Giovanni Simeoni (July 12, 1816 – January 14, 1892) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Propagation of the Faith from 1878 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1875.
Giovanni Simeoni was born in Paliano; his father was a majordomo of the Colonna family. He attended the seminary in Palestrina before going to Rome to study at the Collegio Romano and La Sapienza University, where he studied theology and canon law. The Colonna family subsidized his studies.
Simeoni was ordained to the priesthood in 1839. He then served as preceptor of the children of Prince Colonna, and as professor of philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Urban Athenaeum of Propaganda Fide. After being raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness, he was made auditor of the nunciature to Spain and Domestic Prelate of His Holiness (1857). Simeoni later became adiutor ab actis of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, and served as the Congregation's secretary from 1868 to 1875.
On March 5, 1875, Simeoni was appointed Nuncio to Spain and Titular Archbishop of Chalcedon by Pope Gregory XVI. Pope Gregory also secretly (in pectore) elevated him to the College of Cardinals in the consistory of March 15 of that same year. Simeoni received his episcopal consecration on the following April 4 from Cardinal Alessandro Franchi, with Archbishops Edward Henry Howard and Pietro Villanova Castellacci serving as co-consecrators, in the chapel of the Pontifical Urban Athenaeum of Propaganda Fide.
Simeoni was published as Cardinal Priest of San Pietro in Vincoli in the consistory of September 17, 1875. Between December 18, 1876 and the death of Pope Pius IX on February 7, 1878, he also served as Vatican Secretary of State, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Public Ecclesiastical Affairs, Prefect of the Apostolic Palace, and Administrator of the Patrimony of the Holy See; Pius IX had designated him as executor of his will as well.
The Cardinal then participated in the conclave of 1878, which resulted in the election of Pope Leo XIII, who confirmed him as Prefect of the Apostolic Palace and Administrator of the Patrimony of the Holy See. From 1878 until his death, he served as Protector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. Simeoni was named Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, also known as the "Red Pope", on March 5, 1878, and president of the missionary seminaries of Rome on January 1, 1885. From March 27, 1885 to January 15, 1886, he served as Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
Cardinal Simeoni died in Rome, at the age of 75. After lying in state in the church of the Pontifical Urban Athenaeum of Propaganda Fide, he was buried in the chapel of the same athenaeum in the Campo Verano cemetery. Simeoni also left his notable art collection to the Pope in his will.
- Cardinal Scipione Rebiba
- Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santorio
- Cardinal Girolamo Bernerio
- Archbishop Galeazzo Sanvitale
- Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi
- Cardinal Luigi Caetani
- Cardinal Ulderico Carpegna
- Cardinal Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni
- Pope Benedict XIII
- Pope Benedict XIV
- Cardinal Enrico Enríquez
- Archbishop Manuel Quintano Bonifaz
- Cardinal Buenaventura Fernández de Córdoba Spínola
- Cardinal Giuseppe Doria Pamphili
- Pope Pius VIII
- Pope Pius IX
- Cardinal Alessandro Franchi
- Cardinal Giovanni Simeoni
- David M. Cheney, "Bishop Oscar Cantoni", Catholic Hierarchy, retrieved 2019-08-09
|Catholic Church titles|
| Apostolic Nuncio to Spain
15 March 1875 – 18 December 1876
| Cardinal Secretary of State
18 December 1876 - 5 March 1878
| Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Propagation of the Faith
5 March 1878 – 14 January 1892
Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski
Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski
| Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
27 March 1885 – 15 January 1886