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Leo XIII, Pope
Pope Leo XIII

ARMS: Azure issuant out of a mount in base Vert a pine tree Proper between in dexter chief a comet and in base two fleurs-de-lis Or, debruised by a fess Argent.

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: Source for blazon: “Heraldica Collegii Cardinalium, 1800-2000”, Michael Francis McCarthy, page 179 as amended by J.H. Gaylor. Text was written by D. Q. Wedvick drawn almost wholesale from our article in the August 2008 issue of “The Angelus”, the Journal of the District of the United States for the Fraternal Society of St. Pius X.

Pope Leo XIII was born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffsele Luigi Pecci on 2 March 1810 at Carpineto, Italy, to a noble family as the sixth son of Count Lodovico Pecci and his wife Anna Prosperi Buzi.

Unusually Pecci was appointed a domestic prelate ( Msgr. ) whilst still in minor orders in January 1837 by Gregory XVI and was ordained a priest on 31 Dec 1837. Named Archbishop of Perugia 1846 and he achieved note as a popular and successful prelate, looking out for the welfare, spiritual and temporal, of his diocesan flock as well as his clergy for 31 years. As Bishop of Perugia he sought chiefly to inculcate piety and knowledge of the truths of Faith. He took particular trouble with the formation of his priests, how they preached to the laity of their parishes and insisted they catechize all their parishioners, adults as well as children. He supported the popes in their temporal polices but was not strident about it, preferring to coexist with whomever the civil authorities were. He was named a cardinal in 1853 and Camerlengo in 1877 and was elected pope as Leo XIII on 20 February 1878.

One of Pope Leo’s early acts was the restoration the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Scotland in 1878.

As Pope he is well known for his encyclicals, particularly on his social teaching, in which he argued the flaws of capitalism and communism. His encyclical "Æterni Patris" of 1880 recommended the study of scholastic philosophy, especially that of St. Thomas Aquinas, but he did not advise a servile study. His encyclical, “Rerum Novarum”, of 1891 focused on the rights and duties of capital and labor towards each other. And in his 1893 encyclical, “Providentissimus Deus”, Pope Leo gave new encouragement to Bible study. There are many other encyclicals and letters which could be mentioned.

In 1887, Leo approved the foundation of what came to be Catholic University in America. Other information indicates he was the first pope of which there is a sound recording, the first to be filmed and he held the record for being the oldest pope when he died at age 93 on 20 July 1903. dqw 20100508

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor.

Wedvick Armorial, 047b, Leo XIII,

Loyola.jpg Liguori2-1455.jpg LeoXIII3223.jpg LeFebvre3344.jpg JuliusII33~0.jpg
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