|Archbishop of Turin|
|Ordination||27 November 1898|
|Consecration||27 April 1925
by Giuseppe Gamba
|Created Cardinal||13 March 1933
by Pope Pius
May 24, 1876|
|Died||March 30, 1965
|Buried||Santuario della Consolata|
Maurilio Fossati, O.SS.G.C.N., (24 May 1876 – 30 March 1965) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Turin from 1930 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1933.
Born in Arona, Fossati studied at the seminary in Novara before being ordained to the priesthood on 27 November 1898. He was private secretary to Edoardo Pulciano, the Bishop of Novara, later the Archbishop of Genoa, from 1901 to 1911, the year when Fossati entered the Oblates of Saints Gaudentius and Charles of Novara, a society of apostolic life of priests of the diocese. Fossati then did pastoral work in Novara until 1914. After serving as a military chaplain during World War I, he was made superior of his Society in Varallo Sesia in 1919.
On 24 March 1924, Fossati was appointed Bishop of Nuoro by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 27 April from Archbishop Giuseppe Gamba, and was then Apostolic Administrator of Ogliastra from 1925 to 1927. Fossati was later named Archbishop of Sassari on 2 October 1929, and archbishop of Turin on 11 December 1930.
Pope Pius created him Cardinal-Priest of San Marcello al Corso in the consistory of 13 March 1933. Fossati was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 1939 papal conclave (at which he was considered papabile) which selected Pope Pius XII, and again voted in the 1958 conclave, resulting in the election of Pope John XXIII.
During World War II, the Cardinal was an outspoken opponent of Fascism, and asked that Catholics take Jewish refugees and Gypsies into their homes. Fossati even convinced the German Army to avoid Turin, thus sparing the city from devastation, in its 1945 retreat. Of Catholics in the Italian Resistance, Peter Hebblethwaite wrote that, by early 1944, some 20,000 partisans had emerged from Catholic Action. Known as the "Green Flames", they were supported by sympathetic provincial clergy in the North, who pronounced the Germans to be "unjust invaders", whom it was lawful and meritorious to repel. "Bishops tended to be more cautious", wrote Hebblethwaite, but Maurilio Fossati "visited partisan units in the mountains, heard their confessions and said Mass for them."
Cardinal Fossati died from pneumonia in Turin, at age 88. He was initially buried at the chapel in the Seminary of Rivoli, but his remains were transferred to the Santuario della Consolata in 1977.
- TIME Magazine. Death of a Pope 20 February 1939
- TIME Magazine. Milestones 9 April 1965
- Peter Hebblethwaite; Paul VI - the First Modern Pope; Harper Collins Religious; 1993; pp.194-5
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Nuoro
|Archbishop of Sassari
Arcangelo Mazzotti, OFM
|Archbishop of Turin
Adeodato Giovanni Piazza, OCD
|President of the Italian Episcopal Conference