Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pope Benedict XIV(1740-1758), the Other Pope Benedict Scholar

Allegory of  1754 Papal Declaration of  
Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of New Spain 

Pope Benedict XIV (Prosepero Lorenzo Lambertini) was conversant in the highest intellectual circles of his day, including on-going correspondence with the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire. To him Voltaire dedicated his play Mohamet (1736) thus:"Au chef de la véritable religion un écrit contre le fondateur d'une religion fausse et barbare."

"To the chief of the true religion, a work against the founder of a false and barbarous religion."

Voltaire, on another occasion wrote this epitaph for him

Lambertinus hic est, Romæ decus, et pater orbis
Qui mundum scriptis docuit, virtutibus ornat.

This is Lambertini, the pride of Rome, the father of the world,
who teaches that world by his writings and honours by his virtues.

"...Great as a man, a scholar, an administrator, and a priest, his claim to immortality rests principally on his admirable ecclesiastical writings." Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.

A worthy predecessor to our beloved Pope Emeritus!

P.S. Did you know that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will be 90 years old, God willing, on April 16 (born on Holy Saturday 1927). and, Pope Francis, who is 80 will turn 81 in December (December 17, 1936)? May God bless and save us through his chief Vicars on earth!

P.S.S. QUOD PROVINCIALE (On Christians Using Mohammedan Names), Encyclical of Pope Benedict XIV promulgated on 1 August 1754.
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