Pius IX. - 19th Century Encyclopedia Entries

Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Meyer 1885-1892,

Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Article : Leo XIII. (1885)
Leo XIII., born on March 2nd 1810 in Carpineto in the Papal State, his original name was Vincenzo Gioacchino, of the noble family of the Counts Pecci. He received his first education at the Jesuit college in Viterbo, and later studied at the Collegio Romano in Rome, also lead by Jesuits; he especially studied chemistry and physics, in which in 1828 he won the first prize. Thereafter he devoted himself to theology, in 1831 was promoted to doctor theologiae, later studied law at the University of Rome and in 1837 became doctor juris utriusque. In the same year he was ordained a priest, entered in the service of Pope Gregory XVI., the trust of whom he won to a high degree. In 1843 he was appointed titular bishop of Damiette, and sent as a nuncio to Belgium, where he stayed for three years. In 1846 he was appointed archbishop of Perugia, in 1853 cardinal priest. He excellently took care of the spiritual and secular administration of his diocesis, he ended banditry there and maintained good relations with the Italian government. In 1877 he became "camerlengo", and in this function it was his duty to order the convention of the conclave after the death of Pius IX. After 36 hours of assembly, in the third vote, on February 20th 1878 he was chosen as the successor to Pius IX., and he was crowned on March 3rd the same year.
Leo XIII. by far exceeds his predecessors, both in his general and in his theological education, as well as in his ability to skillfully adapt to a situation. For some time his assurance, that his only goals were peace and concord with other social powers, and that he was far from desiring to rule over others, were accepted in true faith. But both his relations with governments and his encyclicals show, that he did not give up the claim of papal absolutism. For instance, after the breach, which was caused by the so-called May laws of 1873, he did not enter into reconciliation with Prussia, in 1880 he broke off diplomatic ties with Belgium, after the supervision of elementary schools in this country had been taken from the priests in 1878, and he repeatedly condemned the decree of March 1880 in France, which expelled the Jesuits, and which dissolved all unrecognized congregations. How alien the spirit of the modern era is to Leo XIII. is shown by the fact, that he regards Thomas Aquinas' antiquated philosophy as the only righteous basis for any ideology (encyclical of August 5th 1879), and his attack on Protestantism, which he blames to be the source of Communism and Nihilism (encyclical of June 29th 1881).
Leo XIII's brother Giuseppe Pecci (born in 1807, librarian of the Vatican) in 1879 was appointed cardinal deacon.

source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article : Leo XIII. (c.1888)
Leo XIII. (actually Joachim Pecci), born on March 2nd 1810 to a wealthy peasant family in Carpineto near Anagni, was educated in the Collegio Romano, after attemding the Accademia Ecclesiastica for three years he entered the prelature as protonotary, and in 1837 was appointed by Pope Gregory XVI. house prelate, then delegate in Benevento. Here he suppressed banditry and consequently was made legate of Spoleto, then of Perugia. Precanonised as titular bishop of Damiette, in 1843 he was sent to Brussels as nuncio, where he helped the Catholic Church to gain its independent position, but simultaneously succeeded, by his skillful manner, to gain the favour of King Leopold II. On January 19th 1846 he was elevated archbishop of Perugia and appointed cardinal, but in petto (reserved). Gregory's successor Pius IX., at the advice of the jealous Antonelli, left Pecci in his remote archdiocesis, and only on December 19th 1853 confirmed his appointment as cardinal. Pecci administrated his diocesis excellently, and also after the annexion of Perugia maintained good relations with the Italian government. Of an impressive, serious outward appearance, well-educated, tactful and amiable, genuinely pious and living an impeccable lifestyle, he became very popular with everyone he communicated with. Only after Antonelli's death (November 1876) he was called to Rome, and in November 1877 was given the office of papal chamberlain. As such, after the death of Pius IX. (February 7th 1878), he conducted the business of the curia, and after a conclave lasting only 1 1/2 days, as the leader of the central party of the college of cardinals he was elected pope, and crowned on March 3rd. Without denying the principal position of protest his predecessor had taken vis-a-vis Italy and the state powers in general, he pursued papal interest using milder measures. He appointed moderate cardinals, such as Franchi, Jacobini and others, to secretaries of state, established personal relations with secular powers and attempted to bring about an understanding which would not violate his principles. In this he namely succeeded with Prussia, where with his contribution the Kulturkampf was settled, with the German chancellor he established a relation resembling friendship, and he was happy to be offered by the former to be arbitrator in the conflict over the Carolinas (1885). He also strove to promote scientific studies; in 1883 he opened the Vatican archives for historical research. He even tried himself as a poet (mostly in Latin language; "Leonis XIII. Pont. Maximi, carmina", edited by Brunelli, Udine 1883.
See de Waal, Papst Leos XIII. Leben (Münster 1878); Tesi-Passerini, Leone XIII ed il suo tempo (1886 ff., 3 vols.); O'Reilly, Leo XIII. Seine Zeit, sein Pontifikat und seine Erfolge (Köln 1887); "Acta Leonis papae XIII." (Paris 1885).

source in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek

DOCUMENTS Article Leo XIII., from Catholic Encyclopedia
Article Leo XIII., from EB 1911

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First posted on June 3rd 2009

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