Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII (Italian: Leone XIII; born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci;[lower-alpha 1] 2 March 1810 – 20 July 1903) was the head of the Catholic Church from 20 February 1878 to his death in 1903. He was the oldest pope (reigning until the age of 93), with the exception of Pope Benedict XVI as emeritus pope, and had the third-longest confirmed pontificate, behind those of Pius IX (his immediate predecessor) and John Paul II.


Bishop of Rome
Leo XIII in 1898
Papacy began20 February 1878
Papacy ended20 July 1903
PredecessorPius IX
SuccessorPius X
Ordination31 December 1837
by Carlo Odescalchi
Consecration19 February 1843
by Luigi Lambruschini
Created cardinal19 December 1853
by Pius IX
Personal details
Birth nameVincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci
Born2 March 1810
Carpineto Romano, département of Rome, French Empire
Died20 July 1903(1903-07-20) (aged 93)
Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
Previous post(s)
Coat of arms
Other popes named Leo
Papal styles of
Pope Leo XIII
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone
Ordination history of
Pope Leo XIII
Priestly ordination
Ordained byCarlo Odescalchi
Date31 December 1837
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorLuigi Lambruschini
Co-consecratorsFabio Maria Asquini
Giuseppe Maria Castellani
Date19 February 1843
Elevated byPius IX
Date19 December 1853
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Pope Leo XIII as principal consecrator
Antonio Briganti19 November 1871
Carmelo Pascucci19 November 1871
Carlo Laurenzi24 June 1877
Edoardo Borromeo19 May 1878
Francesco Latoni1 June 1879
Jean Baptiste François Pitra1 June 1879
Bartholomew Woodlock1 June 1879
Agostino Bausa24 March 1889
Giuseppe Antonio Ermenegildo Prisco29 May 1898

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 trade unions, while affirming the rights of property and free enterprise, opposing both socialism 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 have never 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.