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Gaetano Aloisi Masella

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Gaetano Aloisi Masella
Pro-Datary of the Apostolic Dataria
The cardinal in 1890.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed29 May 1897
Term ended22 November 1902
PredecessorAngelo Bianchi
SuccessorAngelo Di Pietro
Other post(s)Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede (1803-1902)
Ordination3 June 1849
Consecration3 June 1877
by Alessandro Franchi
Created cardinal14 March 1887
by Pope Leo XIII
Personal details
Gaetano Aloisi Masella

30 September 1826
Died22 November 1902(1902-11-22) (aged 76)
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Previous post(s)Titular Archbishop of Neocæsarea (1877-87)
Apostolic Nuncio to Portugal (1879-83)
Cardinal-Priest of San Tommaso in Parione (1887-93)
Prefect of the Congregation for Indulgences and Sacred Relics (1887-88)
Prefect of the Congregation for Rites (1889-92)
Camerlengo of the College of Cardinals (1892-93)
Alma materPontifical Roman Major Seminary
Pontifical Roman Athenaeum Saint Apollinare
Styles of
Gaetano Aloisi Masella
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Gaetano Aloisi Masella (30 September 1826 – 22 November 1902) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1887 and served as Prefect of the Congregation of Rites from 1899 until his death.


Gaetano Aloisi Masella was born in Pontecorvo; he was the uncle of future cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella. He was ordained to the priesthood on 3 June 1849 in the Lateran Basilica, and then served as secretary of the nunciature in Naples. Aloisi Masella later became auditor of the nunciature to Germany in 1858, and of the nunciature to France in 1862. In 1869 he entered the service of the Roman Curia as consultor for diplomatic affairs in the Vatican Secretariat of State. He was made a referendary prelate of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature in 1870, and accompanied Archbishop Alessandro Franchi to Constantinople in 1874, the same year in which he was named Secretary for Oriental Affairs in the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.

On 22 May 1877 Aloisi Masella was appointed Titular Archbishop of Neocaesarea in Ponto by Pope Pius IX. After receiving his episcopal consecration in the following June from Cardinal Franchi, he was later named Apostolic Nuncio to Bavaria on 5 June that year, and Nuncio to Portugal on 30 September 1879. Pope Leo XIII created him Cardinal Priest of S. Tommaso in Parione in the consistory of 14 March 1887.

After becoming Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences and Relics on 16 November 1887, Aloisi Masella was made Prefect of the office of economic planning of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith and President of the general administration of the Chamber of Despoilments on 13 February 1888. He was appointed Prefect of the S.C. of Rites on 3 October 1889, and also served as Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals from 11 July 1892 to 16 January 1893. He opted for the titular church of S. Prassede on 16 January 1893, and was named Pro-Datary of His Holiness on 29 May 1897, remaining in that post until his death. He declined an offering of a suburbicarian see to continue working in the reorganization of the Apostolic Datary.

The Cardinal died in Rome, at age 76. After being exposed in the Palace of the Datary and a Requiem in the basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli, his body was buried in his family's tomb in his native Pontecorvo.


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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Nuncio to Bavaria
Succeeded by
Preceded by Nuncio to Portugal
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prefect of the Congregation of Rites
Succeeded by