(7) 1. BONZI, Pierre de (1631-1703)
Birth. April 15, 1631 (1), Florence. Of a French patrician family. Son of Francesco Bonzi, senator of Florence, and Cristina Riario. Grand-nephew of Cardinal Jean de Bonsi (1611). His first name is also listed as Piero; and his last name as Bonsi.
Education. Educated by his uncle Clément Bonzi, bishop of Béziers, who called him to France in 1648 and made him join the ecclesiastical state, not without resistance.
Sacred orders. Private agent of the clergy of Béziers in the Assembly of the Clergy of France, Paris. Residente of the Grand duke of Tuscany Ferdinand II in the French court. Received the subdiaconate (no date found). Abbot commendatario of Aniane from 1659; of Valmagne; of Mortemar; and of St. Sauveur, Lodève.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Béziers, June 7, 1660. Consecrated (no information found). The 5th member of the family to become bishop of that see. French ambassador in Tuscany, 1661. French ambassador in Venice, 1662-1665, and 1665-1668. French ambassador in Poland, 1669. French ambassador in Spain, 1670 and almoner of Queen Marie-Thèrése, wife of King Louis XIV of France. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Toulouse, September 28, 1671.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 22, 1672. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Narbonne, March 12, 1674; as archbishop of this see he had great power over Languedoc, but he lost it due to intrigues related to his imprudent relationship with Mme. de Gange. Participated in the conclave of 1676, which elected Pope Innocent XI. Received the red hat and the title of S. Onofrio, October 19, 1676. Participated in the conclave of 1689, which elected Pope Alexander VIII. Participated in the conclave of 1691, which elected Pope Innocent XII. Opted for the title of S. Pietro in Vincoli, October 19, 1689. Opted for the title of S. Eusebio, November 28, 1689. Since 1693, approximately, he had lost most of his faculties and suffered from epilepsy. Did not participate in the conclave of 1700, which elected Pope Clement XI.
Death. July 11, 1703, at noon, of an apoplexy, in Montpellier. Buried in the chapel of Bethléem, in the metropolitan cathedral of Narbonne. The news of his death reached Rome on August 27, 1703.
Links. His arms and biography, in English, Wikipedia; engravings. portrait and arms, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving by Robert Nanteuil (1678), Princeton University Digital Library; his arms, portrait and biographical informatiom, in French, basilique-saint-nazaire.over-blog; Famiglia Bonsi, in Italian, Enciclopedia Italiana (1930), Treccani.
(1) This is according to Dictionnaire des cardinaux, col. 557, and "Les cardinaux français", Annuaire Pontifical Catholique, 1905, p. 167. Zedler, Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste, indicates that he was born on April 4, 1630.
(8) 2. ORSINI, O.P., Vincenzo Maria (1649-1730)
Birth. February 2, 1649, Gravina di Puglia, archdiocese of Bari. Of the noble Roman family of the archdukes of Orsini-Gravina. Eldest son of Ferdinando Orsini and Giovanna Frangipani of Tolpha. Relative of Pope Clement X. Uncle of Cardinal Domenico Orsini d'Aragona (1743). Received the name Pier Francesco at his baptism. He was 12th duke of Gravina, 3rd prince of Solofra, 2nd prince of Vallata, count of Muro Lucano and Neapolitan patrician from 1658 until 1667 when he resigned his titles to enter a religious order. The family gave the church another two popes and several cardinals: Celestine III (1191-1198); Nicholas III (1277-1280); Matteo Orsini (1262); Latino Malabranca Orsini, O.P. (1278); Giordano Orsini (1278); Napoleone Orsini (1288); Francesco Napoleone Orsini (1295); Giovanni Gaetano Orsini (1316); Matteo Orsini, O.P. (1327); Rinaldo Orsini (1350); Giacomo Orsini (1371); Poncello Orsini (1378); Tommaso Orsini (1383?); Giordano Orsini, iuniore (1405); Latino Orsini (1448); Cosma Orsini, O.S.B. (1480); Giovanni Battista Orsini (1483); Franciotto Orsini (1517); Flavio Orsini (1565); Alessandro Orsini (1615); and Virginio Orsini, O.S.Io.Hieros. (1641).
