Lot 205: ALS in Italian, signed "G. M. Card. Mastai A V," one page, 8 x 11.5, November 10, 1845. Letter to the secretary of state of the papal ministry Camillo Alessandroni Minuti about the forthcoming visit of Czar Nikolaus I in Rome, hoping the occasion will do something against the persecution of the Catholics in Russia. Second integral page bears an address panel in another hand. In very good condition, with intersecting folds, one lightly affecting a single letter of the signature, scattered mild toning and soiling, reinforcement to hinge and folds of address panel, and light wrinkling.
In the year prior to his ascension to the papacy, then-Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti wrote to the man who was to be his predecessor, Pope Gregory XVI, about Russian leaders limiting or abolishing religious freedoms. Gregory agreed to meet with the Czar during his visit to Rome; as a result, the Vatican and Russia entered into an agreement allowing then-Pope Pius IX to appoint Catholic leaders in certain churches in Russia. Such freedoms were short-lived, however, as Russian leaders ultimately returned to their strong-arm tactics. This letter nicely relates one Roman Catholic cardinal's desire to help Russian Catholics, a task he was able to achieve (at least on paper) after being named pontiff.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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