Willem Marinus van Rossum

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Cardinal van Rossum
Styles of
Willem van Rossum
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Caesarea in Mauretania (titular see)

Willem Marinus van Rossum, C.Ss.R. (September 3, 1854 – August 30, 1932) was a Dutch Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1911.


Willem van Rossum was born in Zwolle, Netherlands, to Jan and Hendrika (née Veldwillems) van Rossum. He entered the Minor Seminary of Culemborg in 1867, and joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, more commonly known as the Redemptorists, on June 15, 1873. He made his profession as a Redemptorist on June 16, 1874.

He was ordained a priest in Wittem on October 17, 1879. He then taught Latin and rhetoric in Roermond, and was a professor of dogmatic theology at the Scholasticate of Wittem from 1883 to 1892. He became the Scholasticate's prefect of studies in 1886 and its rector in 1893.

After becoming a member of the Redemptorist community in Rome in 1895, Rossum was named a consultor to the Congregation of the Holy Office on December 25, 1896. He also became a counselor to the Commission for the Codification of Canon Law on April 15, 1904. He served as general consultor of the Redemptorists from 1909 to 1911.

In 1911, Pope Pius X made him Cardinal-Deacon of San Cesareo in Palatio, the first Dutch cardinal since the Protestant Reformation. In 1914, he became president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. In 1915, he was named head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, one of the three tribunals of the Roman Curia and was also raised to the rank of Cardinal Priest, with the titular church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. He was appointed titular bishop of Caesarea in Mauretania and Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples.

He participated in the papal conclaves that elected Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI.

Van Rossum died on 30 August 1932 in a Maastricht hospital, after falling ill on returning from a visit to Denmark, and was buried first in the Witten cemetery, but later in the Redemptorist church in Wittem.

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Serafino Vannutelli
Major Penitentiary of Apostolic Penitentiary
1 October 1915–12 March 1918
Succeeded by
Oreste Giorgi
Preceded by
Domenico Serafini
Prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith
12 March 1918–30 August 1932
Succeeded by
Pietro Fumasoni Biondi

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Pope Benedict XV
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Pietro Pisani December 21, 1919
Mario Giardini December 8, 1921
Bernard Gijlswijk December 2, 1922
Alexis Lépicier May 29, 1924
Edward Mooney January 31, 1926
Paschal Charles Robinson May 24, 1927
Giovanni Battista Dellepiane November 30, 1929
Antonin Drapier December 22, 1929
Olaf Offerdahl April 6, 1930
Carlo Salotti July 6, 1930
Leo Peter Kierkels April 26, 1931