Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Papal Retrospective : Leo XIII : 1

Pope Leo XIII: a portrait of 1885.
On 20th February, 1878, VINCENZO GIOACCHINO RAFFAELE LUIGI PECCI, Cardinal Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals and took the name Leo XIII.

Vincenzo Pecci was born of noble parents in March 1810 in a village outside of Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1837. His brother was also a priest. He received a number of important appointments from Pope Gregory XVI and in 1843 was appointed as Nuncio to Belgium; but he returned to Italy as Bishop of Perugia in 1846. He was named to the Sacred College by Pope Pius IX in 1853.

Leo XIII was the longest-lived pope in history; was the first pope to be born in the 19th century and the first pope of the 20th century. He was the first Pope to be filmed and the first to have his voice recorded. He died at the age of 93 in July, 1903 and is buried in the Lateran Basilica. 

A useful synopsis of his life and the achievements of his Papacy can be found here.  Unfortunately, only very few images of Pope Leo exist robed in sacred vestments, so the images in these posts will be more general.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Monsignor Vincenzo Pecci as Nuncio to Belgium, 1843.

Pope Leo XIII carried in procession from the Sistine Chapel.

Pope Leo seated on the same throne as shewn in the image above,
being the Sede Gestatoria made for Pope Pius VII.

A photograph of  Leo XIII wearing the Papal mantum and
 a somewhat ungainly triple tiara.   

The charming sedan-chair of Pope Leo.

A photographer waited patiently for Pope Leo to commence his daily carriage
ride through the Vatican gardens.