Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster

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Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster

Cardinal, Archbishop of Milan
Schustercardinal.jpg
The cardinal c. 1930.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseMilan
SeeMilan
Appointed26 June 1929
Term ended30 August 1954
PredecessorEugenio Tosi
SuccessorGiovanni Battista Montini
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti (1929–54)
Orders
Ordination19 March 1904
by Pietro Respighi
Consecration21 July 1929
by Pope Pius XI
Created cardinal15 July 1929
by Pope Pius XI
RankCardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth nameAlfredo Ludovico Schuster
Born(1880-01-18)18 January 1880
Ospedale Santissimo Salvatore, Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died30 August 1954(1954-08-30) (aged 74)
Archiepiscopal Seminary Pio XI, Venegono Inferiore, Varese, Italy
BuriedCathedral of Milan
Previous post
Coat of armsAlfredo Ildefonso Schuster's coat of arms
Sainthood
Feast day30 August
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Beatified12 May 1996
Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
by Pope John Paul II
Attributes
  • Pastoral staff
  • Cardinal's attire
PatronageArchdiocese of Milan
Ordination history of
Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
History
Priestly ordination
Ordained byPietro Respighi
Date19 March 1904
PlaceLateran Basilica, Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorPope Pius XI
Co-consecratorsCarlo Cremonesi
Agostino Zampini
Date21 July 1929
PlaceSistine Chapel, Vatican City
Cardinalate
Elevated byPope Pius XI
Date15 July 1929
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster as principal consecrator
Arcangelo Mazzotti, O.F.M.26 April 1931
Francesco Fulgenzio Lazzati, O.F.M.8 November 1931
Adriano Bernareggi24 January 1932
Giacinto Tredici, Obl.Ss.A.C.6 January 1934
Rodolfo Orler, F.S.C.J.7 February 1934
Gustavo Testa1 November 1934
Pietro Mozzanica, Ob.S.C.23 December 1934
Enrico Montalbetti, Obs.S.C.9 June 1935
Giovanni Luigi Marinoni, O.F.M. Cap.23 August 1936
Paolo Castiglioni7 February 1937
Domenico Grassi, P.I.M.E.1 May 1939
Norberto Perini30 November 1941
Ildebrando Vannucci, O.S.B.2 August 1942
Domenico Bernareggi29 July 1945
Egidio Bignamini2 December 1945
Giuseppe Obert, P.I.M.E.6 February 1949
Giovanni Battista Cesana, M.C.C.I.1 April 1951
Alfonso Beretta, P.I.M.E.8 April 1951
Vitale Bonifacio Bertoli, O.F.M.20 May 1951
Anacleto Cazzaniga19 March 1953
Costantino Caminada29 June 1953
Agostino Saba4 October 1953

Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster (Italian pronunciation: [alˈfreːdo ildeˈfɔnso ʃˈʃuster], German: [ˈʃuːstɐ]; 18 January 1880 – 30 August 1954), born Alfredo Ludovico Schuster, was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and professed member from the Benedictines who served as the Archbishop of Milan from 1929 until his death.[1] He became known as Ildefonso as a Benedictine monk and served as an abbot prior to his elevation to the cardinalate.[2]

He led the Milanese archdiocese during World War II and was known to have supported Fascism at first. But his views changed to opposition after the annexation of Austria and the introduction of racial laws prompting vocal criticisms of anti-Christian aspects of the Mussolini regime.[3]

His beatification was celebrated in mid-1996 in Saint Peter's Square.[2]

Life[edit]

Childhood and priesthood[edit]

Alfredo Ludovico Schuster was born in 1880 in the Ospedale Santissimo Salvatore in Rome to Johann Schuster (a Bavarian tailor and double widower) and Maria Anna Tutzer (who hailed from Bolzano).[3][2] Johann was three decades older than Tutzer. His sister Giulia entered the Vincentians as a nun. He also had three half-siblings from his father's second marriage. Schuster was baptized on 20 January as "Alfredo Ludovico Luigi". In his childhood he was kidnapped for a brief period but the kidnapper was arrested.[1]

Schuster received his Confirmation on 2 April 1887 from Monsignor Giulio Lenti and made his First Communion on Pentecost 1890 in the Santa Anna in Porta Angelica church. His father Johann died on 18 September 1889.[3]

He served as an altar server at the Santa Maria della Pietà in Camposanto dei Teutonici church next to Saint Peter's Basilica. Schuster completed his high school studies (ginnasiali and liceali) at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in November 1891. On 13 November 1898 he joined the Order of Saint Benedict at their novitiate at Saint Paul Outside the Walls when he took the name Ildefonso.[1] He later professed his monastic vows on 13 November 1900. He graduated with a philosophical doctorate on 14 June 1903 and later received a theological doctorate from the Pontifical Atheneum of Saint Anselm in Rome.[citation needed]

