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Friday, November 09, 2007

Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santorio (Cardinal Santaseverina)














FINELLI, Giuliano (b. 1601, Carrara, d. 1653, Rome)
Bust of Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santorio 1633-34
Marble, life-size
San Giovanni Laterano, Rome


The sepulchral bust of Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santorio in the chapel of St John Lateran which he established transformed the traditional praying figure into an image of Counter-Reformation zeal.

Finelli here conveys the illusion of the whole figure at prayer.

The idea evidently touched a chord with the contemporary public, alluding to the beneficent power of the Mass and hopes of eternal life.

He emerged from the workshop of Bernini but in 1629, when he felt slighted by the awarding of the choice commission of a Saint Helena statue for the crossing of St Peter's to Andrea Bolgi, he broke with Bernini.

Within a few years of after leaving the employ of Bernini, Finelli left for Naples with his pupil and nephew, Domenico Guidi. He is known best for a number of portraits and statuary in the cathedral of San Gennaro in Naples.

Giulio Antonio Cardinal Santorio (1532-1602) (denominated Cardinal Santaseverina) was Prefect of the Supreme S.C. of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.

He participated in the processes for heresy against Cardinal Giovanni Morone, philosophers Giordano Bruno and Tommaso Campanella, and King Henri IV of France.

On November 25, 1584, he consecrated the Jesuit church the  Gesù, Rome.

In 1586 Giulio Antonio Santorio, Cardinal of St. Severina, printed a handbook of rites for the use of priests, which, as Pope Paul V said, "he had composed after long study and with much industry and labor" (Apostolicæ Sedis). This book is the foundation of the Roman Ritual.

Gregory XIII (1572-85) instituted a primary commission composed of the three cardinals, Caraffa, Medici, and Santorio, who were especially charged to promote the union with Rome of the Oriental Christians (Slavs, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, and Abyssinians). Their meetings, held under the presidency of Cardinal Santorio, known as the Cardinal of Santa Severina, revealed certain urgent practical needs - e.g. the foundation of foreign seminaries, the printing of catechisms and similar works in many languages. Its efforts were successful among the Ruthenians, the Armenians, Syrians, both Western (as those of the Lebanon) and Eastern (as those of Malabar).

After the death of Gregory XIII the rapid succession of four popes in seven years arrested the progress of the commission's work.

Clement VIII (1592-1605), a pontiff of large and bold aims, was deeply interested in the commission, and caused its first meeting after his election to be held in his presence. He retained Santorio as its president: that is President of the Congregation super negotiis Sancta Fidei et Religionis Catholicae, considered the precursor of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide.

Weekly meetings were held in that cardinal's palace, and every fifteen days the decisions and recommendations of the commission were referred to the pontiff. To this period belongs a very notable triumph, the union with Rome of the Ruthenian nation (the Little Russia of Poland) called the Union of Brest (1508).

He supported the establishment of the S.C. of the Propagation of the Faith and of the Pontificio Collegio Greco in Rome.

Pope Sixtus V wanted a street to directly link S. Giovanni in Laterano with St. Peter and ordered Domenico Fontana to pull down the Coliseum. However, fortunately, Cardinal Santorio and others succeeded in persuading him to spare the Roman ruin.

He wrote numerous liturgical, historical and canon law works, as well as as his diaries, partially published, and his autobiography that was published in 1889-1890.