Holy See / Papa Leo XIII (Pope Leo XIII)

Holy See - Papa Leo XIII (Pope Leo XIII) (20 December 1878 - 20 July 1903)

Pope Leo XIII (Italian: Leone; born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci) was head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death. He was the oldest pope (reigning until the age of 93), and had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind that of Pius IX (his immediate predecessor) and John Paul II. He is the most recent pontiff to date to take the pontifical name of "Leo" upon being elected to the pontificate.

He is well known for his intellectualism and his attempts to define the position of the Catholic Church with regard to modern thinking. In his famous 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, Pope Leo outlined the rights of workers to a fair wage, safe working conditions, and the formation of labor unions, while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both atheistic Marxism and laissez-faire capitalism. He influenced Mariology of the Catholic Church and promoted both the rosary and the scapular.

Leo XIII issued a record of eleven Papal encyclicals on the rosary earning him the title as the "Rosary Pope". In addition, he approved two new Marian scapulars and was the first pope to fully embrace the concept of Mary as Mediatrix. He was the first pope to never have held any control over the Papal States, after they had been dissolved by 1870. He was briefly buried in the grottos of Saint Peter's Basilica before his remains were later transferred to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.

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Papa Leo XIII (Pope Leo XIII): Details
CountryHoly See
From20 December 1878
To20 July 1903
Personal Information Pope Leo XIII
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