The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Julius III (1550-1555)
Consistory of October 12, 1551 (II)


(2) 1. MARTINUZZI, O.S.P.P.E., Györgi (1482-1551)

Birth. 1482, Kamicac, Croatia. Son of Gregory Utje-šenovic, a Croatian gentleman who died combatting the Turks; his mother was a Venetian of the Martinuzzi patrician family; and his uncle was Giacomo Martinuzzi (1), bishop of Skradin, Dalmatia. In deference to them, he took the last name Martinuzzi. His first name is also listed as Juraj, Frater György (Latin-Hungarian ) and Frater Georgius (Latin); and his last name is also listed as Utiesenovic, Utyeszenics, Utissenoviski, Utješinović, Wisenowiski, and Martinuzius (in Latin). He usually signed himself Frater Georgius, and is known in Hungarian history as Frater György or simply The Frater. Uncle of Cardinal György Draskovics (1585).

Education. Entered the monastery of St. Laurentius, near Buda, of the Hermits of St. Paul, 1510 (2); a monk of that monastery taught him to write and read; later, he studied philosophy and theology.

Early life. In 1490, he was sent to the court of Duke János Corvin and was named first page and chamberlain of the duke; remained there for twelve years; and then he entered the service of the Szapolyai family and briefly fought under János Szapolyai. In 1510, he left the military life and joined the Order of the Hermits of St. Paul.

Priesthood. Received the priestly ordination (no further information found). Prior of the monastery of Czestochowa, Poland; and later, of the monastery of Sajolad, near Erlau, Northern Hungary. In 1527, at that monastery, new King János Szapolyai of Hungary (3), who was escaping to Poland after having been defeated by King Ferdinand of Bohemia, found the frater and asked him for help; he organized the supporters of King János, obtained financial assistance from important Hungarian nobles, and put together an army that won over King Ferdinand's forces under the command of General Ravay in 1529. King János appointed the frater royal counselor and treasurer in 1529. In 1534, King János named him bishop of Nagyvárad and since he was not preconized by the pope until five years later, he governed the diocese through auxiliary bishops.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Csanád, 1536. In 1538 he concluded the Treaty of Nagyvárad with King Ferdinand; the treaty invested János with the royal title and most of the Hungarian territory; and King Ferdinand as successor to the Hungarian crown. Transferred to the see of Nagyvárad, May 30, 1539. King János I died on July 21, 1540 and on his deathbed, he repudiated the treaty and left the crown to his young son, János Zsigmond, born only nine days before his father's death. The late king in his will had appointed Bishop Martinuzzi and Peter Petrovich as guardians of the child and they proclaimed him king and the Sultan Süleyman promised to recognize him but later, in 1541, occupied Buda, the capital of Hungary. Bishop Martinuzzi, as guardian and regent, was able to retain Transylvania as an independent principality in 1542 under Turkish suzerainty. Fighting off the intrigues of Izabella, the mother of János Zsigmond, Bishop Martinuzzi returned to the original plan of unification of Hungary under the Austrian Habsburg dynasty in order to resist Turkish expansion. (4). Consecrated, 1548, by Franciscus Josephich, bishop of Zengg. After convincing Queen Izabella, and her son, János Zsigmond, to resign and to leave Transylvania, he finally concluded an agreement with King Ferdinand in 1551, by which he continued to be governor of Transylvania and was rewarded with promotion to the metropolitan see of Esztergom (5) and a cardinal's hat.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of October 12, 1551; granted permission to wear the color of his religious garment instead of the red proper of the cardinals who were secular priests; died before receiving the red hat and the title. In 1551, when the Turks took Csanad and other places, Cardinal Martinuzzi and the imperial generals Giovanni Castaldo, margrave of Cassiano, and Sforza Pallavicini united their forces against the common enemy. The cardinal's letter to Rome concerning the danger of the Turks was read in the consistory of November 16, 1551. In order to delay an attack by the Turks, he secretly resumed paying a tribute to the sultan in December 1551. These secret contacts provoked the suspicion of General Castaldo, who accused him before King Ferdinand of treason and asked permission to eliminate him if necessary; the king acquiesced. The cardinal's secretary, Marco Aurelio Ferrari, was hired, and he stabbed his master from behind at the castle of Alvinczy while he was reading a letter; the cardinal, although he was sixty-nine years old, fought for his life, and was only killed with the aid of Pallavicini and a group of his soldiers (6).

