Pietro La Fontaine

His Eminence
Pietro La Fontaine
Servant of God
Patriarch of Venice

La Fontaine - 1922.
Church Roman Catholic Church
Archdiocese Venice
Metropolis Venice
See Venice
Installed 5 March 1915
Term ended 9 July 1935
Predecessor Aristide Cavallari
Successor Adeodato Giovanni Piazza
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Santi XII Apostoli
Ordination 22 December 1883
by Giovanni Battista Paolucci
Consecration 23 December 1906
by Pietro Respighi
Created Cardinal 4 December 1916
by Pope Benedict XV
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Pietro La Fontaine
Born (1860-11-29)29 November 1860
Viterbo, Lazio, Kingdom of Italy
Died 9 July 1935(1935-07-09) (aged 74)
Venice, Veneto, Italy
Nationality Italian
Denomination Catholic (Roman Rite)
Previous post
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Title as Saint Servant of God
Styles of
Pietro La Fontaine
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

The Servant of God Pietro La Fontaine (29 November 1860 9 July 1935) was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the Patriarch of Venice. He was also a member of the Roman Curia.

His cause of canonization commenced and he has the title of Servant of God.


Early life and ordination

Pietro La Fontaine was born in 1860 in Viterbo as the son of Francesco La Fontaine and Maria Bianchini.

He studied for the priesthood in Viterbo and was ordained as a priest on 22 December 1883. He served as a parish priest until he was made a professor of literature and sacred scripture from 1882 to 1905. He also served as the spiritual director from 1893 until his appointment as rector in 1896. Pope Pius X appointed him as the Bishop of Cassano all'Jonio and he received episcopal consecration on 23 December 1906 in Rome.

Episcopate and cardinalate

He was made the vicar of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in 1908 and was later appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of San Marco e Brisignano in 1909. He was transferred to the titular see of Caristo on 1 April 1910.

In 1910 he was named as the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites (now called the Congregation for the Causes of Saints) by Pope Pius X.

In 1915 he was appointed and installed as Patriarch of Venice and was elevated to the cardinalate in the consistory of 16 December 1916 by Pope Benedict XV as the Cardinal-Priest of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo. La Fontaine's title was later changed to Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli in 1921. As a cardinal he participated in the Papal conclave that elected Pope Pius XI.

La Fontaine also served as a member of the Congregation for Oriental Churches and served as a papal legate to the centennial celebrations of Dante Alighieri in 1921. He was also the papal legate to the Eucharistic Congress of Chioggia in 1923.


Pietro La Fontaine died on 9 July 1935 after having served as Patriarch of Venice for over two decades. His funeral took place on the following 12 July and he was buried in Venice. He was transferred in 1959 into the Basilica of Saint Mark in the sarcophagus that was once intended for the Cardinal Patriarch of Venice Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli - who became Pope John XXIII.

Beatification cause

The cause for beatification was opened under his third successor - the Cardinal Patriarch of Venice Giovanni Urbani (1958–1969) on 10 November 1971 with the permission of Pope Paul VI. The local process that ensured was validated on 11 March 1988.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Aristide Cavallari
Patriarch of Venice
Succeeded by
Adeodato Giovanni Piazza
Preceded by
Dennis Joseph Dougherty
Cardinal-Priest of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo
Succeeded by
Anton Hubert Fischer
Preceded by
José Sebastião d’Almeida Neto
Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli
Succeeded by
Ignace Gabriel I Tappouni
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