A dignitary of the pontifical household. As a regular function, under special Regulations, this office was established by Paul IV, in 1555, and formed a part of the great scheme of reforms which that pope was anxious to carry out. The innovation was somewhat unpopular among the Prelates, as the preacher Apostolic bad to expound wholesome truths before the papal Court, and remind them of their respective duties. Before 1555 several members of the regular clergy, especially of the Franciscans, had preached in presence of the Roman Court. In the period following, among those who filled the office of preacher Apostolic were Alonso Salmerón, companion of Saint Ignatius, Francis Toleto, S.J., who held the position during seven Pontificates, Anselmus Marzatti, Francis Cassini, and Bonaventure Barberini, Minor Capuchins ; Toleto, Marzatti, and Cassini were elevated to the cardinalate. By the Brief of 2 March, 1753, directed to Father Michael Angelo Franceschi, then preacher Apostolic, Benedict XlV conferred the said dignity in perpetuum upon the Capuchin Order, because of "the example of Christian piety and religious perfection, the splendour of doctrine and the Apostolic zeal " to be found in their institute. Two of the preachers Apostolic during the past century deserve special mention: Lewis Micara of Frascati, who became Cardinal-Vicar of Rome, and Lewis of Trent, chosen to deliver the discourse at the first session of the Vatican Council . At present the office is held by Father Luke of Padua, the former titular, Father Pacific of Sejano, having been elected Minister General of the order. The preacher is chosen by the pontiff, though generally presented by the predecessor, or by the superior general of the Capuchins. He is notified by a Rescript of the Cardinal of the Apostolic Palace; and becomes ipso facto a Palatine prelate and a member of the papal household, enjoying all the privileges attached to his title. The sermons are delivered in Advent on the Feasts of St. Andrew, St. Nicholas, St. Lucy, and St. Thomas; and on Fridays in Lent, except in Holy Week, when the Passion Sermon is preached on Tuesday. The papal Court meets in the throne-room in the Vatican ; the pulpit occupies the place of the throne. Beside it is placed the bussola , a perforated wooden partition, covered with silver hangings, behind which is the seat of the pontiff. On the appointed day, the preacher with his " socius " is taken to the Vatican in a pontifical carriage, and enters the throne-room; when notified by the master of ceremonies, he draws near the bussola , takes off his mantle, asks the pope's blessing, and ascends the pulpit. The sermon begins with an " Ave Maria ", recited aloud and answered by the audience. The pontiff is assisted by his majordomo and the master of the camera. The cardinals occupy the front seats: behind them are the bishops, prelates, and general heads of the Mendicant Orders. Nobody else is admitted without a special permission of the pope. At the close of the sermon, the preacher returns to the pontiff, kisses his feet, takes leave of him, and is driven back to his convent.
St Paul Holy Card
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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
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