Florentine Archfather and Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie is the principal style used by the Bishop of St. Stephen and Imperial Patriarch. Archfather is a title of ancient origin synonymous with chief priest, patriarch, and the like. The historic Florentine Archfathers are those with secular authority in Florence, as well as ecclesiastical patriarchal authority. The first four, beginning with Leo X, were also Roman Archfathers, i.e., Popes. The present Florentine Archfather is the Bishop of St. Stephen as Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch, who is titular Prince of Florence in the Holy Roman Empire by virtue of his office. Today the title of Archfather is used exclusively by the Florentine Archfather.

The title of Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie is also held as a personal union by the Archfather. It is a title of Merovingian* origin tied also to the Burgundian royal house of Arles and the Spanish royal houses of Ivrea and Barcelona, to which the Archfather is heir in Imperial Italy. It also provides a link between the Spanish Empire and Florence, Tuscany, and the Kingdom of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire. The overall style also refers to the title of Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome, held ex officio by the Imperial Patriarch.

See also the Temporal Succession of the Patriarchate.

* The Merovingian dynasty was the Frankish (German) ruling family from the mid-5th century until 751. They were known as Kings of the Franks, and their territory included much of modern-day France, as well as parts of Germany. They were the precursor to the Holy Roman Empire and were succeeded by the family of Charlemagne.

Leo X Pont. Max.

Clement VII Pont. Max.

Pius IV Pont. Max.

Leo XI Pont. Max.

Rutherford I Pat. Imp.



* The titular principality of Florence is now vested in the Patriarchate of St. Stephen.
For more information, visit the page of the Principality of Florence.


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