Francesco Marmaggi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Francesco Marmaggi
Prefect of the Congregation of the Council
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed14 March 1939
Term ended3 November 1949
PredecessorLuigi Maglione
SuccessorGiuseppe Bruno
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Santa Cecilia (1936–49)
Ordination14 April 1900
Consecration26 September 1920
by Pietro Gasparri
Created cardinal16 December 1935
by Pope Pius XI
Personal details
Francesco Marmaggi

31 August 1876
Died3 November 1949(1949-11-03) (aged 73)
Rome, Italy
BuriedCampo Verano (first)
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere (current)
Previous post(s)
Alma materPontifical Roman Seminary
MottoLux de luce
Styles of
Francesco Marmaggi
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeHadrianopolis in Haemimonto (titular see)

Francesco Marmaggi (31 August 1876 – 3 November 1949) was a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Congregation of the Council and, earlier, as Nuncio in Romania, Czechoslovakia and Poland, as well as being a special envoy to Turkey.


Marmaggi was born in Rome at a time when the Kingdom of Italy was just coming into being. He was educated at the Pontifical Roman Seminary in the city, earning a doctorates in Philosophy and Theology.

Marmaggi was ordained in Rome, on 14 April 1900, and afterwards worked in pastoral care in the Diocese of Rome, as well as being a faculty member of the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum Sant'Apollinare, and an official in the Apostolic Penitentiary until 1904. He was created Privy Chamberlain of Pope Pius X on 15 November 1907, and reappointed on 7 September 1914. Marmaggi was raised to the level of Domestic Prelate on 2 June 1915.

Pope Benedict XV appointed him Titular Archbishop of Hadrianopolis in Haemimonto and first Nuncio to the Kingdom of Romania on 1 September 1920. The appointment followed a long period of negotiations between Romania and the Papacy and was replicated by the appointment of Dimitrie Pennescu as first Ambassador of Romania to the Holy See.[1] He was consecrated on 26 September by Pietro Gasparri, Cardinal Secretary of State. Marmaggi represented the Pope at the 1922 coronation of Ferdinand I as King of Greater Romania, a ceremony which took place in Alba Iulia.

Marmaggi was named extraordinary envoy to Turkey after the Greco-Turkish War, part of Pope Pius XI's decision to upgrade the papacy's diplomatic relations, which had outlined in the encyclical Pacem, Dei Munus Pulcherrimum, breaking with the tradition of ceding to Franch the role of protector for Middle Eastern Catholics.[2] At the same time, Pope Pius also sent Celso Costantini to establish contacts with the Beiyang Government in China.[2]

Marmaggi was made the second Nuncio to Czechoslovakia in 1923. Five years later, he was recalled to Rome as a sign of protest as a result of several disagreements on both sides, sparked by the Czechoslovak decision to continue celebrating the local festival Den upálení mistra Jana Husa, which honored the 15th-century thinker Jan Hus, who influenced Protestant dogma and was burned at the stake as a heretic.[3][4][5]

Marmaggi left Prague on 6 July 1925, after repeatedly warning President Tomáš Masaryk, Premier Antonín Švehla and Foreign Minister Edvard Beneš not to attend the ceremonies.[4][5] They reportedly argued that they were participating as private persons.[5] Marmaggi's protest was echoed by the Catholic People's Party, which criticized Masaryk.[4] As a result of Marmaggi's departure, Czechoslovakia cut diplomatic ties with the Holy See.[4]

Marmaggi then served as Nuncio to Poland from 1928 until he was made Cardinal-Priest of Santa Cecilia in the consistory of 16 December 1935 by Pius XI. Two years later, alongside Cardinals Maglione, Pietro Boetto, Nicola Canali, Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano, Alberto di Jorio, Giovanni Mercati, Raffaele Rossi, Carlo Salotti, Federico Tedeschini and Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Tisserant, he sat on a papal commission analyzing the situation created by the Spanish Civil War and its implications for Roman Catholic clergy in Spain.[6] The body was created because Pope Pius was alarmed by Nationalist leader Francisco Franco's decision to overturn Republican reforms at a time when the zone controlled by Nationalist forces was much smaller than the Republican area.[6]

Marmaggi participated in the conclave of 1939 that elected Pius XII. He left Poland in March 1939, when he was appointed cardinal and Prefect of the Congregation of the Council. Reportedly, he wanted his successor in Poland to be Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the Nuncio to Turkey and Greece and future Pope John XXIII.[7]

Marmaggi was Prefect until his death in 1949. A street in Rome was named in his honor "Via Cardinale Marmaggi".


  1. ^ (in Romanian) Dumitru Preda, Marius Bucur, "România - Vatican. 80 ani de relaţii diplomatice" Archived October 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, in Magazin Istoric, May 2000
  2. ^ a b Ernesto Pontieri, Storia universale, Vol.7 (Part 11), Francesco Vallardi, Milan, 1959, p.81
  3. ^ "Rendering unto Prague", in Time, February 13, 1928
  4. ^ a b c d Martin Kitchen, Europe Between the Wars, Pearson/Longman, London, 2006, p.207. ISBN 0-582-89414-X
  5. ^ a b c Joseph Rothschild, East Central Europe Between the Two World Wars, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1992, p.107-108. ISBN 0-295-95357-8
  6. ^ a b Gonzalo Redondo, Historia de la Iglesia en España, 1931-1939, Ediciones Rialp, Madrid, 1993, p.291. ISBN 84-321-3016-8
  7. ^ Peter Hebblethwaite, Pope John XXIII, Shepherd of the Modern World, Doubleday, New York, 1985, p.150
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Prefect of the Congregation of the Council
14 March 1939 – 3 November 1949
Succeeded by