Ventura di Raulica, Gioacchino

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Preacher, writer, philosopher, publicist; b. Palermo, Sicily, Dec. 8, 1792; d. Versailles, France, Aug. 2, 1861. After completing classical studies under the jesuits, he was a member of that order (180917), and then he joined

the theatines (1818). His literary activity began at Naples with the publication of the periodical Enciclopedia ecclesiastica e morale (5 v. 182123), which often discussed the progress of the Church in the United States and published unedited correspondence of missionaries in Louisiana. He acted as press censor and member of the committee for public education. Ventura won renown as a preacher, particularly for his funeral eulogies, notably that for Pius VII. As a disciple of traditionalism, he translated and published the works of the French traditionalists. Ventura was the leading Italian follower of Hugues Félicité de lamennais, with whom he corresponded.

Transferred to Rome in 1824 as Theatine procurator general, he contributed to the Giornale ecclesiastico, and was appointed by Leo XII as professor of law at the Sapienza. His lectures exposing his theocratic theories were published in De jure publico ecclesiastico commentaria (1826). He attempted to give traditionalism a Thomistic basis in De methodo philosophandi (1828) and Schiarimenti sulla questione della certezza Osservazioni sulle dottrine dei De Bonald, De Maistre, De La Mennais e Laurentie (1829).

As Theatine superior general (183133) Ventura improved the order's discipline, and he increased its activity with the addition of numerous members. During these years he became friendly with Emmanuel d'Alzon, whose studies he guided. He protested against the intemperance of L'Avenir, but when Lamennais and his fellow "pilgrims of liberty" came to Rome, he greeted them fraternally. For this he fell into disgrace with gregory xvi and retired to Modena, where he wrote (AugustNovember 1833), but did not publish, Dello spirito della rivoluzione e dei mezzi per farla cessare. Reconciled with the pope, he returned to Rome and became examiner of the clergy, censor, consultor of the Congregation of Rites, and collaborator with Vincenzo pallotti in the institution of services during the Epiphany octave, which led him to publish Le bellezze della fede (3 v. 183942). His book La madre di Dio madre degli uomini (1841) inaugurated modern literature on Mary's spiritual maternity. Between 1841 and 1848 he was on four occasions the Lenten preacher at St. Peter's basilica.

As friend and counselor of Pius IX (184678) at the beginning of the pontificate, Ventura championed politico-social reforms and popular democratic aspirations in the face of absolutist governments. His motto was "Church, people, liberty." His published discourse commemorating the death of Daniel o'connell (1847) won applause; but another on the dead at Vienna was placed on the Index (May 30, 1849). In a series of writings in 1848 he supported Sicilian independence and alliance with the United States. As Sicilian diplomatic representative in Rome, he recognized as a de facto state the Roman Republic, whose inauguration in 1848 by Mazzini forced the exile of Pius IX to Gaeta. Together with rosmini serbati, he proposed that Italy be united as a federation of states, with the pope as president. Foreseeing the imminent fall of the Roman Republic, he departed for France to spend the remainder of his life, going to Montpellier (1849) and then to Paris (1851). Soon he became one of France's leading pulpit orators, and even preached at the Tuileries before Napoleon III. The definitive elaboration of his philosophy, which also expressed his hopes for the revival of Scholasticism, appeared in Essai sur l'origine des idées (1853), La Tradition et les semipélagiens de la philosophie (1856), and La philosophie chrétienne (3 v. 1861). His system was traditionalism in its most mitigated form. Blameless in his private life, he died after receiving Pius IX's blessing, and he was buried in the Theatine church of St. Andrea della Valle in Rome, where his epitaph reads: Defunctus adhuc loquitur.

Bibliography: Opere complete, 31 v. (Milan-Venice 185263); also in 11 v. (Naples 185663); Opere postume e inedite, 3 v. (Venice 1863). p. cultrera, Della vita e delle opere del P.G. Ventura (Palermo 1877). a. rastoul, Le P. Ventura (Paris 1906). a. cristofoli, Il pensiero religioso del P. G. Ventura (Milan 1927). e. di carlo, "Gli opuscoli politici del P. V. nella rivoluzione del' 48," Regnum Dei: Collectanea Theatina 5 (1949): 134137. f. andreu, "Il P. G. V.: Saggio biografico," ibid. 17 (1961): 1161. r. colapietra, "L'insegnamento del V. alla Sapienza," ibid. 230259. g. albino, "Contributo del P. V. al rinascita del tomismo nel secolo 19," ibid. 260268. Additional studies on V., ibid., v. 19 (1963); v. 20 (1964), full bibliog. 148210. p. sejournÉ, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, 15 v. (Paris 190350) 15.2:263539. j. grisar, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. m. buchberger, 10 v. (Freiburg 193038) 10:534535.

[f. andreu]