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Aloisio Gardellini

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Born at Rome, 4 Aug., 1759; died there, 8 Oct., 1829. He is famous chiefly for his collection of the decrees of the Congregation of Rites. Until 1587, the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the administration of the sacraments had been subject to regulations made by various popes. Necessarily, in the course of time, these regulations became somewhat confused by reason of overlapping, amplification, and abolition. In the year mentioned above, Sixtus V, in the Constitution "Immensae aeterni Dei", called into being a body of cardinals, bishops, and clerics, whose work was to guard and guide the decorous celebration of the church offices. A collection of papal regulations and congregational decrees was published in 1730 by John Baptist Pithonius, a Venetian priest, the title of his book being "Constitutiones pontificae et Romanorum Congregationum decisiones ad sacros Ritus spectantes". This work was somewhat imperfect, and it was not until 1807 that Gardellini published the first two volumes of his well-known collection of the decrees of the Congregation of Rites, to which was prefixed "Sacrorum rituum studiosis monitum". Gardellini was a very profound student, especially of the liturgy and kindred subjects, and in diligence, piety, and learning was unexcelled. His collection of decrees gives evidence of most painstaking labour, and comprises all the decrees from 1602. Three further volumes were published in 1816, and a sixth volume was brought out in 1819. This volume contained more recent decrees down to the date of publication, and also the Commentary on the Clementine Instruction regarding the devotion of the Forty Hours. There were a few slight errors in the complete work, and the exacting love of perfection, so characteristic of Gardellini, would not allow him to leave these errors uncorrected. Accordingly, a new and corrected edition was published in 1827, and in this edition he included certain answers given between the years 1558 and 1599. In recognition of his great services, Gardellini was appointed assessor of the Congregation of Rites. Other editions of the decrees have been issued subsequently, but the collection of Gardellini is the foundation of them all; the latest is that of Muhlbauer with the decrees in alphabetical order (1863-65; with five supplementary volumes, 1876-87). The latest edition of the "Decreta Authentica" of the Congregation of Rites was published in 1898.

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