LEO XIII (IOACHIM VINCENT RAPHAEL I LODOvICO PEcci),Pope (1878-1903) : b.Carpinto, 2 March 1810; d. Rome, 20 July 1903. His father was Count Domenico Lodovico Pecci, and his mother Anna Prosperi-Buzi. The palace in which Joachim was born was the coun try house of the family. Count Lodovico Pecci confided his sons, Joseph and Joachim (or Vincent) to the Jesuits of Viterbo, who very recently had been restored by Pius VII to the privileges of which Clement XIV had deprived them. In 1818, Joachim Pecci began his educa tion in the Jesuit college of Viterbo. That de votion to the Greek and Latin classics which later gave him fame as a poet, showed itself early. At the age of 12 he was skilled in writing Latin verse. There still exists an epigram for the provincial of the Jesuits, " Oh, utinam possem Pecceius ipse sequi." In 1824, Leo XII carried further the plans of Pius VII and reopened the Roman College of the Society of Jesus. This college is like wise known as the Gregorian University. Young Pecci entered and applied himself to his studies with so much earnestness that his health gave way, and, in 1830, though he received the highest honor that of being chosen for a pub lic disputation in philosophy on theses taken from the whole course,— the Prefect of Studies was obliged reluctantly to excuse him. Still he strove for that perfect health which was denied him. He was a mighty hunter and his gun,— very old-fashioned, with a barrel decorated in the Arabian manner,—.is still pre served, and he walked great distances.
In 1832, Joachim Pecci took the degree of doctor, with all possible honors, chiefly recorded in the annals of the Sapienza University. In the College of Noble Ecclesiastics he studied canon and civil law. In 1837, Gregory XVI named him domestic prelate, and he became known as Monsignor Pecci. On the last day of the year 1837, he was ordained priest by Cardinal Odescalchi, the vicar-general of Gregory XVI. One of the most important epochs in the history of Monsignor Pecci is his administration of the duchy of Benevento. It was the haunt of smugglers and brigands, licensed by public opinion and supported by noble families. It had given Gregory XVI, who was a lover of justice and order,. pro found anxiety. At the age of 28 Monsignor Pecci was made delegate and sent to do what the Neapolitan neighbors of Benevento sneer ingly said was "impossible." Monsignor de
Z'Saeclaes well says that his government of Benevento is "a little epic." He was then called to Spoleto. From there he went to Perugia, where he busied himself in perfecting measures for the economic and educational progress of the place. The capital of Umbria still reveres him as its benefactor, and his records at Benevento and Perugia, indicated what his future was to be. Early in January 1843, he was chosen for a difficult diplomatic post, the Nunciature at Brussels, and on 19 February he was consecrated archbishop of Damietta. In Belgium the educational ques tion was burning, and in March 1843, when Archbishop Pecci presented himself to the court of Brussels, the veteran diplomats smiled at the prospect of a struggle between the Papal Nuncio and Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, who held the. winning cards. The queen's sym pathies were with the Nuncio; she believed in religious education, but the feeling against the "Ultramontanes° ran high; notwithstanding. the Nuncio succeeded in gaining the goodwill of all classes and gradually overcoming ran cour. This made it all the more astonishing that he should have been recalled from Brussels in 1845. In 1846 he visited London and Paris. He was destined to be archbishop of Perugia; Gregory XVI died shortly after his arrival in Rome. Pius VIII, the predecessor of Gregory, was followed by another Pius,— Cardinal Mastai Ferretti — who appreciated the value of Pecci so greatly that he felt that as arch bishop of Pcnigia the.late Nuncio to Brussels could be of more service in healing internal discord than in placating foreign kings and cabinets. He was preconized,— solemnly pro claimed in conclave,— the archbishop of Peru gia, on 19 Jan. 1846, and on 26 July he made his solemn entry into the capital of the country of saint Francis d'Assisi. From 1846 to 1878 he ruled in Perugia. In the Consistory of 18 Dec. 1853, he was created cardinal. During his long episcopate, he found the world in miniature in Perugia. The growing antagonism against the Church haunted him. He was all for the things of the spirit,— the things of the mind, postulating the truth of the divinity of Christ and the reality of his birth, death and resurrection. In this line, he refutes the claims of Renan, in his 'Life of Jesus,) as eagerly as he refutes false Socialism later, in a Papal Let ter.