January 19 – Archbishop Senator of the Spanish Kingdom

January 16, 2014

Blessed Marcelo Rafael José María de los Dolores Hilario Spinola y Maestre, Archbishop of Seville

born: 14 January 1835. died 20 January 1906

Cardinal Marcelo Spinola y Maestre

Cardinal Marcelo Spinola y Maestre

Marcelo Spínola was born on the island of San Fernando, Cádiz Province. His parents were Juan Spínola y Osorno, Marquis of Spínola and Antonia Maestre y Osorno; they had eight children, of whom four died in infancy. He was baptized the following day in the military parish of San Fernando by the military chaplain of the second battalion of the Real Cuerpo de Artillería de la Marina. His last name is also listed as Espínola.

He did his initial studies in the school of San Fernando, directed by priests from 1843-1845; then at the Colegio Santo Tomás in Cádiz, 1845-1846 where he studied Latin, Spanish and French grammar and basic philosophy. He then went to the school of Motril, where his father had been transferred from 1846-1847. He went on to the school in Granada, 1847-1848, where he studied physics, chemistry and natural history. He then went to the University of Valencia from 1849-1852 and the University of Seville, graduating on the 29 June 1856.

The Cardinal's Episcopal Shield

The Cardinal’s Episcopal Shield

He opened a law office in Huelva, offering free services to the poor. He moved to Sanlúcar de Barrameda when his father was transferred to that city as chief of the port. He decided to follow his sacerdotal vocation on the advice of Canon Diego Herrero y Espinosa de los Monteros and began to study theology at home. He received the ecclesiastical tonsure on 29 May 1863 and the diaconate on 20 February 1864.

He was ordained on 21 March 1864. He did pastoral work in the archdiocese of Seville from 1864 in various parishes until 1880.


He was appointed titular bishop of Milos and auxiliary bishop of Seville by Pope Leo XIII on 16 December 1880. He was transferred to the diocese of Coria on 10 November 1884, and to the diocese of Málaga on 10 June 1886. He was promoted to the metropolitan see of Seville on 2 December 1895. He served as a Senator of the Spanish Kingdom from 1891 to 1894, and from 1898 until his death. He was created cardinal priest by Pope Pius X in the consistory of 11 December 1905.

He died in 1906 in Seville. On 24 January 1913, his remains were transferred to a new mausoleum built in the chapel of Dolores in the same cathedral.

He was beatified on 29 March 1987 by Pope John Paul II.


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