Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso

Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso (20 June 1796 – 30 March 1878) was the dean of the College of Cardinals during the last part of the record long reign of Pope Pius IX.

Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso
Dean of the College of Cardinals
Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso - Kardinal.jpg
Appointed12 March 1877
Term ended30 March 1878
PredecessorCostantino Patrizi Naro
SuccessorCamillo di Pietro
Other postsCardinal-Bishop of Ostia
Ordination24 December 1826
Consecration22 April 1827
Created cardinal19 May 1837
by Pope Gregory XVI
Personal details
Born20 June 1796
Sinnai, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died30 March 1878 (aged 83)
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
DenominationRoman Catholic
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Alma mater
Styles of
Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal


The issue of an ancient and noble Catalan Sardinian family,[1][2] he was the fifth child and fourth son of Giovanni, Marquess of San Filippo, and Eusebia, Baroness of Sorso. He did his early education wholly in Sardinia, which was unusual for someone who was later to become a major curial official in those days, as most curial officials had to come from the Papal States. Between 1815 and 1825, he obtained distinction as a student of both civil and canon law, and became a priest in 1826. From that point on, he rose rapidly, becoming a bishop just one year after his ordination and soon after a nuncio to the Sicilian kingdom (then separate from mainland Italy), and later to Spain. He was expelled when the Papal States broke off diplomatic relations with Spain in 1835, but two years later Pope Gregory XVI elevated him to the rank of cardinal.

After his elevation to the cardinalate, Cardinal Amat continued his previous work as a papal legate in various parts of Italy until the late 1840s. He participated in the conclave that elected Pius IX and in 1852 opted for the order of cardinal bishops. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church from later that year until he died. During most of Pius IX's reign Cardinal Amat held control of the police force in the Papal States: it has come to light that early in Pius's reign he sacked many policemen because of their political sympathies and was involved in many major political incidents as sympathy within the Papal States for a united Italy increased in the early 1860s. However, Cardinal Amat had considerable success whilst in Bologna in cooling sympathy for socialism in a city that was to become renowned for this in later years.

In 1876, at the age of eighty, Cardinal Amat became the longest-serving cardinal in the Church, and officiated over the conclave of 1878 that elected Pope Leo XIII. He was already in poor health by this time and as it turned out lived only one month longer than Pope Pius IX.


  1. ^ Paper on the Amat family by entering and clicking on Genealogie then on Alberi genealogici and then on Albero genealogico della famiglia Amat. See also the genealogical tree in [1] and [2]. All documents in Italian. Retrieved on 2011-12-5.
  2. ^ As for nobility titles, he was a hereditary Knight, Nobleman, Noble of the Marquesses of St. Philip (San Filippo) and Noble of the Barons of Sorso and had to be styled as Don Luigi: [3], by entering and clicking on Statuto e Elenco Nobiliare Sardo, then on Elenco nobiliare sardo aggiornato, then on the Amat family link. Retrieved 2011-12-5. Of course, ecclesiastical titles were used instead of nobility ones.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Castruccio Castracane degli Anteliminelli
Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina
15 March 1852 – 8 October 1870
Succeeded by
Carlo Sacconi
Preceded by
Costantino Patrizi Naro
Cardinal-Bishop of Porto
8 October 1870 – 12 March 1877
Succeeded by
Jean Baptiste François Pitra
Preceded by
Costantino Patrizi Naro
Cardinal-Bishop of Osta e Velletri
Dean of the College of Cardinals

12 March 1877 – 30 March 1878
Succeeded by
Camillo di Pietro