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A papal legate or Apostolic legate is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters.

A woodcut showing Henry II of England greeting the pope's legate.

A papal legate or Apostolic legate (from the Ancient Roman title legatus) is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters.

The legate is appointed directly by the pope (the bishop of Rome, head of the Catholic Church and head of state of the papal states). Hence a legate is usually sent to a government, a sovereign or to a large body of believers (such as a national church) or to take charge of a major religious effort, such as an (ecumenical) council, a crusade to the Holy Land, or even against a heresy such as the Cathars.

The term legation is applied both to a legate's mandate and to the territory concerned (such as a state, or an ecclesiastical province). The relevant adjective is legatine.

The Papal Legate's Great Welcome! (1932)

Full title reads: "Kingstown & Dublin. The Papal Legate's great Welcome! Pomp & pageantry & remarkable demonstrations of enthusiasm accompanied Cardinal ...

Papal legate

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51st IEC2016 - Liturgical Reception for Cardinal Bo, Papal Legate 1/24/2016

Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar Mactan International Airport, Cebu, Philippines 24 January 2016 Connect with RTVM Website: http://rtvm.gov.ph Facebook: ...

51st IEC 2016 - Papal Legate, Cardinal Bo dances the Sinulog 1/28/2016

Don Bosco Youth Center, Brgy. Pasil, Cebu, Philippines 28 January 2016 Connect with RTVM Website: http://rtvm.gov.ph Facebook: ...

Conclave Of Cardinals AKA World Mourns The Pope (1959)

Rome, Italy. SV.Cardinal McIntyre coming off plane. CU.Cardinal McIntyre. SV.Cardinal Agagianian, Papal Legate, coming off plane. SV.Cardinal Spellman ...

St. Francis Of Assisi (1926)

Full title reads: "St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Merry del Val - Papal Legate - at deeply impressive 7th centenary celebrations at birthplace of the "gentle saint".