De Sanctis, Luigi

De Sanctis, Luigi a Protestant theologian, was born at Rome, December 31, 1808, and when twenty-three years of age was ordained priest. H e lived for some time at Viterbo and Genoa, where he greatly distinguished. himself; and when he returned to Rome, he was appointed member Qualificatore della Suprema S. Inquisizione, and curate of the parish called Maddalena alla Rotonda. Being suspected by the inquisition of heterodoxy, an investigation was made concerning him. The reading of the Bible, however, brought about his final rupture with the Church, and, assisted by a Scotch minister, he left Rome, September 10, 1847. Pope Pius IX, who was greatly attached to De Sanctis, had a letter written to him by cardinal Ferretti, inviting him to return. But it was in vain; "I swear before God, that in leaving Rome I had no other object in view than the salvation of my soul," such was his reply. At Malta he published, Il Cristiano Catholico: — La Confessione, etc. In 1850 he went to Geneva, where he joined the Evangelical Church; and, when Italy was opened to the work of evangelization, he was appointed preacher by the Waldensian Church. A difference of opinion caused him to join the Plymouth Brethren at Turin, with whom he was connected for six years. The experience made in this connection led him back to the Church which was dear to him, and which appointed him professor of the Waldensian theological school at Florence, where he also edited L'Eco della Verite. He died December 31, 1869. See Biografia di Luigi de

Sanctis (Firenze, 1870); Comba, in Lichtenberger, Encyclop. des Sciences Religienses, s.v. (B.P.)

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