The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503)
Consistory of May 1494 (III)


(1) 1. ARAGONA, Luigi d' (1474-1519)

Birth. September 7, 1474, Naples. Son of Arrigo d'Aragona and Polissena de Centellas. Natural grandson of King Ferrante of Naples; and natural brother of King Alfonso I of Sicily. He is also listed as Luis de Aragón and his last name as d'Aragonia. He was called the Cardinal of Aragón.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. He had the title of marquis of Geraco. He married Battistina Cibo Usodimare, granddaughter of Pope Innocent VIII, at the Vatican on June 3, 1492, in the presence of the pope; after Battistina died, he ceded the title of marquis to his brother Carlo and entered the ecclesiastical state (1).

Sacred orders. Received the ecclesiastical tonsure on May 6, 1494 from Alessandro Carafa, archbishop of Naples, in the archbishop's palace. Protonotary apostolic.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of May 1494 (2); reserved in pectore and published in the consistory of February 19, 1496; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Maria in Cosmedin in 1496.

Episcopate. Administrator of the see of Lecce, December 10, 1498; resigned the post, March 24, 1502. In 1499, he accompanied Queen Dowager Juan of Naples to Spain; from there, he went to France. Administrator of the see of Aversa, March 10, 1501; resigned the post, May 21, 1515. Administrator of the see of Policastro, 1501; resigned the post April 22, 1504 (3). Administrator of the see of Capaccio, January 20, 1503; resigned the post, March 22, 1514. After the death of Pope Alexander VI, he arrived in Rome on September 10, 1503. Participated in the first conclave of 1503, which elected Pope Pius III. Participated in the second conclave of 1503, which elected Pope Julius II. Abbot commendatario of the Cistercian monastery of S. Maria d'Altilia (or Calabria), diocese of S. Severino, 1507; the post was confirmed by Pope Leo X on August 11, 1515. Abbot commendatario of the monastery of S. Maria d'Anzi, diocese of Acerenza, 1507. He traveled to Venice in 1507. Obtained in commendam the deaconry of S. Maria in Aquiro on September 26, 1508; kept it until May 25, 1517. On January 2, 1511, followed the pope in his campaign against the French in the siege against the walls of Mirandola. Administrator of the see of Cádiz, February 10 to June 6, 1511 Administrator of the see of León, June 6, 1511 to December 17, 1516. Administrator of the see of Cava, 1511 to May 5, 1514. Assisted at the opening of the V Lateran Council on May 3, 1512 and sang the Gospel of the Mission of the Apostles; he was charged in the council with the matter of reform of the church. Participated in the conclave of 1513, which elected Pope Leo X. At his request, the new Pope Leo X removed the censures against the duke of Ferrara on April 10, 1513. Received from the new pope a series of benefices in several Italian and Spanish dioceses. Legate a latere of Marche Anconitana and vicar general of the pope with special powers, September 1, 1513 to March 3, 1518. Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of S. Filippo d'Argilione, diocese of Catania, April 16, 1515. Prior commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of S. Marta in Cremona, May 18, 1515. He resided in the palace of Piazza Scossacavalli and accompanied Pope Leo X hunting in Magliana. He also accompanied the pope in his trip to Northern Italy in 1516. Administrator of the see of Alessano, May 18, 1517 to May 17, 1518. Administrator of the see of Nardò, June 17, 1517 until his death. Abbot commendatario of the abbey of Monte Vergine. In 1517, he left the Roman Curia and went to Switzerland and then to Southern Germany; in July 1517, he was in Brussels, where he admired the tapestries ordered by Pope Leo X for the Vatican; returned through France, where he was sumptuously treated at the court of King François I; and arrived in Rome on March 16, 1518; a chronicle of the trip written by his secretary, Antonio de Beatis, is very valued by historians for the first hand news that it provides. Member of a commission of nine cardinals to deal with the arduous and secret affairs, December 1, 1518. He was a protector of humanists, writers and artists. He never received the episcopal consecration.

Death. January 21, 1519. Buried in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome (4). His testament was executed on July 26, 1519. His monument was erected by Cardinal Franciotto Orsini in that church in 1533.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 274-275; 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, 1630, II, col. 1333; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VIII. Les cardinaux du XVIe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1935, Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1935, p. 122-123; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 23, 51, 56, 67, 100, 118, 177 and 218; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen III (1503-1592). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 4, 103, 126, 151, 161, 200, 221 256 and 277; Guitarte Izquierdo, Vidal. Episcopologio Español (1500-1699). Españoles obispos en españa, América, Filipinas y otros países. Rome : Instituto Español de Historia Eclesiástica, 1994. (Publicaciones del Instituto Español de Historia Eclesiástica; Subsidia; 34), p. 249; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), III, 35.

Webgraphy. His genealogy, A1 B1 C11 D4; his tomb, church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome; his epitaph; and catalog of the bishops of Policastro.

(1) Some sources say that he had an illegitimate daughter, poet Tullia d'Aragona.
(2) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, II, 23, and "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VIII. Les cardinaux du XVIe siècle", Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1935, 122; Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa", III, 274, says that he was secretly created on August 21, 1494.
(3) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, II, 218; and Pius Bonifatius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae (3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957), p. 912; the catalog of bishops of Policastro, linked above, says that he occupied the post from 1514 to 1516.
(4) This is the text of his epitaph taken from the photograph linked above: D. O. M. ALOYSIO. CAR. ARAGONIO. REGG. NEAPOLITANN. FERDINANDI. NEPOTI. ALPHONSIO. PRIORIS. PRONEPOTI. QVI. VIX. ANNOS. XLIIII. N. IIII. D. XIV. FRANCIOTTVS. CAR. VRSINVS. EX. TEST. F. C. A. MDXXXIII.
ERGO. CVNTA. LICENT. LACHESIS. TIBI. NEC. DATVR. VLLI. EVITARE. TVAS. IMPROBA. POSSE. MANVS. REGIBVS. ILLE. ATAVIS. ALOISIVS. AEDITVS. ILLE. CVI. ROSEVS. SACRO. VERTICE. FVLSIT. APEX. ILLE. VNI. VIRTVS. OMNIS. CVI. CONTIGIT. VNVS. QVI. CONTRA. HAEC. POTVIT. VIVERE. SAECLA. IACET. HEV. QVOT. NOS. MORTALE. GENVS. SPERABIMVS. ANNOS. SI. VITA. EST. IPSIS. TANTVLA. NVMINIBVS.

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