Schuster received his ordination as a priest on 19 March 1904 at the patriarchal Lateran Basilica in Rome from Cardinal Pietro Respighi (its archpriest). He returned to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in 1904. His two mentors during his time of education were Father Bonifacio Oslander and Tommaso Riccardi.[2]

Abbotship[edit]

He became the novice master in 1908 and prior in 1916 before he was elected as the abbot for Saint Paul Outside the Walls on 6 April 1918. He also received the abbatial blessing from Cardinal Basilio Pompili on 14 April there.[1] He served as the Procurator General for the Cassinese Congregation from 1914 to 1929 and also served as the President of the Pontifical Oriental Institute from 1919 to 1922. He visited the seminaries of the northern Lombard region as well as those in the southern regions of Campania and Calabria from 1924 to 1928.[1] Either in November or December 1926 he preached the spiritual exercises to Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope John XXIII) at Saint Paul Outside the Walls. In his abbotship he was made a consulter to the Congregation for Rites and the Congregation for Oriental Churches.[3]

Episcopate and cardinalate[edit]

Schuster was selected as the newest Archbishop of Milan on 26 June 1929 to succeed Eugenio Tosi. On the following 13 July he took the oath of allegiance to the Italian state in front of King Vittorio Emmanuele III; he was the first Italian bishop to do this since the new Lateran Concordat required it according to Article 20 of the concordat.[2][1] Pope Pius XI elevated Schuster to the cardinalate in 1929 as the Cardinal-Priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti but later conferred upon him episcopal consecration in the Sistine Chapel.[citation needed] Carlo Cremonesi and Agostino Zampini served as the co-consecrators.[citation needed] In 1933 he was conferred as a bailiff grand cross of honor and devotion to the Order of Malta.[citation needed]

Schuster ordained 1265 priests and consecrated 22 bishops during his tenure as archbishop.[2] He also made five pastoral visits during his episcopate and selected Saint Carlo Borromeo as his model as an archbishop. He emphasized the importance of catechetics and promoted the Catholic Action movement for the faithful. He also believed that the goal of all Christians was holiness.[3]

He served as a papal legate on several occasions. On 15 August 1932 he was appointed as the legate to the celebration of Nostra Signora di Caravaggio; on 21 March 1934 to the millennial commemorations of the Einsiedeln convent in Switzerland; on 15 September 1937 to the inauguration of the new facade of the cathedral of Desio; and on 2 August 1951 to the National Eucharistic Conference in Assisi.[citation needed]

He participated in the papal conclave in 1939 which elected Pope Pius XII on the eve of World War II and was even considered as a papabile candidate for those seeking a more pastoral pope.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Schuster's tomb in the Cathedral of Milan.

He died on 30 August 1954 at 4:15am of a heart ailment in at Venegono Inferiore near Milan. Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (the future Pope John XXIII) celebrated his funeral. He was buried on 2 September 1954 in the metropolitan cathedral next to his two immediate predecessors.[1] His tomb was opened on 28 January 1985 and his remains were found to be intact.[4]

Honours[edit]

Relations with Fascism[edit]

There were claims during the process for Schuster's beatification that he was supportive to Italian Fascism.[4] While there is evidence of some support for fascist ambitions, there is evidence that he denounced the anti-Christian element of fascism. It was said that he refused to participate in ceremonies involving Mussolini and also condemned racist legislation during the fascist period.[4]

Schuster was an enthusiastic supporter of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and compared it to the Crusades and viewed it as a potential source of converts.[5][6] On 28 October 1935, while celebrating Mass in the Cathedral of Milan, he asked God to protect the Italian troops as "they open the door of Ethiopia to the Catholic faith and Roman civilisation"[7] before he blessed the banners of the departing troops.[citation needed]

In a speech at the School of Fascist Mystique in Rome in 1937, he spelled out a fanciful direct link between Imperial Rome and Christian Rome to fascism: "God has chosen to reward the Duce by drawing his historical figure closer to the great spirits of Constantine and Augustus, through the work of Benito Mussolini reconnecting Rome and its King to a shining new imperial crown of Roman peace".[8]

In 1938, his views changed by Germany annexing Austria and introducing German racial doctrines with the Italian Racial Laws.[9]

Relationship with Mussolini[edit]

