Page 1, 17th March 1939

17th March 1939
Page 1
Page 1, 17th March 1939 — OF STATE

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Locations: Rome, Naples, PARIS


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Cardinal Mag:ione

From Our Own Correspondent


Cardinal Luigi Maglione, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Council, has been appointed to the position of Secretary of State, a position which corresponds in other governments to that of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Cardinal Maglione has the title of St. Pudentiana's church—the same church which was conferred as title on the late Cardinal Bourne.

It is interesting to notice that he was born exactly one year later than the Holy Father—on March 2, 1877. He came of a middle-class Southern family which counted many children, two of whom became priests—the other was already a priest when Luigi (Lewis) was born.

The future Cardinal studied at the local seminary and later went to the Pontano College at Naples directed by Jesuits. In 1895 he took the examination which corresponds roughly to the " Matriculation " in England, and had the courage at the examination to present himself in the clerical dress of a cassock at the Victor Thirmanuel Lie, o —a thing which in those anti-clerical days was considered audacious. He not only passed the examination but his merits were openly praised by the exacting and none too clerical professor. Enrico Cocchia, later Senator and Professor at Naples University.

ORDAINED IN 1901 From Naples Luigi eventually came to Rome to study philosophy, theology and canon law, and in each faculty he did well. On July 28, 1901, he was ordained, and the following day offered his first Mass at his ancestral village near Naples, Cassoria.

From the Cantu/lieu College in Rome Don Luigi passed to the Academy for Noble Ecclesiastics and there studied Diplomacy and sat for the examination presided over by Mgr. della Chiesa, later Pope Benedict XV.

Then came priestly work in the poor Testaccio quarter of Rome and in the Roman Campagna, but not for long: he was asked to be professor. of Diplomacy at the Academy for Noble Ecclesiastics and at the same time to be a Coach in Theology at the Roman Seminary and Spiritual Director at the Capranica College.


1908 saw his first appointment to the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, and latex' whilst the war was still being waged he was sent (1918) as the Representative of the Holy See to Berne in Switzerland.

The position of Switzerland during the war was anything but easy, and that of the Holy See's Representative anything but a sinecure. But his work was so good that within eight years he was promoted to be Apostolic Nuncio at Paris. There his deep understanding of the French character and his sympathy, as well as 'his own outstanding gifts as a diplomat made him one of the greatest Nuncios Paris has seen.


In 1935 he became Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church. President Lebrun at a solemn reception at the Elysee placed on his head—thereby restoring an ancient custom—the Cardinal's Hat—and at the same time conferred on him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. He carried on as pro-Nuncio for a few months, but before he left Paris, the Confederation of Christian Workers presented him with a magnificent ivory crucifix, and the Municipal Council of Paris gave a very precious old print of the city with a dedication from the then President, Jean Chiappe—the two gifts can now be seen in the ante-room of his study.


On all sides the appointment of Cardinal Maglione is praised. As your correspondent has before now already stated, he is the ablest diplomat in the Sacred College, and his judgments are remarkably sound. He has a marked gift of seizing in a short time on the relevant matter for solution out of a maze of difficulties, and the future collaboration between the present Holy Father and the new Secretary of State is regarded here as perfect.

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