Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Girolamo and Pietro Ballerini

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Celebrated theologians and canonists, the sons of a distinguished surgeon of Verona. A rare intellectual sympathy bound these brothers together and led them to assist each other in the preparation and composition of their many works. Girolamo was born at Verona 29 January, 1701, and died 23 April, 1781. After finishing his course in the Jesuit college of his native city he entered the seminary and was ordained a secular priest. In the pursuit of his favourite historical studies he soon came to appreciate the valuable labours of the learned Cardinal Noris, also of Verona, and brought out (1729-33) a complete edition of his works. The scholarship of the editors is best seen in the fourth volume, especially in their dissertations against Garerius, and in their study of the early days of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. They also published (1733) an edition of the writings of Matteo Giberti Bishop of Verona, and in 1739 a critical edition of the sermons of St. Zeno of Verona.

Pietro Ballerini

Born 7 September, 1698; died 28 March, 1769, after completing his studies both at college and the seminary was chosen principal of a classical school in Verona. Here he began his long and notable literary career in 1724, when he prepared for his pupils a treatise on the method of study taught and followed by St. Augustine. Some passages in this work gave serious offence to the school of absolute Probabilists, and for some years Pietro was engaged in a lively dispute with them, defending his principles of Probabiliorism in three volumes. Shortly afterwards he turned his attention to the much debated question of usury, and threw his influence against the claims of the Laxists. To sustain his argument in this controversy he prepared (1740) an edition of the "Summa" of St. Antoninus which he sent to Pope Benedict XIV, and also (1774) one of the "Summa" of St. Raymond of Pennafort. During his same year he published "La Dottrina della Chiesa Cattolica circa l'usura", in which he condemned all forms of usury. This exceptional literary activity made the name of the Ballerini brothers famous throughout Italy, and in 1748 Peter was chosen by the senate of Venice to serve as its canonist in Rome in a dispute over the Patriarchate of Aquileia. His conspicuous talent on this mission attracted the attention of Pope Benedict XIV, who commissioned him to prepare an edition of St. Leo's works in refutation of the defective one published by Quesnel.

After almost nine years of labour in which he enjoyed free access to all the libraries of Rome, Pietro brought out his monumental work in three volumes (Rome, 1753-57) reproducing the entire edition of Quesnel together with elaborate refutations and additions ( Migne, P.L., LIV-LVI). The third volume is a profound study of the sources of canon law. Quesnel had published a collection of canons from a codex which he believed to have been in use under Popes Innocent I , Zozimus, and Leo the Great. Besides disproving this, Pietro brought out in an improved form earlier Latin editions of the canons, together with some very old unknown versions of Greek canons. He also published two valuable works (against Febronius ) on papal power, "De vi ac ratione Primatus Romanorum Pontificum" (Verona, 1766), and "De potestate ecclesiastica Summorum Pontificum et Concilorum generalium" (Verona, 1765).

Never Miss any Updates!

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

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.