(redirected from legates)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.


(lĕg`ət) [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, apostolicnuncio, apostolic
, resident legate of the Holy See at the capital of a temporal government. Nuncios are in most of the countries with which the Holy See has diplomatic relations.
..... Click the link for more information.
); and the apostolic delegate, a papal representative in a country that does not exchange ambassadors with the Vatican.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
So Margaret LeGates has the distinction of being the first IHSA female wrestler.
Further, according to Legates and Willmott (1990), until the time of their own publication, UN78 was the only available climatology adjusted for gauge undercatch on a global scale.
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.
Again the Pope, this time Celestine, sent legates to adjudicate.
Also known as 'Bernard' and 'Bruno', Berard was already cardinal-bishop of Palestrina by 1060, when he witnessed papal documents (January and April).(9) He then disappears from the records until May 1061, when his name appears in four papal deeds.(10) He died later that year.(11) If his absence from the records were due to a period as legate in Britain, it would accord with the dating of the Bromfield writ to between Christmas 1060 and Easter 1061.
This close cooperation between the legate and the pope created the impression of an active and engaged papacy.
He discusses Cardinal Gonzaga as both secular prince and ecclesiastical head of Mantua as well as papal legate during the third session of the Council of Trent, and has drawn on extensive manuscript sources in presenting a carefully crafted image of the cardinal.
He is evidently not in Lombard hands at the time he is writing his Epistola, and he could not have been the Lombards' prisoner when the papal legates had access to him some time before.
(115) The Renaissance popes resisted creating more than honorific patriarchs, preferring instead to appoint legates a latere ("from the side" of the pope; that is, with full papal power), whose commission would expire.
Like Agrippa, Cereta argues for parity between men and women: "nature has granted to all enough of her bounty; she opens to all the gates of choice, and through these gates, reason sends legates to the will .
In a press conference on Monday, Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara said the papal legates homily was a challenge to the Catholic faithful to make fighting poverty and injustice a priority.
Perhaps Cervini performed his greatest service for the Farnese pope and the church by serving as one of the three legates who presided over the early years of the Council of Tent.