsen, the. Prussian minister at Rome. Next to Consalvi and Pacca, Lambruschini was among the greatest diplomats of the Holy See in the nineteenth century. As regards the internal policy of the Pontifical States, he, like Gregory XVI, was opposed to the constitutional form, and certainly, if we consider the arrogance of Liberalism under Gregory, neither the pope nor his secretary can be charged with serious error.

In the first ballot of the conclave of 1846, Lambruschini received a majority of the votes, but not enough for election. When Pius IX was chosen, Lambruschini recognized that he could not follow the policy of the new pope, who favored constitutionalism. He accordingly resigned his office for that of secretary of Briefs, and later that of prefect of rites. In the Revolution of 1848 he was the object of especial hatred; his dwelling was plundered, his bed cut to pieces with daggers, and he himself was scarcely able, disguised as a stableman, to join Pius IX at Gaeta. As the Suburbicarian Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina he restored the cathedral of Porto. He was also commendatory Abbot of Farfa, where he founded a seminary. He was buried in the college of the Barnabites at Catinari, where he had spent a great part of his religious life. He published "Opere spirituali" in three volumes (Rome, 1838) and later a small work in defense of the Immaculate Conception.

Giambattista Lambruschini

Brother of the preceding, d. at Orvieto, 24 Nov., 1826. He was vicar-general of Genoa, whence he was expelled by Napoleon in 1800, when he went to Rome. Appointed Bishop of Orvieto in 1807, he was deported to France for not taking the oath. In 1814 he returned to Orvieto.

Raffaele Lambruschini

Nephew of Luigi and Giambattista, b. at Genoa, 14 August, 1788; d. 8 March, 1873, at Figline in Tuscany. As a priest he was first with his uncle Giambattista at Orvieto. Being suspected of Liberal ideas, he returned to Figline, where he devoted himself to the natural sciences, especially agriculture, and in 1827 founded the "Giornale Agrario Toscano". He also established an educational institution, and published (1836-44) the "Guida dell' educatore", as well as several pedagogical and scholastic works. In 1848 he was elected to the Parliament of the republic, and in 1860 was appointed senator of the realm. He was also consul of the Accademia della Crusca and (1868-69) professor at the Institute of Higher Studies at Florence.


SCHLECHT in Kirchliches Handlexikon (Munich, 1907), s.v.; BROSCH, Gesch. des Kirchenstaats, II (1883).

About this page

APA citation. Benigni, U. (1910). Luigi Lambruschini. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Benigni, Umberto. "Luigi Lambruschini." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph E. O'Connor.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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