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Federico Tedeschini

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Styles of
Federico Tedeschini
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Frascati (suburbicarian)

Federico Tedeschini (October 12, 1873—November 2, 1959) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Papal Datary in the Roman Curia from 1938 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.


Born in Antrodoco, Federico Tedeschini studied at the seminary in Rieti and, together with his fellow theologian Eugenio Pacelli, later to be Pope Pius XII, at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, before being ordained to the priesthood on July 25, 1896. He then served as a seminary professor and canon theologian of the cathedral chapter in Rieti until 1901. Tedeschini was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on November 6, 1903, and Chancellor of the Secretariat of Briefs in the Roman Curia on October 20, 1908. He became Substitute, or deputy, of the Secretary of State on September 24, 1914.

On March 31, 1921, he became Nuncio to Spain and on April 30, 1921 was appointed Titular Archbishop of Naupactus by Pope Benedict XV. He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 5 from Pope Benedict himself, with Archbishop Giovanni Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano and Bishop Agostino Zampini, OSA, serving as co-consecrators, in the Sistine Chapel. During his tenure as nuncio, Tedeschini founded the Spanish Catholic Action. With Spain on the brink of civil war, Pope Pius XI secretly (in pectore) elevated him to the College of Cardinals on March 13, 1933. His appointment was published in the consistory of December 16, 1935, and he became Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria della Vittoria. He was named Papal Datary on February 25, 1938, and served as a cardinal elector in the 1939 papal conclave that selected Pope Pius XII,

Tedeschini and Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII appreciated in his former fellow student a very special quality of spirit and heart[1]. He appointed him his own successor as Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica on March 14, 1939. Tedeschini opted to become Cardinal Bishop of Frascati on April 28, 1951. In 1950, Pius XII gratefully acknowledged the participation of Tedeschini in preparing the proclamation of the Dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and highlighted his role in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus.[2] Sharing a special affection for the Virgin Mary, Pope Pius XII asked Cardinal Tedeschini to be his representative at the centennial celebrations in Lourdes. [3]

He participated in the conclave of 1958, which resulted in the election of Pope John XXIII. The Cardinal died from cancer[4] in Rome, at age 86, leaving his entire estate (over $25,000) to his nephews.[5] He is buried in the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica.


  • Pio XII, Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santita (Vol I-XX) Tipografia Pologlotta Vaticana, 1939.1959


  1. Discorsi I, 277
  2. Discorsi, XII, 491
  3. Discorsi, XIII, 281
  4. TIME Magazine. Milestones November 16, 1959
  5. TIME Magazine. Question of Money August 22, 1960

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Francesco Ragonesi
Nuncio to Spain
Succeeded by
Gaetano Cicognani
Preceded by
Luigi Capotosti
Papal Datary
Succeeded by
Paolo Giobbe
no:Federico Tedeschini

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