The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius V (1566-1572)
Consistory of March 6, 1566 (I)


(1) 1. BONELLI, O.P., Michele (1541-1598)

Birth. November 25, 1541, Bosco Marengo. Son of Marco Bonelli, noble from Alessandria and Dominina de' Gibertis, niece of Pope Pius V. His baptismal name was Carlo. Also known as Cardinal Alessandrino. Grand-nephew of Pope Pius V. Great-uncle of Cardinal Carlo Bonelli (1664).

Education. Entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans); took the name Michele; professed at the convent of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, 1559. Studied letters at Collegio Germanico, Rome.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found) . Professor of theology in Perugia; called to Rome by his great-uncle the pope.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 6, 1566; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria sopra Minerva, March 20, 1566; he conditioned his promotion to permission to continue wearing his Dominican habit. Noble of Alessandria 1566. Citizen and noble of Rome, September 4, 1567. Grand prior in Rome of the Sovereign Order of Malta, June 1568. Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, December 3, 1568 until May 10, 1570 (1). Abbot commendatario of S. Michele di Chiusi, 1571. Legate before the kings of Spain and Portugal, June 18, 1571. Declared by the pope his cardinal nipote in the consistory of June 19, 1571. Legate a latere before the king of France, with the same faculties that he had as legate in Spain and Portugal, November 16, 1571 (2). Administered the last rites to his great-uncle the pope. Participated in the conclave of 1572, which elected Pope Gregory XIII. Member of the S.C. of the Index, 1572; and of the S.C. of the Council, 1573. Named by Pope Gregory XIII prefect of the S.C. of Religious. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 7, 1585 to January 7, 1587. Participated in the conclave of 1585, which elected Pope Sixtus V. Pope Sixtus V named him his vicar general in Rome and the entire State of the Church (3). Opted for the title of S. Lorenzo in Lucina, November 8, 1589. Cardinal protoprete. Participated in the first conclave of 1590, which elected Pope Urban VII. Participated in the second conclave of 1590, which elected Pope Gregory XIV.

Episcopate. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano, March 20, 1591. Consecrated, April 2, 1591, Rome, by Cardinal Girolamo Bernerio, O.P., bishop of Ascoli Piceno, assisted by Vincenzo Casali, former bishop of Massa marittima, and by Vincenzo Bonardo, O.P., bishop of Gerace. Participated in the conclave of 1591, which elected Pope Innocent IX. Prefect of the S.C. of Bishops and Regulars, 1591. Participated in the conclave of 1592, which elected Pope Clement VIII. Prefect of the new Congregation for the Examination of Bishops in the pontificate of Clement VIII. Supported the reconciliation of the pope with King Henri IV in 1594. First count of Bosco Marengo, November 29, 1597.

Death. March 28, 1598, after a seven-day illness, Rome. Buried in the Dominican church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome (4).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, VI, 110-114; 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, cols. 1700-1702; 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, 43, 56, 64, 66 and 81.

Webgraphy. His tomb in the Dominican church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome; and the funeral monument of his brother Michele in the church of S. Lorenzo fuori le mura, Rome.

(1) Resigned the post so that the pope could sell it to Cardinal Luigi Cornaro for 70,000 scudi to raise funds for the war against the Turks. As compensation he received the abbey of S. Michele di Chiusi.
(2) In his legations he was accompanied by Ippolito Aldobrandini, auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota, future cardinal and Pope Clement VIII; Alessandro Riario, Matthieu Cointerel and Francesco Maria Tarugi, Orat., all future cardinals; and Francisco de Borja, S.J., future superior general of the Society of Jesus and saint.
(3) According to Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, V, 112, 112, he had full faculties to confer ordinations; to preserve and reestablish the order, the discipline and justice; to examine and complete all the ecclesiastical and criminal affairs; to review and change the judgements and sentences irregularly given by judges, nuncios, legates and governors of the Papal State; and complete authority to grant pardons and to order the punishment by death without being accountable to any other authority than that of the pope. Cardella adds that he exercised this faculty with "moderazione e prudenza" and that no one did lament his conduct in which he was always much more propense to grace and favor than to pain and torture. The same source, V, 149, indicates that Cardinal Girolamo Rusticucci was named vicar general of Rome in 1587, shortly after the death of Cardinal Giacomo Savelli.
(4) This is the text of his epitaph transcribed by Ferdinando Ughelli in Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, 1702: FR. MICHAELI. BONELLO. ORD. PRÆ. S. R. E. CARD. ALEXANDRINO. EPISC. ALBANENSI. PII. V. EX. EODEM. ORDINE. SANCTISSIMI. PONT. SORORIS. NEPOTI. AB. EOQ. AD. GRAVISSIMA. SEDIS. APOST. NEGOTIA. MODERANDA. ADHIBITO. LEGATO. SACRI. FOEDERIS. ICIENDI. CAVSA. AD. REGES. IN. GALLIAM. HISPANIAM. LVSITANIAM. CVNCTIS. A. SE. PRO. REP. SVSCEPTIS. STRENVE. AC. ELICITER. PERFVNCTO. RELIGIONIS. PRVDENTIA. INTEGRITATIS. EXIMIÆQ. VISTVTIS. LAVDE. PRÆSTANTISSIMO. VIXIT. A. LVI. M. IV. D. VI. OBIIT. IV. KAL. APR. MDXCVIII. QVOD. ILLI. MONVMENTVM. OB. IOANNEM. ALDOBRANDINVM. FRATREM. IN. SACRVM. COLLEGIVM. A. PIO. COOPTATVM. ALLIAQ. EIVS. AVVNCVLI. IN. SE. FAMILIAMQ. SVAM. MERITA. CLEMENS. VIII. PONT. MAX. INSTITVERAT. PETRVS. CARD. ALDOBRANDINVS. S. R. E. CAMERARIVS. COLLEGA. OPT. POS. ANN. MDCXI.

Top Consistories Catalogs Home

©1998-2015 Salvador Miranda.