Death. December 17 (7), 1551; assassinated in Alvinczy Castle, Transylvania. The body remained unburied until February 25, 1552, when it was interred in St. Michael's church at Karlsburg. On January 18, 1552, the pope announced the news of his violent death.

Bibliography. Bechet, Antoine. Histoire du ministère du Cardinal Martinusius, archevêque de Strigonie, primat & régent du royaume de Hongrie : avec l'origine des guerres de ce royaume & de celles de la Transilvanie. A Paris : Par la Compagnie des libraires associez, 1715; Bechet, Antoine. Histoire du ministère du Cardinal Martinusius, archevêque de Strigonie, primat & régent du royaume de Hongrie : ou l'on voit l'origine des gurres de ce royaume, & de celles de Transilvanie : dediée à s.a.s monseigneur le prince Ragotsky, prince souverain de Transilvanie. Paris : M. Clouzier, 1715; Berton, Charles. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, contenant des notions générales sur le cardinalat, la nomenclature complète ..., des cardinaux de tous less temps et de tous les pays ... les détails biographiques essentiels sur tous les cardinaux ... de longues études sur les cardinaux célèbre ... Paris : J.-P. Migne, 1857 ; Facsimile edition. Farnborough ; Gregg, 1969, cols. 1199-1192; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, VI, 301-306; 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, cols. 1588-1570; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, p. 231; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 32, 161, 304 and 326; Frater György, Cardinal. Codex epistolaris Fratris Georgii Utyesenovics, Martinuzzi dicti, ... 1535-1551 ... Digessit Dr. A. Károlyi.-Frater György levelezése, etc. Lat. Edited by Árpád Károly. Budapest : [s.n.], 1881.Note: Reprinted from the "Magyar történelmi tár."' Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae, quotquot innotuerunt a beato Petro apostolo. A multio adjutus ed. p. Pius Bonifacius Gams ... Leipzig : K.W. Hiersemann, 1931. 2 v. in 1. Vol. 2 has title, ... qua series, quae apparuit 1873 completur et continuatur ab anno ca. 1870 ad 20. febr. 1885, p. 380; Horváth, Mihály. Utyeszenich Frater György, Martinuzzi bibornok élete. Pest : M. Ráth, 1872, Internet Archive; Jókai, Mór. Fráter György. 2 vols. Budapest : Akademiai Kiadó, 1972. (Összes müvei); Lekai, Louis Julius. "Martinuzzi, György (Juraj Utjesenovic)", New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed. Detroit : Gale ; Washington, D.C. : Catholic University of America, 2003, IX, 226; "Cardinal Martinuzzi (Friar George)", in Lukinich, Imre. A history of Hungary in biographical sketches. Translated from the Hungarian by Catherine Dallas. Freeport, N.Y. : Books for Libraries Press, 1968. (Essay index reprint series). First published 1937, pp. 134-140; "Martinuzzi (Jorge)." Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana. 70 vols. Madrid : Espasa-Calpe, 1958, c1907?-1930, XXXIII, 582; Miskolczy, Giulio de. "Martinuzzi, György (Giorgio)." Enciclopedia Italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti, 36 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 1949-52, XXII, 455; Tusor, Péter. Purpura Pannonica : az esztergomi "bíborosi szék" kialakulásának elozminyei a 17. században = Purpura Pannonica : the "Cardinalitial See" of Strigonium and its Antecedens in the 17th Century. Budapest : Róma : Research Institute of Church History at Péter Pázmány Catholic University, 2005. (Collectanea Vaticana Hungariae, Classis I, vol. 3), 53, 208 and 320; Utješenovič-Ostrozinski, Ognjeslav M. Lebensgeschichte des Cardinals Georg Utiešenovič genannt Martinusius : mit dessen Bildniss, Familien-Wappen und einer Skizze der Ruinen seines Ahnenschlosses. Corp Author: Jugoslavenska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti. Wien : Wilhelm Braumüller & Sohn, 1881. Notes: "Mit Benützung der Acten des K.K. Geheimen Haus- Hof- und Staats-Archivs von 1528-1553."/ "Uebersetzung des von der südslavischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und Künste herausgegeben kroatischen Originales."/ Translated into German from the original Croation.

