The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261)
Consistory of December 1255 (I)


(2) 1. BECCHERIA, O.S.B.Vall., Tesauro dei (?-1258)

Birth. (No date found), Pavia. His first name also listed as Tesauro and Tesoro; and his last name as Beccaria.

Education. Entered the Congregation Vallombrosana of the Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictines).

Priesthood. Monk, abbot and later, elected abbot general of his order in 1252.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of December 1255; his deaconry is not known (1). Does not appear as signatory of any papal bulls. Legate in Florence to establish the peace between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines; he was tortured, sentenced to death and beheaded by the Guelphs in 1258, accused of plotting with the exiled Ghibellines.

Death. September 12, 1258, decapitated, piazza di Sant'Apollinare, Florence. Buried (no information found).

Beatification. He is inserted in the Benedictine martyrology as a martyr; his feast is celebrated on September 4.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 2, 290-291; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 144; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIIIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1929. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1929, p. 123; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen I (1198-1431). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1913; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, p. 7; Paravicini Bagliani, Agostino. Cardinali di curia e "familiae" cardinalizie. Dal 1227 al 1254. 2 vols. Padova, Antenore, 1972. (Italia sacra, 18-19), II, 539.

Webgraphy. Portrait and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; another view of the same portrait, church of S. Prassde, Rome, Roma SPQR, Marco De Berardinis; biography, in Danish Annas Roma Guide; brief biographical information, in English, note 120, from "The Divine Comedy", canto XXXII, inferno xxxii, The Inferno of Dante Alighieri, a rhymed translation by Seth Zimmerman; and Un "Cardinale" all'inferno, in Italian, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, I, 7, says that he did not find any cardinals created by this pope and in n. 8, adds that Chacón, Vitae et res gestae Pontificum Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalium, II, col. 144, mentions the promotion of this cardinal. Annuaire Pontifical Catholique, 1929, p. 123, confirms the information and has his biography; Paravicini Bagliani, Cardinali di curia e "familiae" cardinalizie. Dal 1227 al 1254, II, 539, also says that he was not created a cardinal.

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