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Styles of
Francesco Marchetti-Selvaggiani
CardinalCoA PioM.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Frascati (suburbicarian), Ostia (suburbicarian)

Francesco Marchetti-Selvaggiani (October 1, 1871—January 13, 1951) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, Vicar General of Rome, Secretary of the Holy Office, and Dean of the College of Cardinals. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1930.


Early life and ordination

Francesco Marchetti-Selvaggiani was born in Rome to Vincenzo and Valeria (née Caretti) Marchetti-Selvaggiani. A boyhood friend of Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII)[1], he studied at the Almo Collegio Capranica and Pontifical Gregorian University. Selvaggiani was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Francesco di Paola Cassetta on April 4, 1896.

Roman Curia

He then served in the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, as a minutante, until 1900. From 1900 to 1906, he was auditor of the Apostolic Delegation to the United States in Washington, D.C. He was attached to the secretariat of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs for a year before becoming auditor of the Apostolic Nunciature to Germany in 1907. Selvaggiani was named Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on December 25, 1914, Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on July 7, 1915, and protonotary apostolic on September 26, 1917. From 1915 to 1918, he was a confidential representative of the Holy See in Berne, Switzerland.


On February 16, 1918, Selvaggiani was appointed Internuncio to Venezuela and Titular Archbishop of Seleucia di Isauria. He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 14 from Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, with Archbishops Carlo Pietropaoli and Bonaventura Cerretti serving as co-consecrators, at the chapel of the Pontifical Latin American College. Selvaggiani became full Nuncio to Venezuela on May 21, 1920, and was later named Nuncio to Austria on December 4 of that year.

Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

Selvaggiani was made Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith on December 15, 1922. As Secretary, he served as the second-highest official of that dicastery under Cardinal Willem van Rossum, CSSR. In addition to his role as Secretary, he served as an extraordinary papal envoy to Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia.


Pope Pius XI created him Cardinal Priest of S. Maria Nuova in the consistory of June 30, 1930. In late 1930, in response to a growing Protestant presence in Rome, he was also appointed to head the Pontifical Organization for Preservation of the Faith and for the Provision of New Churches in Rome.[2] On May 9, 1931, Selvaggiani was named the Vicar General of Rome; as Vicar General, he governed the Diocese of Rome in the name of the Pope, who is Bishop of Rome. He advised local priests to avoid theaters and sports games.[1] He became Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica on May 26, 1931, and Cardinal Bishop of Frascati on June 15, 1936.

Secretary of the Holy Office

Just after Pope Pius XII was elected in 1939, Cardinal Donato Sbarretti, head of the Holy Office, died, and Pius named Cardinal Marchetti-Selvaggiani to the position. On becoming the senior Cardinal-Bishop in 1948, Marchetti-Selvaggiani became Dean of the Sacred College and Bishop of Ostia in addition to his first bishopric see. He also succeeded as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation Ceremonial, and continued in all these positions until his death.


Selvaggiani died from a cerebral thrombosis in Rome, at age 79. He is buried in Campo di Verano cemetery.



Preceded by
Gennaro Granito Pignatelli di Belmonte
Dean of the College of Cardinals
Succeeded by
Eugène-Gabriel-Gervais-Laurent Tisserant
Preceded by
Donato Sbarretti
Secretary of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office
30 April 1939–13 January 1951
Succeeded by
Giuseppe Pizzardo

no:Francesco Marchetti Selvaggiani ru:Маркетти Сельваджани, Франческо