The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)
Consistory of December 23, 1711 (VI)
Celebrated in Rome

(26) 1. ALBANI, Annibale (1682-1751)

Birth. August 15, 1682, Urbino. Of a distinguished Italian family, descendant of refugees from Albania in the fifteenth century. The family had two branches: Bergamo and Urbino. Son of Orazio Albani and Maria Bernarda Ondedei. Nephew of Pope Clement XI, and brother of Cardinal Alessandro Albani, O.S.Io.Hieros. (1721). Uncle of Cardinal Gian Francesco Albani (1747). Grand-uncle of Cardinal Giuseppe Albani (1801).The first cardinal of the family was Gian Girolamo Albani (1570).

Education. Studied by order of his uncle the pope at Collegio Romano (1700 to 1706), in which he was treated without any distinction; obtained a doctorate in theology in 1703; and another in law in 1706.

Early life. Granted permission to receive the benefices of a canonry in the patriarchal Vatican basilica in absentia while studying, for a triennium, February 25, 1702. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness. Protonotary apostolic supernumerary, 1705. eferendary of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, 1706. President of the Apostolic Chamber, August 8, 1707. Abbot commendatario of the abbey of Casamari, from 1708; and of S. Leonardo, Siponto. Nuncio extraordinary before the emperor and other Catholic princes meeting in Vienna, The Hague and Frankfurt, to achieve the peace, July 22, 1709. Procurator of the Holy See to the imperial diet of Frankfurt for the election of a new emperor, August 15, 1711. Nuncio in Cologne during the absence of Giovanni Battista Bussi, archbishop-bishop of Ancona, nuncio in that region, September 2, 1711.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of December 23, 1711. Archpriest of the patriarchal Vatican basilica and prefect of the Reverend Fabric of St. Peter's, January 4, 1712. Received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Eustachio, March 2, 1712. Received the diaconate, September 18, 1712. Governor of Frascati and of the territory of Castelgandolfo, December 1, 1712 until 1726 when, because of disagreements with Cardinal Niccolò Paolo Andrea Coscia, he retired to Urbino and wrote the biography of his uncle, Pope Clement XI, 1727. Secretary of Memorials, 1712. Opted for the deaconry of S. Maria in Cosmedin, June 8, 1716. In 1718, he decorated his deaconry very elegantly. Director of the English hospital of S. Giovanni in Gerusalemme, March 18, 1719. Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, March 29, 1719 until February 23, 1747, when he resigned the post. Ambassador of Austria before the Holy See, July 1720 until April 1748. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. Opted for the order of priests and the title of S. Clemente, July 6, 1722.

Priesthood. Ordained, October 28, 1722. Participated in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII.

Episcopate. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Sabina, July 24, 1730. Consecrated, August 15, 1730, chapel of the choir of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, Rome, by Cardinal Francesco Barberini, bishop of Ostia e Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, prefect of the S.C. of Bishops and Regulars, assisted by Tommaso Cervini, titular archbishop of Nicomedia, and by Raniero Felice Simonetti, titular archbishop of Nicosia. Retained in commendam his title of S. Clemente. In 1736, he celebrated a diocesan synod in Sabina; he also expanded its seminary, built the residence for the suffragan bishops and instituted the Monte di pietà. Participated in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina, September 9, 1743. Vice-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. In Urbino, he founded the institute of the Mastre Pie assigning to it sufficient rents and instituting a printing press, with Greek and Latin characters, a excellent library with its prefect, and a chair of Greek language. In his title of S. Clemente, he built a magnificent high altar and outside of the main door, on the left and right sides, he placed two plaques; on the left one, he had inscribed the life of S. Servulo as it was described by S. Gregorio. During his episcopate in Porto, he supported several diocesan students in different Roman seminaries.

Death. October 21, 1751, at 1 p.m., Rome. Exposed in the basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli, Rome, where the capella papalis took place on October 23, 1751; his body was transferred in the evening to the patriarchal Vatican basilica and buried, by disposition of Pope Benedict XIV, in the chapel of S. Clemente, martyr, in the sacristy. When the sacristy was demolished and rebuilt in the pontificate of Pope Pius VI, his remains were transferred to its cemetery and in the place of his burial was placed an elegant inscription: furono trasportate nel cimetero di quella, e al lugo di sua sepoltura fu aposta una elegante iscrizione. He published the works of his uncle the pope in two volumes in Rome and a new edition was published in Franfurt in 1729. He was an arts and ecclesiastical literature patron and collector, as well as a numismatist. His library, paintings and sculptures, and coin collection were added to the Vatican's collections after his death.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 115-118; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, I, 180; Notizie per l'anno bissestile 1752. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1752, p. 130, no. 41; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen V (1667-1730). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, pp. 27, 45, 53, 54 and 59; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 40.

Links. The Albani family by Thomas Shahan, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; his episcopal lineage by Charles N. Bransom, in English, Apostolic Succession & Episcopal Lineages in the Roman Catholic Church; his portrait, Conservatorio di S. Eufemia, Lions Club Roma Sistina; his portrait by Leone Ghezzi, Oratorio di S. Giuseppe, Urbino, Cultura.marche.it; his portrait by Pietro Nelli, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; his portrait by Pier Leone Ghezzi, Arte Antica.EU; his portrait by Pier Leone Ghezzi, Fondazione Federico Zeri; another portrait by Pier Leone Ghezzi, Fondazione Federico Zeri; his portrait, Circle of Francesco Trevisani, Christie's; his portrait, diocese of Sabina; and his engraving by Martin Bernigeroth, Antiquariat Hille, Berlin.

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