The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
Another category is also included with this Collection: Notable Individuals. These are people significantly associated with the Catholic Church who have not been canonized but contributed in outstanding ways to the church.
Cardinal Merry del Val is one of the Notable Individuals.
Cardinal Merry del Val: Secretary of State
October 10, 1865 – February 26, 1930
Pius X and Rafael Merry del Val. It is hard to imagine two personalities more different from one another. The former was born in the Venetian countryside to a family of very modest means, which knew hardship and probably hunger as well. He was able to go to school thanks to a scholarship, and spent his entire life, before his election to the papacy, among the poor people, in rural rectories and provincial chanceries, far from the spotlight and from places of power.
The latter, on the other hand, came from one of the most prominent families of the continent, had received a cosmopolitan and polyglot education, and was at home in the embassies and most exclusive circles of every European capital.
Their lives, which seemed destined to go separate ways, crossed almost by accident and ended up being so closely interwoven that it is hard to separate them even today.
Please visit Papal History/Notable Individuals/Cardinal Merry del Val for extensive information about his life and career and Pope St. Pius X’s esteem for him. His is a fascinating story.