Webgraphy. His portrait, arms, engraving depicting his assassinatio and biography, in English, Wikipedia; portrait and biography, in English, Transylvania; portrait and biography, in English, Encyclopaedia Britannica; biography by Johann Peter Kirsch, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in Hungarian, Orosz Lõrinc prépost-plébános; biography, in English, Online Encyclopedia, Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 803 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica; his portrait, Új Ember, Katolikus Etilap; and The Assassination of Martinuzzi, painting by Nandor Rakosi, 19th century, Magyar Nemzeti Galeria, Budapest, Hungary, Bridgeman Art Library Limited; Super-diplomat in Friar's Garb, chapter 16 of The Spirit of Hungary by Stephen Sisa; Martinuzzi, György by Eric Roman, in English, in Austria-Hungary and the Successor States: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. Modern World History Online. Facts On File, Inc.

(1) This is according to Berton, Charles. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, col. 1190; and "Martinuzzi (Jorge)", Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana, XXXII, 582; Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, II, 231, lists hm as Nicolaus Martinosevich.
(2) This is according to his second and fourth biographies in English, linked above, which say that he entered the order at twenty-eight; his third biography in English, also linked above, indicates that he joined the order in 1504.
(3) King László II of Hungary perished in August 1526 in the battle of Mohácz, Hungary, fighting against the Turks; his sister Anne, was married to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, brother and successor of Emperor Charles V in the imperial throne. After the death of Laszlo II, rival factions of Hungarian nobles simultaneously elected two kings, János Szapolaya vaivod of Transylvania, who was crowned on November 11, 1526, was recognized by the sultan and was supported mostly by lesser nobles opposed to new foreign kings; and Ferdinand I of Bohemia, the first Habsburg to occupy the Hungarian throne, as supported by magnates in Western Hungary who hoped he could convince his brother, the emperor, to expel the Turks. Each one claimed sovereignty over the entire country but did not have sufficient forces to eliminate his opponent.
(4) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 326, who says that he was transferred to Transylvania (also named Erderly or Alba), but then he does not list him among the bishops of that see on p. 100 of his work.
(5) Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 304, does not list him as archbisop of Esztergom but on that same page, on n. 6, he says that Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae, p. 380, indicates that he was promoted to that metropolitan see.
(6) King Ferdinand and General Castaldo tried to justify themselves before Pope Julius III; the king admitted responsibility for the murder himself and sent an accusation of treason against Martinuzzi that contained 87 articles; but they were excommunicated as murderers and instigators of the crime. Four years later, in 1555, after hearing 116 witnesses during the review process of the sentence, the punishment was lifted.
(7) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 32; his second biography in English, linked above; and his biography in Hungarian, also linked above. His third biography in English, linked above, indicates that he was killed on December 16, 1551> And his fourth biography in English, also linked above, says that he was killed on December 18, 1551.
(8) This is the text of the inscription on his tomb, kindly provided by Mr. Eman Bonnici, from Malta:

+
Omnibus moriendum
FRÁTER GYÖRGY
biboros
Utyeszenovics Martinuzzi
Georgius
1482 - 1551


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