Gerdil Hyacinthe Sigismond

Gerdil Hyacinthe Sigismond, a Roman Catholic theologian, and cardinal of the, Congregation of St. Paul, was born at Samoens, in Savoy, June 23, 1 718. In 1732 he entered the order of the Barnaslites, and studied at Bologna, where his talents attracted the notice of the cardinal archbishop Lambertini, who secured his aid in the preparation of his great work on Canonization. He was subsequently made professor of philosophy and theology, first at Macerata (1737) and afterwards at Turin (1749). In 1777 pope Pius VI made him cardinal, with the title of St. Cecilia, and afterwards prefect of the Propaganda. He would probably have been elected pope on the death of Pius VI but for his great age. He died August 12, 1802. Gerdil was undoubtedly a man of considerable intellect and of large acquirements. His writings on metasphysical subjects, especially against Locke's philosophy, have secured the admiration of many Protestants as well as of Roman Catholics. He also wrote largely on the evidences of Christianity, and against Bayle and the Encyclopedists. Editions of his works were published by, P. Toselli (Bologna, 1781-1794, 6 volumes), and by Fontana and Grandi (Rome, 1806 sq., 20 volumes). In the 20th volume of the latter edition there is a biography of Gerdil by Fontana. See Tipaldo, Biografia degli Italiani illustri, tom. 4; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 20:207 sq.; Gams, Gesch. der Kirche Christi im 19ten Jarhundert (Junsb. 1853, volume 1).

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