Saturday, January 30, 2010

There Was Thomism Before Aeterni Patris

Thomas Cardinal Zigliara, OP (1833-1893) - Biography

ZIGLIARA, O.P., Tommaso (1833-1893)

Birth. October 29, 1833, Bonifacio, diocese of Ajaccio, Corsica, France.

Education. Classical studies, Bonifacio; joined the Order of Preachers, 1851; religious profession, 1852; Dominican house of studies, Rome (philosophy); Dominican house of studies, Perugia (theology).

Priesthood. Ordained, May 17, 1856, Perugia, by Gioacchino Pecci, archbishop-bishop of Perugia, future Pope Leo XIII. Professor of philosophy in Rome and in Corbara, Corsica. Concurrently, faculty member, Seminary of Viterbo, and master of novices, Dominican convent of Gradi. Master of novices, Rome, and later, 1870-1879, faculty member of Dominican Collegio S. Tommaso della Minerva; rector, 1873-1879. Consultor of the SS. CC. of the Index and of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of May 12, 1879; received the red hat and the deaconry of Ss. Cosma e Damiano, May 15, 1879. In 1879 contributed to the writing of the encyclical Aeterni patris, restoring Thomism as the basis of Christian philosophy. Director of the Leonine Commission for the the edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, 1880. Protector of the Bibliographic Society, Rome, July 4, 1885. Prefect of the S.C. of Indulgences and Relics, December 16, 1886. Prefect of the S.C. of Studies, October 28, 1887. In 1890 contributed to the writing of the encyclical Rerum novarum. Opted for the order of cardinal priests and the title of S. Prassede, June 1, 1891. Protector of the Theological Academy, Rome, April 12, 1892. He enjoyed world wide fame as a leading scholar in Thomistic philosophy and theology.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of the suburbicarian see of Frascati, January 16, 1893; died before receiving the episcopal consecration.

Death. May 10, 1893, Rome. Exposed in the Church of S. Maria sopra Minerva and buried in the chapel of the Dominican Friars, Campo Verano Cemetery, Rome.

Tommaso Maria Zigliara (Baptismal name, FRANCESCO).

Cardinal, theologian, and philosopher, b. at Bonifacio, a seaport town of Corsica, toward the end of October, 1833; d. in Rome, 11 May, 1893. His early Classical studies were made in his native town under the Jesuit teacher, Father Aloysius Piras. At the age of eighteen he was received into the Dominican Order at Rome, and in 1852 he made his religious profession. From the beginning Zigliara was a student of uncommon brilliancy. He studied philosophy in Rome and theology at Perugia, where, 17 May, 1856, he was ordained by Cardinal Joachim Pecci, then Archbishop of Perugia. Soon afterwards the young priest was appointed to teach philosophy, first in Rome, then at Corbara in his native Corsica, and later in the diocesan seminary, at Viterbo, being at the same time master of novices in the neighbouring convent at Gradi.

When his work at Viterbo was finished, he was called to Rome, again made master of novices, and shortly appointed regent, or head professor, of the Minerva college. Before assuming this latter duty, he was raised to the dignity of master in sacred theology. When his community was forced by the Italian Government in 1873 to give up the convent of the Minerva, Zigliara with other professors and students took refuge with the Fathers of the Holy Ghost, who had charge of the French College in Rome. Here the lectures were continued until a house near the Minerva was secured. Zigliara's fame was now widespread in Rome and elsewhere. French, Italian, German, English, and American bishops were eager to put some of their most promising students and young professors under his tuition. Between Cardinal Pecci, Archbishop of Perugia, and Zigliara there had existed for many years the closest friendship, and when the former became pope as Leo XIII, in his first consistory (1879) he created Zigliara a cardinal. Zigliara was first numbered among the cardinal-deacons, then he became a cardinal-priest, and in 1893 he was appointed Bishop of Frascati, one of the seven suburban sees; but, owing to the sickness which ended in his death, he never received episcopal consecration.

He was a member of seven Roman congregations, besides being prefect of the Congregation of Studies and co-president of the Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was a man of deep piety and devotion, and a tireless student to the end of his life. In addition to his many duties as cardinal, he was entrusted with the superintendence of the Leonine edition of the works of St. Thomas, the first volume of which contains his own commentary. He also found time to publish his Propaedeutica ad Sacram Theologiam and to write an extensive work on the sacraments, of which only the tracts on baptism and penance received final revision before his death. The most important, however, of Zigliara's works is his Summa Philosophica, which enjoys a world-wide circulation. For many years this has been the textbook in a great number of the seminaries and colleges of Europe, Canada, and America; and not very long ago it was adopted as the textbook for the philosophical examination in the National University of Ireland. His other works are: Osservazioni su alcune interpretazioni di G.C. Ubaghs sull' ideologia di San Tommaso d'Aquino (Viterbo, 1870); Della luce intellettuale e dell' ontologismo secondo la dottrina di S. Bonaventura e Tommaso d'Aquino (2 vols., Rome, 1874); De mente Concilii Vienensis in definiendo dogmate unionis animae humanae cum corpore (1878); Commentaria S. Thomae in Aristotelis libros Peri Hermeneias et Posteriorum analyticorum, in fol. vol. I new edit. Opp. S. Thomae: (Rome, 1882); Saggio sui principi del tradizionalismo; Dimittatur e la spiegazione datane dalla S. Congregazione dell' Indice.

By his teaching and through his writings, he was one of the chief instruments, under Leo XIII, of reviving and propagating Thomistic philosophy throughout the entire Church. In his own order and in some universities and seminaries, the teaching of St. Thomas had never been interrupted, but it was reserved for Zigliara to give a special impetus to the movement which has made Thomistic philosophy and theology dominant in the Catholic world.

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