The Fascist and Nazi press attacked Schuster during the war, without his suffering loss of esteem among his own flock in Milan. On 25 April 1945, the cardinal hosted in the archbishop's palace in Milan a meeting between Italian partisans and Mussolini in an attempt to obtain a truce between the two parties. However, Mussolini did not accept the demand for unconditional surrender that Marazza and Pertini, the partisan delegates, made. Mussolini arrived on time at 4:00pm without the other side being present. The delegates Cadorna and Lombardi as well as Marazza arrived an hour later. Mussolini had a talk with Schuster in the meantime, who gave him a glass of rosolio to drink and a copy of a book he had written about the life of a saint. Schuster made an effort to preach humility to Mussolini. Once Graziani and the other Fascist leaders arrived (according to the versions given according to all those present including Schuster), events that occurred differ according to the individuals versions of events.[10]

Although the cardinal sought Mussolini out on 25 April 1945 and urged him to make his peace with God and his fellow man, Mussolini spurned the admonition and was assassinated within a week.[citation needed]

Following the end of the war, cardinal made frequent attempts to emphasize the danger of totalitarianism that communism and fascism inspired.[11]

Beatification[edit]

Monument in Verano Brianza.

The process for his beatification opened in Milan in a diocesan process that his successor inaugurated on 30 August 1957; the process was closed on 31 October 1963 after a process was held in Rome from 21 November 1959 to 13 July 1961 to collect additional evidence and documentation.[citation needed] His writings were approved on 5 March 1970 as having adhered to traditional doctrine. The cause remained dormant for some time until 18 July 1986 when the Congregation for the Causes of Saints validated the diocesan phase while later receiving the Positio for assessment in 1989.[citation needed] Theologians approved the cause on 12 October 1993 as did the C.C.S. members later on 11 January 1994. Pope John Paul II confirmed that Schuster had led a life of heroic virtue and named him as Venerable on 26 March 1994.[citation needed]

Schuster's beatification now depended upon one confirmed miracle. One such case was investigated with the evidence collected sent to Rome with the C.C.S. validating this process on 5 July 1985. Medical experts confirmed this miracle as such a decade later on 17 November 1994 while theologians confirmed the assessment on 21 February 1995; the C.C.S. also approved it on 2 May 1995. John Paul II confirmed that the healing in question was a miracle on 11 July 1995 and confirmed Schuster's beatification. The beatification was celebrated on 12 May 1996 in Saint Peter's Square.[1][4]

The miracle that led to his beatification was the cure of the nun Maria Emilia Brusati from a severe glaucoma.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Miranda 1998.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Beato Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster". Santi e Beati. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Schuster, Alfredo Ildefonso, Bl". New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2003. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Terry 2010.
  5. ^ Lee 2000, p. 126.
  6. ^ Chadwick 1988, p. 8.
  7. ^ P. Beltrame Quattrocchi, Al di sopra del gagliardetti. L'arcivescovo Schuster: un asceta benedettino nell'era fascista, Marietti, Casale Monferrato (1985), s.v. "Etiopia". (in Italian)
  8. ^ Harris 2007, p. 218.
  9. ^ E. Nobili, La parabola di un'illusione. Il cardinale Schuster dalla guerra d'Etiopia alle leggi razziali, NED, Milan (2005), s.v. "Leggi razziali". (in Italian)
  10. ^ P. Beltrame Quattrocchi, Al di sopra del gagliardetti. L'arcivescovo Schuster: un asceta benedettino nell'era fascista, Marietti, Casale Monferrato (1985). (in Italian)
  11. ^ T. Leccisotti, Il cardinale Schuster, S. Benedetto (1969), Vol.II. (in Italian)

Sources[edit]

  • Chadwick, Owen (1988), Britain and the Vatican During the Second World War, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-36825-1
  • Lee, Stephen J. (2000), European Dictatorships, 1918–1945, New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-23046-2
  • Miranda, Salvador (1998), "Schuster, O.S.B., Alfredo Ildefonso", The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Florida International University Libraries, retrieved 24 June 2011
  • Terry, Jones (11 August 2010), "Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster", The Patron Saints Index, retrieved 24 June 2011
  • Harris, Judith (2007), Pompeii Awakened: A Story of Rediscovery, New York: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, ISBN 1-84511-241-5, retrieved 20 October 2011
  • Leccisotti, T. (1969), Il cardinale Schuster, S. Benedetto, Milan. (in Italian)
  • Nobili, E. (2005), La parabola di un'illusione. Il cardinale Schuster dalla guerra d'Etiopia alle leggi razziali, NED, Milan. (in Italian)

External links[edit]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antoine Delpuch
Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute
7 October 1919-4 July 1922
Succeeded by
Michel-Joseph Bourguignon d'Herbigny
Preceded by
Eugenio Tosi
Archbishop of Milan
26 June 1929-30 August 1954
Succeeded by
Giovanni Battista Montini
Cardinal-Priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti
18 July 1929-30 August 1954