Education. Entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), Venice, 1667; against the will of his parents, who in vain appealed to Pope Clement IX; professed, February 13, 1668; took the name Vincenzo Maria. Studied philosophy and theology in Naples, Bologna and Venice. Lector of philosophy in the Dominican convent of Brescia. Received the diaconate, February 22, 1671.
Priesthood. Ordained, February 24, 1671, by Cardinal Emilio Altieri, future Pope Clement X.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 22, 1672; received the red hat and the title of S. Sisto, May 16, 1672. Prefect of the S.C. of the Tridentine Council, January 4, 1673 until January 28, 1675. Given the choice between the sees of Salerno or Manfredonia (Siponto), he chose the latter for being the poorest and the one that would require more pastoral care.
Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Manfredonia, January 28, 1675. Consecrated, February 3, 1675, in the Church of Ss. Domenico e Sisto, Rome, by Cardinal Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni, prefect of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, assisted by Stefano Brancaccio, archbishop-bishop of Viterbo e Toscanella, and by Costanzo Zani, O.S.B., bishop of Imola. Participated in the conclave of 1676, which elected Pope Innocent XI. Transferred to the see of Cesena, with personal title of archbishop, January 22, 1680. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Benevento, March 18, 1686, because of a serious illness attributed to the climate of his former see. Participated in the conclave of 1689, which elected Pope Alexander VIII. Participated in the conclave of 1691, which elected Pope Innocent XII. Participated in the conclave of 1700, which elected Pope Clement XI. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Frascati, retaining the administration of Benevento, January 3, 1701. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina, retaining the administration of Benevento, March 18, 1715. Sub-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. Participated in the conclave of 1724 and was elected pope.
Papacy. Elected pope on May 29, 1724, he took the name Benedict in honor of Pope Benedict XI, a Dominican friar like him. Initially, he had taken the name Benedict XIV but shortly after changed it to Benedict XIII because Pedro de Luna, who had reigned with that name from 1394 to 1423, was an antipope. Crowned, June 4, 1724, by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili, protodeacon of S. Maria in Via Lata. Took possession of the patriarchal Lateran basilica, September 24, 1724. Retained the administration of Benevento until his death.
Death. February 21, 1730, Rome. Exposed and buried, on February 25, 1730, in the patriarchal Vatican basilica. Three years later, on February 23, 1733, transferred to the basilica of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, and buried in the chapel of S. Domenico.
Beatification. The first process for his beatification was open in Tortona in 1755, but it did not advance. On February 21, 1931, also in Tortona, the process was revitalized, but presumed doubts about the morality of the secretary of State of Pope Benedict XIII, Cardinal Nicolò Coscia, caused its closing in 1940. The process was reopend on January 17, 2004.
Bibliography. De Caro, Gasparo. "Benedetto XIII." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, III, 429-439; Del Re, Nicola. "I cardinali prefetti della sacra congregazione del concilio dalle origini ad oggi (1564-1964)." Apollinaris, XXXVII (1964), p. 121-122.
Links. Biography, in English; his episcopal genealogy, in English; portrait, arms and biographical information, in English; his tomb in S. Maria sopra Minerva , Rome; biography, in Italian; his bust in terracotta, by Pietro Bracci; Nuova luce su Papa Benedetto XIII, in Italian, Gravinaonline.it; A che punto è l'iter di beatificazione del Papa gravinese?, in Italian, Gravinaonline.it; Beatificazione di Papa Benedetto XIII ad una svolta?, in Italian, Gravinaonline.it; Convegno Benedetto XIII, 29 Maggio 2009 - Gravina in Puglia, in Italian.
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