Angelo Dell'Acqua

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Styles of
Angelo Dell'Acqua
Coat of arms of Angelo Dell'Acqua.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Rome (vicariate)

Angelo Dell'Acqua (9 December 1903 – 27 August 1972) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Vicar General of Rome from 1968 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967.


Dell'Acqua was born in Milan to Giovanni Dell'Acqua and his wife Giuseppina Varalli. He studied at the seminaries in Monza and Milan (obtaining a doctorate in theology from the latter), and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from where he earned a doctorate in canon law. After receiving the diaconate on 19 December 1925, Dell'Aqua was ordained a priest by Eugenio Cardinal Tosi on 9 May 1926. He undertook pastoral ministry in Milan and was private secretary to its Archbishop from 1928 to 1929. After finishing his studies in 1931, he was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on 19 December of that same year. Dell'Acqua was secretary of the apostolic delegation to Turkey and Greece from 1931 to 1935. He then worked as rector of the Major Seminary of the Diocese of Rome until 1938, during which time he was named a Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on 15 June 1936.

In 1938, Dell'Acqua entered the Roman Curia, as a staff member of the Secretariat of State, whilst performing pastoral work in Rome until 1950. He was later made adjunct Undersecretary of the Sacred Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (28 August 1950). On 1 November 1954 he succeeded Archbishop Giovanni Battista Montini, who was named Archbishop of Milan on the same day, as Substitute of the Secretariat of State.

On 14 December 1958, Dell'Acqua was appointed Titular Archbishop of Chalcedon by Pope John XXIII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 27 December from Pope John, with Bishops Girolamo Bortignon, OFM Cap, and Gioacchino Muccin serving as co-consecrators. From 1962 to 1965, Dell'Acqua attended the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Paul VI created him Cardinal-Priest of Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo in the consistory of 26 June 1967, in advance for Dell'Acqua's appointment as the first President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See on 23 September of that same year. Cardinal Dell'Acqua was named Vicar General of Rome and thus the person in charge of the pastoral care of the diocese on behalf of the Bishop of Rome, and represented Paul VI at the funeral of Senator Robert Kennedy on 8 June 1968. Cardinal Dell'Acqua received honorary doctorates from Loyola University, University of Chicago and Fordham University that same year. He was also a close friend of Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro.[1]

Dell'Acqua died from a sudden heart attack at the entrance of the Rosary Basilica during a pilgrimage to Lourdes, at age 68. Initially buried in his family's tomb at the Sesto Calende cemetery, his remains were transferred on 31 August 1997, to the very parish church in Sesto Calende where he had been ordained to the priesthood.


  • In 1954, then Monsignor Dell'Acqua received a phone call from an ill Pope Pius XII, who was suffering from gastric problems, and quickly called for the latter's physician, Riccardo Galeazzi-Lisi.[2]

Honours and awards[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ TIME Magazine. Who Fired the Cardinals? 13 December 1968
  2. ^ TIME Magazine. Ordeal in the Vatican 13 December 1954
  3. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 54. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
New office
President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See
23 September 1967 – 13 January 1968
Succeeded by
Egidio Vagnozzi
Preceded by
Benedetto Aloisi Masella
Archpriest of the Basilica of St John Lateran
7 November 1970 – 27 August 1972
Succeeded by
Ugo Cardinal Poletti
Preceded by
Luigi Traglia
Vicar General of Rome
13 January 1968 – 27 August 1972
Succeeded by
Ugo Poletti
Preceded by
none (new titulus)
Cardinal Priest of Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo
29 June 1967 – 27 August 1972
Succeeded by
Ugo Poletti