Antonino Saverio De Luca
Antonino Saverio De Luca, (Bronte 1805 -- Rome 1883), cardinal, brother of
economist Placido, was
apostolic Nuncio of Pope Gregorio XVI and Pius IX to the Court Of Bavaria and then to Vienna, and also appreciated author of historical and theology
Began his studies in Bronte In
The Real Capizzi College, to continue them
in 1816 in Monreale, where, unusual for those times, learned English, French and German.
While still twenty years old, he was judged the best for Latin, Greek, Italian and History among the Sicilian
young people winning a thousand scudi in a prestigious contest.
In 1829, he moved to Rome where, after an initial period of privations, was able to publish his first theological
essays and the first articles.
He was well accepted in the Vatican circles and was assigned to the first prestigious tasks.
Benedetto Radice writes of him that to emerge "in
that mare magnum (multitude) of the universal city had to use more
oars than sails, to be able to affirm with legitimate pride that man's
greater glory is to owe everything to itself, whatever little that is"
(Two Sicilian glories - The De Luca brothers", Bronte, Social
typographic establishment, 1926 ).
He was an eclectic church man very cultured and very valiant in defending
the temporal power of the Pope.
Founder of religious communities,
member of royal committees and the institute of historical correspondence
of Paris, associated to several Academies (Tiberina,
Arcadia with the name of Polinesto Chersoneso, Archaeological),
director of periodicals, professor of theology (to the Roman Archigginnasio), Bishop Of Aversa, but above all skilful and able
In 1840 the Catholic university of Lovanio (Belgium)
conferred him the degree ad honorem in theology together with the Lacordaire.
Pope Gregorio XVI propaganda
congregations' Consultant named him and of the Index, professor of the
University Of Rome, polyglot director of the typography of Propaganda Fide
and, the December 8th, 1845, Bishop Of Aversa.
From 1853 to 1863 Pius IX entrusted him delicate tasks near the imperial
Munich and Austria courts, where was named Apostolic Nuncio, and
assigned to important missions in Hungary and Romania.
To Munich and Vienna the cardinal, able negotiator, drafted the pacts
between the two kingdoms and the Santa
received prestigious honors.
Antonino Saverio De Luca was named Cardinal on March 16 of 1863.
Benedetto Radice writes what "Pius IX wanted to
reward the diplomatic industry, the doctrine of the nuncio De Luca and his
faith in the destinies of the papacy, raising it to the cardinality".
The red zucchetto was sent to him to Vienna, if the De Luca remained as Pronuncio
until his successor's arrival.
Was extremely dear to Metternich and to the
Francesco Giuseppe that in May 13, with
solemn ceremony, wanted to put on the head of the Nuncio the Cardinal's
biretta and conferred him the Big Cross of Saint Stefano of Hungary,
honor given to sovereigns, royal princes and first ministers.