An Appointment of Historical Significance.
The following commentary is from the EWTN series, The Papacy: A Living History, The Papal Artifacts Collection of Father Richard Kunst. This artifact was featured on the fourth episode of the series, Popes of the 19th & 18th Centuries. A DVD of the series is available from EWTN.
Here is Father’s commentary about this artifact:
If you are able to procure an item from the Vatican that is an actual formal work of the Vatican that’s really rare because normally they hold onto items such as this.
This is a very large formal document appointing Pope Pius IX’s Secretary of State, Giacomo Antonelli (1806-1878) a Cardinal Deacon to the Deaconry of St. Agata alla Suburra on June 14th, 1847. It is the original letter.
If you look closely it has gilt edges on it, and then it is signed with his big Pius IX signature, Pio Nono, as he was well known. So it is one of the few documents that are in this Collection that are really quite historical.
If you were to read a biography of Pius IX, or of his Secretary of State, this document would be part of the information you’d read.
This brings to mind the thousands of letters a week the Pope receives and the innumerable pieces of correspondence that includes.