Elia Dalla Costa

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His Eminence
Elia Dalla Costa
Cardinal, Archbishop of Florence
Archdiocese Florence
Appointed 19 December 1931
Term ended 22 December 1961
Predecessor Michele Carlo Visdomini Cortigiani
Successor Cosimo de' Bardi
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of San Marco (1933-1961)
Ordination 25 July 1895
by Antonio Feruglio
Consecration 12 August 1923
by Ferdinando Rodolfi
Created Cardinal 13 March 1933
by Pope Pius XI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Elia Dalla Costa
Born (1872-05-14)14 May 1872
Villaverla, Veneto, Kingdom of Italy
Died 22 December 1961(1961-12-22) (aged 89)
Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Buried Duomo di Firenze
Nationality Italian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto Virtus ex Alto (Power from on high)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Title as Saint Servant of God
Styles of
Elia Dalla Costa
Coat of arms of Elia Dalla Costa.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Elia Dalla Costa (14 May 1872 – 22 December 1961) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the Archbishop of Florence from 1931 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1933.


Early life[edit]

Dalla Costa was born in Villaverla, Veneto, the youngest of the five children. He attended the seminaries in Vicenza and Padua before being ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Antonio Feruglio on 25 July 1895. He finished his studies in 1897, and then did pastoral work in Vicenza, at whose seminary he also taught.

Episcopate and cardinalate[edit]

On 25 May 1923, Dalla Costa was appointed Bishop of Padua by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 12 August from Bishop Ferdinando Rodolfi, with Bishops Andrea Longhin and Apollonio Maggio serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral of Vicenza. Dalla Costa was later named Archbishop of Florence on 19 December 1931. From January to May 1932, he was Apostolic Administrator of Padua.

Pope Pius XI created Dalla Costa Cardinal-Priest of S. Marco in the consistory of 13 March 1933. He was one of the cardinal electors in the 1939 papal conclave (at which he received votes)[1] that selected Pope Pius XII, and later participated in the conclave of 1958, resulting in the election of Pope John XXIII. During World War II, he became known as "the Cardinal of Charity" for helping save thousands of Italians from execution under the Fascist regime.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Dalla Costa died from pulmonary complications[2] in Florence, at age 89, and is buried in the Duomo di Firenze. At the time he was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals. On 22 December 1981, exactly twently years after his death, his process for beatification was opened.

In November 2012, Catholic News Service (CNS) announced that the Servant of God Elia Cardinal Dalla Costa had been named as a "Righteous Among the Nations", a prestigious honor granted by the Yad Vashem, National Holocaust Authority, (the process of selection for each case is headed by a public commission led by an Israeli Supreme Court Justice) in Jerusalem to those who are judged to have done the most, at risk to themselves, to save Jews from the horror of the Nazi Holocaust (or the Shoah, as it is referred to by Jews) during the period before and during World War II.[3]


  1. ^ "Habemus Papam". Time Magazine. March 13, 1939. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Milestones: Dec. 29, 1961". Time Magazine. December 29, 1961. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Late Italian cardinal honored for helping rescue Jews during Holocaust". Catholic News Service. November 27, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2014. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Luigi Pellizzo
Bishop of Padua
Succeeded by
Carlo Agostini
Preceded by
Alfonso Mistrangelo
Archbishop of Florence
Succeeded by
Ermenegildo Florit