Benedictine Cardinals

Throughout the Church’s history there have been many members of the hierarchy who were members of Religious Communities. The present pope is a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and the first from that Order elected to the papacy. One of the oldest Orders in the Western Church is the Order of St. Benedict. Many monks have been made bishops and quite a few have been raised to the Sacred Purple as Cardinals. The following is by no means exhaustive but gives a sampling of some of the Benedictine Cardinals in recent history. (My gratitude to the fine website called Araldica Vaticana for many of these examples.


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Gregory Cardinal Chiaramonte, OSB (later Pope Pius VII)


Jean Cardinal Pitra, OSB

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Placido Cardinal Schiaffino, OSB Oliv

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Celestine Cardinal Ganglbauer, OSB (Archbishop of Vienna)

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Aidan Cardinal Gasquet, OSB (Vatican Archivist)


Bl. Giuseppe Cardinal Dusmet, OSB (Archbishop of Catania)


Kolos Cardinal Vaszary, OSB (Primate of Hungary)

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Francisco de S. Luiz Cardinal Soraiva, OSB (Patriarch of Lisbon)

NOTE: Cardinal Soraiva also had a version of his arms with a galero but also used the triple tiara as was customary for the Patriarchs of Lisbon until very recently.


Domenico Cardinal Serafini, OSB

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Ildephonse Cardinal Schuster, OSB (Abbot of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls and later Archbishop of Milan)

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Justinian Cardinal Seredi, OSB (Primate of Hungary)


Joachim Cardinal Albareda y Ramoneda, OSB (Vatican Librarian)

51CS) Stemma Card. Gut Benno Walter (1897-1970)

Benno Cardinal Gut, OSB

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Basil Cardinal Hume, OSB (Archbishop of Westminster)


Hans Herman Cardinal Groer, OSB (Archbishop of Vienna)


Paul Augustine Cardinal Mayer, OSB

3 thoughts on “Benedictine Cardinals

  1. Hans van Heijningen (and Enzo Parrino)

    Father Guy, thanks for your nice words to webmaster Enzo Parrino and contributors like myself and many others.

    Hans van Heijningen

  2. Niki Haselsteiner

    The Austrian imperial crown in Cardinal Ganglbauers coat of arms is a joke or a special privilege Frantes by Franz Joseph?

    1. Hermann

      It is most likely a misunderstanding, or it might possibly be a joke. To my knowledge, the use of the ‘Rudolfinische Hauskrone’ was reserved for the Emperor and the state, i.e. the arms of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Cardinal Ganglbauer was Archbishop of Vienna. I think it was in 1631, when the then Emperor accorded to the then Bishop of Vienna the dignity and the privileges of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire. From then on, the Bishops and later Archbishops used the ‘Fuerstenhut’ to surmount their coat of arms, and that is what should have been drawn in Ganglbauers coat of arms. The Fuerstenhut (lit.: prince’s hat, prince’s cap) is a hooped crown, the hoops usually set with pearls filled with red cloth and turned up with ermine, the latter similar to the cap of maintenance in English heraldry. From the 17th century on, the Fuerstenhut appeared in the heraldry of the Hochadel (what the English might term ‘the Peerage’). Similar crowns, called Herzogshut (‘duke’s cap’) or Erzherzogshut (‘archduke’s cap’), are still preserved in Austrian museums. The Archbishop of Vienna ceased using the Fuerstenhut in 1918. The other Austrian Prince-Bishops (Salzburg, Gurk and Seckau) followed suit in 1951, when Pius XII abolished all secular dignities linked to bishoprics.


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