Benedictine, historian; b. Naples, Feb. 13, 1811; d. Monte Cassino, Sept. 21, 1897. After completing his studies at Monte Cassino, he joined the benedictines there and took his vows as a monk (Feb. 17, 1832). While lecturing on theology at monte cassino abbey, he published his Storia di Monte Cassino (1842). Together with gioberti, Balbo, Carlo Troya, and other leaders of neo-guelfism, Tosti planned to publish L'Ateneo Italiano, a historical and literary review; but the censors of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies prohibited its publication. Within the next few years appeared his Storia di Bonifacio VIII (1846); Storia della Lega Lombarda (1848); Salterio del soldato (1848); and Il Veggente del secolo XIX (1848), supporting Gioberti's Neo-Guelf program and a federation of Italian states under the presidency of the pope. Tosti became a favorite of pius ix. In 1849, during the Pope's exile in Gaeta, Tosti urged him to return to Rome and to abandon his temporal power. To prevent French armed intervention against the Roman Republic, Tosti negotiated with the French minister in Rome. He also acted as mediator between Mazzini and Pius IX. After a brief asylum in Tuscany, he returned to Monte Cassino and concentrated on his studies. He later published Storia di Abelardo (1851), Storia del Concilio di Costanza (1853), La Contessa Matilda e i Romani Pontefici (1859), and I Prolegomeni alla storia universale della Chiesa (1861). When the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy (1860), Tosti sought to effect a conciliation between Church and State in the peninsula. His famous pamphlet La Conciliazione (1887) envisaged a peaceful settlement of the roman question. In 1890 he urged Bishop strossmayer to suggest to the Vatican a treaty with Italy under the sponsorship of the Central Powers.
Bibliography: a. capecelatro, Commemorazione di don Luigi Tosti (Monte Cassino 1898). a. quacquarelli, Il P. Tosti nella politica del Risorgimento (Genoa 1945). a. c. jemolo, Church and State in Italy, 1850–1950, tr. d. moore (Philadelphia 1960).
[h. r. marraro]