Entered the ecclesiastical seminary of Benevento, Italy at about eleven years of age. Ordained at Benevento on 8 September 1855. Canon in the parish church of Vitulano, Italy. Joined the Society of Jesus on 5 September 1859. Noted theologian. Expelled with his Order from Italy in 1860, he taught theology at Fourvieres, and at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He was professor at Woodstock College, Maryland. Summoned to Rome, Italy by Pope Leo XIII in October 1878 to teach at the Gregorian University. President of the Academy of Saint Thomas. Cardinal-Deacon of San Adriano al Foro on 7 June 1886. Appointed Prefect of the Roman Curia on 20 February 1889. Prefect of the Congregation of the Index. Prefect of the Congregation for Studies on 22 June 1893. Cardinal-Priest of San Maria in Traspontina on 22 June 1896. Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina, Italy on 18 April 1897, the first Jesuit created a cardinal-bishop. Prefect of the Congregation of Rites on 15 June 1897.