His Eminence

His Eminence

His Eminence is a historical style of reference for high nobility, still in use in various religious contexts.


The style remains in use as the official style or standard of address in reference to a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, reflecting his status as a Prince of the Church, ecclesiastically outranking Archbishops and even Patriarchs.

A longer, and more formal, title is "His (or Your when addressing the cardinal directly) Most Reverend Eminence".Ref_label|A|a|none The style for cardinals of noble birth is "His Most Illustrious and Reverend Eminence".

Patriarchs of Eastern Catholic Churches who are also Cardinals may be addressed as "His Eminence" or by the style particular to Eastern Rite Patriarchs, "His Beatitude".

When the Grand Master of the Military Order of the Knights of Malta, the Head of state of their sovereign territorial state comprising the island of Malta until 1797, who had already been made a Reichsfürst (i.e. Prince of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1607, was granted ecclesiastical equality with the Cardinals in 1630, he was also awarded the hybrid style His Most Eminent Highness.cite web | title =History of the Order 1099-1999 | publisher =Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Grand Priory of England | url =http://www.orderofmalta.org.uk/history.htm#1600-1834 | accessdate =2007-05-06]

While the term is shunned by many individuals of other faiths or denominations of Christianity, the title is officially maintained in international diplomacy without regard for its doctrinal, philosophical and theological origins.

Orthodoxy Christianity

Archbishops in the Eastern Orthodox Church are addressed as "Your Eminence" and referred to as "His Eminence". The various Orthodox Patriarchs are referred to in different manners, usually "His Holiness" or "His Beatitude". The Ecumenical Patriach of Constantinople is "His All-Holiness."

Other religions

It is also used, informally (perhaps as a rendering of an oriental style), in Islam for highly honorable religious leaders of other religions.Fact|date=May 2007


  1. Note_label|A|a|noneCatholic Encyclopedia recommends using this form for ending a formal letter to an Italian cardinal: "Embracing the purple of His Most Reverend Eminence, I am His Eminence's very humble and obedient servant."cite encyclopedia | last=Battandier| first=Albert | title =Ecclesiastical Addresses | encyclopedia =The Catholic Encyclopedia | volume =1 | publisher =Robert Appleton Company | date =1907 | url =http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01137a.htm | accessdate =2007-05-06]


ee also

*Ecclesiastical Addresses

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • His Eminence — courtesy title used when referring to an important person or a church official …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Eminence — may refer to:Places: *In the United States: ** Eminence Township, Logan County, Illinois ** Eminence, Indiana ** Eminence, Kentucky ** Eminence, MissouriAnatomy: *Collateral eminence, alongside the hippocampus in the brain *Cruciform eminence, in …   Wikipedia

  • eminence — [[t]e̱mɪnəns[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Eminence is the quality of being very well known and highly respected. Many of the pilots were to achieve eminence in the aeronautical world... Beveridge was a man of great eminence. 2) N VOC: poss N, also PRON:… …   English dictionary

  • Éminence grise — An éminence grise (French for grey eminence ) is a powerful advisor or decision maker who operates secretly or unofficially. This phrase originally referred to François Leclerc du Tremblay, the right hand man of Cardinal Richelieu. Leclerc was a… …   Wikipedia

  • eminence — em|i|nence [ˈemınəns] n 1.) [U] the quality of being famous and important of great/such etc eminence ▪ a scientist of great eminence 2.) Your/His Eminence a title used when talking to or about a ↑cardinal (=priest of high rank in the Roman… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • eminence — UK [ˈemɪnəns] / US noun Word forms eminence : singular eminence plural eminences formal 1) [uncountable] importance because of impressive achievements, character, or status 2) a) [countable] an important respected person b) used for referring to… …   English dictionary

  • eminence — n. 1 distinction; recognized superiority. 2 a piece of rising ground. 3 (Eminence) a title used in addressing or referring to a cardinal (Your Eminence; His Eminence). 4 an important person. Etymology: L eminentia (as EMINENT) …   Useful english dictionary

  • eminence — noun 1) his eminence as a scientist Syn: fame, celebrity, illustriousness, distinction, renown, preeminence, notability, greatness, prestige, importance, reputation, repute, note; prominence, superiority, stature, standing …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • eminence — em|i|nence [ emınəns ] noun FORMAL 1. ) uncount importance because of impressive achievements, character, or status 2. ) count an important respected person a ) used for referring to a CARDINAL in the Roman Catholic Church: His Eminence, Cardinal …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • eminence — ► NOUN 1) acknowledged superiority within a particular sphere. 2) an important or distinguished person. 3) (His/Your Eminence) a title given to a Roman Catholic cardinal. 4) formal or literary a piece of rising ground. ORIGIN Latin eminentia,… …   English terms dictionary

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