Roman Catholic Cardinal. Born in Borgo Sant'Anna to Cosma Martinelli and Maddalena Pardini, Sebastiano Martinelli's brother Tommaso was likewise an Augustinian Friar and member of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Entering seminary in Lucca and later the Roman College of Sant'Agostino, Sebastiano joined the Order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine on December 6, 1863, making his profession on January 6, 1865. Ordained priest in Rome on March 4, 1871, he lectured theology at the Roman College of Santa Maria in Pusterula until being named postulator 'causarum servorum Dei' of the Augustinian Order in 1881. Elected prior general of his Order in 1889 and re-elected in 1895, he was named apostolic delegate in the United States on April 18, 1896. Elected archbishop of the titular see of Efeso, he received his episcopal consecration on August 30, 1896 in Rome, from Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro, Secretary of State. Pope Leo XIII created him cardinal priest in the consistory of April 15, 1901 with the title of Sant'Agostino. Apostolic visitor to the Catechumenal Hospice in 1904 and member of the Commission for the Codification of Canon Law between 1906 and 1917, he served as Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals from April 15, 1907 until April 29, 1909. Appointed prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites he died following a lengthy illness at the Augustinian house of Sant'Anna at the Vatican. Requiem mass was held at the church of Sant'Agostino followed by interment inside the chapel of the Augustinian Order at the Campo Verano Cemetery of Rome.
Bio by: Eman Bonnici