Vatican History: Passport 1934 Cardinal Corneliano

Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano
Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano

Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano

In eloquent prose, we celebrate the life and legacy of Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano (12 August 1903 – 9 November 1988), a distinguished Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church, whose profound devotion and tireless service left an indelible mark on Vatican City and beyond.

A luminary of theological learning, Nasalli Rocca’s intellectual journey led him through the hallowed halls of the Pontifical Roman Seminary, the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare, and the esteemed Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. In a moment of sacred significance, he was ordained to the priesthood on 8 April 1927, embracing a life dedicated to the spiritual care of others.

Privacy Chamberlain Vatican history

With grace and humility, he embarked on his pastoral mission in Rome, finding himself welcomed as a canon within the revered embrace of St. Peter’s Basilica. His unwavering commitment to the church soon earned him the distinguished title of a Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on 22 November 1931, followed by an appointment as a Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on 1 Jul 1949.

Cornelianos’ Exceptional Talents

The dawn of a new era in Vatican history saw the elevation of Pope John XXIII, who, recognizing Nasalli Rocca’s exceptional talents, appointed him as the Master of the Papal Chamber on 29 October 1958. A man of steadfast loyalty, he continued his sacred duties with utmost devotion until the sad passing of John XXIII on 3 June 1963, a moment that ushered in the solemn period of “sede vacante.” However, his virtuous service endured, as he was later reaffirmed as the papal majordomo by Pope Paul VI on 21 June.

An illustrious path unfolded before him, and on 11 April 1969, he was appointed the Titular Archbishop of Antium by Pope Paul VI, an honor that bestowed upon him the sacred episcopal consecration on 20 April of the same year. This auspicious occasion culminated in his elevation to the revered rank of Cardinal-Deacon of S. Giovanni Battista Decollato during the consistory of 28 April.

Throughout the passage of time, Nasalli Rocca’s devotion to the church and its timeless principles remained resolute. As a testament to his enduring commitment, he partook in the cardinal elector duties during the momentous conclaves of August and October 1978, wherein Popes John Paul I and John Paul II were elected, respectively.

Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano

Cardinal Priest

In an act of profound significance, Cardinal Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano chose to embrace a new chapter in his sacred journey, opting to become a Cardinal-Priest, retaining the cherished titular church, on 30 June 1979. The twilight of his esteemed tenure as a cardinal drew near, as he gracefully acknowledged the age of 80 on 12 August 1983, relinquishing the right to participate in future conclaves.

His final days were marked by a sense of peace and reflection. At the venerable age of 85, Cardinal Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano passed away in a Roman clinic, where he had been under careful watch for a week. As a revered son of Piacenza, he was laid to rest in his beloved birthplace, leaving behind a rich legacy of devotion, scholarship, and unwavering dedication to the Catholic Church.

Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano

Vatican City Today Vatican history

Today, within the sacred confines of Vatican City, the issuance of passports bears testament to the unique status and significance of this sovereign entity. The Holy See, under which the state resides, extends its embrace with personal, diplomatic, and service passports, serving the diverse needs of its approximately 800 citizens.

Of these citizens, over 450 proudly bear Vatican citizenship, including esteemed individuals such as Cardinals residing in Vatican City or Rome, the diplomats of the Holy See, and those who dwell within the city’s precincts due to their dedicated service and sacred office.

Diplomatic Passports Vatican history

As guardians of diplomacy, those serving in the Holy See’s diplomatic corps hold diplomatic passports. While service passports are granted to those committed to the Holy See’s service, irrespective of their citizenship status within Vatican City. The passports issued by Vatican City itself, carrying the eloquence of Italian, French, and English, provide a tangible symbol of identity. Meanwhile, the passports issued by the Holy See, adorned with the time-honored languages of Latin, French, and English, resonate with tradition and reverence, signifying the sacred responsibilities carried by its diplomatic emissaries. Cardinals of the Catholic Church

In this union of spiritual commitment and sovereign representation, the legacy of Mario Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano continues to shine as a beacon of faith and service within the storied annals of Vatican City and the Catholic Church. Vatican history

Cardinals of the Catholic Church


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FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...

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