Archbishop Serafino Filangeri

SERAFI1Riccardo Filangieri Lapine was born in April 24, 1713 by Giovanni de Gaetano and Anna Bridge, Barons of the said land, the principles of Arianiello. 

At age 16 he made his solemn profession in the monastery of the Benedictine Fathers of the Sanseverino in Naples and took the name of Seraphim.

Versed “in letters, in mathematics, in the philosophical and theological disciplines,” in 1748 was “amazing player” at the Royal University of Naples. At 45 years old, on a proposal from the Minister Tanucci, he became Archbishop of Acerenza and Matera and, subsequently, with dispatch of June 1762, it passed to ‘Archbishop of Palermo. Here he distinguished himself in 1763, on the occasion of the famine and Ferdinand IV, in December 1770, he was appointed Knight and Chancellor of the illustrious Order of St. Gennaro.


He distinguished himself again, on the occasion of the riots of 19 and 20 September 1773 that took aim at the Marquis Fogliani, Viceroy of Sicily. These were saved by Bishop Seraphim, “which was beloved by the people”, with ups and downs that have an analogy with the episode of the Vicar of Ferrer and Provisione in The Betrothed: the Archbishop was led away into the carriage, “accompanied by unbridled multitude torchj with wax and pitch, with unfurled banner and drum swing. “

On 21 September 1773, the Sacred Council appointed him Governor Interino. His first measure was the taxation “of the monasteries of nuns and monks, the convents of friars, the nobles, the Giureperiti, and other rich people,” giving an example, at that time, healthy democracy.

With sovereign decree of June 29, 1774, he was elected “President of the Kingdom of Sicily beyond the Lighthouse with all the powers of the Viceroy,” and held the office until 20 October 1774.

On 24 June 1775, King Ferdinand IV asked Pope Pius VI appointed the Filangieri to the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples. The Pope did not join because he believed “the Archbishop too dissinvolto, defect inherent in the Benedictine blacks.” It runs the risk of a diplomatic rupture, which was prevented by the sagacity of Tanucci, one of the greatest things in the history of Ministers of Italy.

Sorry to the Pope “the Church does not ease him”; opposed to the Pope that “fascinate ignorant bigots,” but “the ecclesiastical writers, enlightened conservative, and customs of conduct regular, practical and attract the world’s esteem, and love the people educated and enlightened. “

It came as a compromise.

In February of 1776 he was elected Archbishop Seraphim Bishop

Naples, without the purple. With dispatch of 28 March 1777, King Ferdinand IV appointed him Knight of Justice, Grand Prior and Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Constantine.

On September 14, 1782 “Serafinus Filangerius former Principibus Arianelli Congregationis Casinensium Archiepiscopus napolitanus”, died.

“He was tall and graceful person, cerulean eyes, white forehead reveals a ‘pure soul and lips shaped an angelic smile.”

His figure can be seen in the cathedral of Palermo and in the sacristy of the cathedral of Naples.

129 thoughts on “Archbishop Serafino Filangeri”

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