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legate (lĕgˈət) [Lat. legare=to send], one sent as a representative of a state or of some high authority. In Roman history a legate was sent by the senate to the provinces as an envoy of the emperor. Sometime during the 12th cent. the word came into use to designate a papal ambassador. There are various types of papal legate, including the legatus a latere, a cardinal commissioned for a special confidential assignment as a representative of the pope; the nuncio or internuncio, who represents the Holy See, both temporally and ecclesiastically, in countries that exchange ambassadors with the Vatican (see nuncio, apostolic); and the apostolic delegate, a papal representative in a country that does not exchange ambassadors with the Vatican.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) In ancient Rome an ambassador appointed by the Senate or a representative authorized to carry out a political assignment. During the period of the late republic assistants to military commanders and vicegerents were referred to as legates. Legates were first given command of legions during the rule of Caesar. In the period of the empire legates of the emperor carried out the functions of vicegerents in imperial provinces.

(2) Papal legate—the title of a higher class of diplomatic representatives of the pope. The term “legate” is frequently used to designate any ambassador or diplomatic agent.

Several types of legates exist in the Catholic Church. The title legatus natus (nati) is conferred upon a Catholic prelate by virtue of the post he occupies (for example, archbishop); he has the primacy of jurisdiction in relation to all other prelates within the limits of a given territory. Representatives of the pope who are sent to Catholic countries with a special mission are referred to as legatus datus or missus (missi). Such representatives have three ranks. The nuncius apostolicus is a permanent diplomatic representative of the pope, accredited with heads of state. Greatest authority is enjoyed by the legatus a latere, who has the power to remove bishops from their positions and has full jurisdiction in relation to all prelates within the limits of a given territory. The legatus delegatus is generally appointed by the pope from the members of the local clergy for the purpose of carrying out a special mission; his authority is limited to specific church affairs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a messenger, envoy, or delegate
2. RC Church an emissary to a foreign state representing the Pope
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Legate is the current Pro-Am Chairman for Sanderson Farms Championship Golf Tournament, member of Flowood and Rankin County Chamber of Commerce, member of Century Club Charities, former board of director of Northwest Rankin Athletic Association and Reservoir YMCA.
Bridesmaids were Aimee Lishman, Lexie Lishman, Alison Lishman, Christian Legate, Drew Bagley, Jamie Knight, Amanda Pirani, and Suzy Schaffhauser.
As the papal legate (a regal figure in Josef Sommer's elegant perf) succinctly puts the issue, the church cannot justify Spain's barbaric treatment of the natives of West India until it determines whether these New World creatures are "completely and truly human"--as opposed to "a distinctly other species, or even subjects of the devil himself."
"This freeway was going to damage much more than the immediate area of the road," says Lawson LeGate, the senior southwest regional representative for the Sierra Club.
In London, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian, primate of the Armenian Church of Great Britain and Pontifical Legate, preached at St.
Miriam (Mary) became pregnant, the unnamed Roman legate left town, and Miriam's family was left in disgrace.
Peter Legate, 38, slipped fixing ropes and fell 200 metres into a crevasse.
The Jewellery Quarter-based company has hired former independent designer Jason Legate as creative director to head a team of creative design specialists.
THIS week's star letter comes from Pauline Legate, of Northolt, Middlesex, who wins pounds 20 worth of National Garden Gift Vouchers.
However, Shari LeGate, executive director of the Women's Shooting Sports Foundation (WSSF) in Colorado Springs, contacted the Colorado coordinator of the MMM with a proposal.
The Vatican also maintains control through the presence of its own representative in Washington, D.C., known as the papal nuncio or legate. Still another method of control is through required visits by U.S.
Seripando's brief reign as archbishop, which spanned the years 1554 to 1563, has received little attention among scholars compared to the work that has been done on his efforts as prior general and later as a papal legate at the Council of Trent.