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 >

Cursores Apostolici

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Cursores Apostolici is the Latin title of the ecclesiastical heralds or pursuivants pertaining to the papal court. Their origin is placed in the twelfth century, and they fulfilled for the pontifical government the duties entrusted to heralds by civil states. From the sixteenth century onward they formed part of the Roman Curia in its broader sense, and are at present reckoned members of the pontifical family. Their number is fixed at nineteen, and they are subject to the major-domo. The principal duties of the cursores are to invite those who are to take part in consistories and functions in the papal chapel ; to act as servitors in the pontifical palace and as doorkeepers of the conclave ; to affix papal rescripts to the doors of the greater Roman basilicas ; to issue the summons for attendance at canonizations, the funerals of cardinals, etc. As the cursores are representatives of the pope, they must be received with the respect becoming the personage in whose name they speak, and their invitation has the force of a judicial summons. In the early ages of the Church, an institution somewhat similar to that of the cursores is found in messengers, chosen from among the clergy, to carry important tidings from one bishop to another or from the bishop to his flock. They were much used in times of persecution and they are frequently referred to in the writings of the Fathers as prœcones , internuntii , etc. As guardians of the assemblies of the faithful, they were called vigiliœ . Despite these resemblances to the modern cursores, however, it seems evident that the latter took their rise from the employment of heralds by civil states, rather than from the prœcones of the early Church. Episcopal courts have likewise cursores or apparitors among their officials.

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

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 >

Never Miss any Updates!

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

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 >

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.