Gianfrancesco Banchieri, priest.

With his friend, the abbey Valentino Tonissi, Banchieri was probably the most prestigious representative of the ‘liberal’ clergy of Udine against the temporal power of the papacy, plainly favourable to the Italian union and to a spiritual reform of the catholic Church.

With his friend, the abbey Valentino Tonissi, Banchieri was probably the most prestigious representative of the ‘liberal’ clergy of Udine against temporal power of papacy, plainly favourable to the Italian union and to a spiritual reform of the catholic Church.
He was born at Feltre on 17 March 1800, a son of Maria Teresa and the noble Bernardo, justice official in various towns of Veneto, and grew up in Venice by his uncle, the podestà Francesco Trojano, where he profited from his studies at the ‘S. Catterina’ boarding Lyceum and the Patriarchal Seminary. After being ordained, in 1822, the patriarch Giovanni L. Pyrker sent him to Vienna, where he got the baccalaureate degree in Biblical studies, Eastern languages and Dogmatic theology at the ‘Augustinianum’. In 1826, he also graduated in Canon law and Dogmatic theology at the university of Padua. In 1833, the bishop of Udine Emanuele Lodi appointed him parish priest, vicar forane and school inspector for the district of Latisana. In 1848, several threats he had received induced him to move to the Hague, as a guest of the apostolic nuncio monsignor Carlo Belgrado. In his brief stay in Holland, he intensively dedicated himself to historical-philological studies, archaeology and numismatics, and got in touch with important scholars of Northern Europe. In 1850, the archbishop Bricito, a friend of his Venetian years, called him to Udine as a canon of the Metropolitan chapter, of which he became the primicerius in 1862. His ecclesiastical activity was completely absorbed by preaching. Since 1852 he was teacher of Greek language in the I. R. Lyceum-Gymnasium of Udine and was inspector of the school district. His works, both published and unpublished, ranges from epigraphy to occasional poems, pedagogy and erudite studies. On the plebiscite day he welcomed the establishment of the Mutual Aid Society promoted by Quintino Sella and, in September 1866, he offered a patriotic sonnet to Vittorio Emanuele II who was in Udine for an official visit. His positions would progressively emarginated him from the remainder of the Church of Udine. He suddenly died on 5 February 1882: given the prestige he had had in the Chapter, it was rather uncommon for the ecclesiastical hierarchy to refuse a solemn celebration of his exequies.

For further information see the entry Banchieri Gianfrancesco, sacerdote written by Emanuele D’Antonio in Nuovo Liruti. Dizionario biografico dei Friulani, 3, LEtà contemporanea, edited by C. Scalon, C. Griggio. G. Bergamini, Udine, Forum, 2011, 259-262.

Leave a Comment