March 17 – Papal legate to Trent

March 14, 2022

Girolamo Seripando

Girolamo Seripando

Italian theologian and cardinal, b. at Troja (Apulia), 6 May, 1493; d. at Trent 17 March, 1563. He was of noble birth, and intended by his parents for the legal profession. After their death, however, and at the age of fourteen he entered the Augustinian Order, at Viterbo, where he joined the study of Greek and Hebrew to that of philosophy and theology. After a short stay in Rome, whither he had been called by his superior general, he was appointed lecturer at Siena (1515), professor of theology at Bologna (1517), and vicar-general (1532), which last charge he filled with great credit for two years. He won such reputation for eloquence by his discourses in the principal cities of Italy, that the Emperor Charles V often made it a point to be present at his sermons. Elected superior general in 1539, he governed for twelve years, with singular prudence, zeal, and piety. He attended (1546) the sessions of the Council of Trent, where he distinguished himself by his zeal for the purity of the text of Holy Writ, and also by his peculiar views concerning original sin and justification. Paul III sent him as his legate to the emperor and to the King of France, after which mission he was offered the Bishopric of Aquila. Seripando not only declined this dignity, but even resigned his charge of superior general (1551), and withdrew into a small convent, from the retirement of which he was called (1553) on a mission from the city of Naples to Charles V. Upon completion he was appointed Archbishop of Salerno. He proved a zealous and efficient pastor. A few years later (1561) Pius IV made him cardinal and second legate of the Holy See at the Council of Trent. Upon the death of Cardinal Gonzaga, he became first president of the same Council. Seripando was an elegant and prolific writer, and a vigorous controversialist, rather than an orator. The following are his principal published works: “Novae constitutiones ordinis S. Augustini” (Venice, 1549); “Oratio in funere Caroli V imperatoris” (Naples; 1559); “Prediche sopra il simbolo degli Apostoli, etc.” (Venice, 1567); “Commentarius in D. Pauli epistolas ad Galatas” (Venice, 1569); “Commentaria in D. Pauli epistolas ad Romanos et ad Galatas” (Naples, 1601); “De arte orandi” (Lyons, 1670); and several of his letters, included by Lagomarsini in “Poggiani epist. et orationes” (Rome, 1762).

ELLIES DUPIN, Hist. de l’eglise (Paris, 1703); RAYNALD-MANSI Annal. eccl. (LUCCA, 1735-6); OSSINGER, Bibl. August. (Ingolstadt, 1768).

FRANCIS E. GIGOT (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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