Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Italian Jesuit, preacher and writer, b. at Cameri, 1 Febreuary, 1693, of a distinguished family from Novara ; d. at Bologna, 6 April or 12 May, 1752. He entered the Society in 1710, and manifested oratorical powers; after teaching classics, he entered upon a career of preaching, which lasted for almost twenty years. He first spoke at Venice (1733), and then with increasing popularity at Rome, Milan, Florence, and Bologna. Many hailed him as Segneri's successor. Tornielli, however, did not possess Segneri's vehemence, impassioned logic, and directness. Brilliant, rather than solid, he lacked originality and depth; but he had imagination and dramatic feeling. For his pathos and easy, popular style he was surnamed the "Metastasio" of the Italian pulpit. To polished diction he added a refined and affecting delivery. Shocked by the licentious songs then common, Tornielli tried to remedy the evil by adapting sacrad hymns to the popular airs. Many criticised him for having thus exposed the mysteries of religion to ridicule and contempt. A Jesuit, Sanchez de Luna, defended him in his "Riposta alla censura fatta alle canzonette marineresche per le festivita di Maria Santissima." The Accademia della Crusca requested Tornielli to enter that body and offered to publish his works, but he modestly declined.

Tornielli's principal works are: "Sette canzonette in marineresca sopra le sette principale feste di Nostra Signora" (Milan, 1738); "Prediche quaresimali" (Milan, 1753, Bassano, 1820, with a preface by Noghera, Savona, 1889); "Panegirici e discorsi sacri" (Bassano, 1768). Sommervogel and Carrara doubt the authenticity of the "Businate," a burlesque poem, written in Milanese dialect and sometimes attributed to Tornielli. There is a eulogy of the orator in the Piemontesi illustri," III, p. 305.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • St. John Berchmans: Saint of the Day for Thursday, November 26, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More