The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XI (1700-1721)
Consistory of July 12, 1717 (XIII)
Celebrated in Rome

(57) 1. ALBERONI, Giulio (1664-1752)

Birth. May 31, 1664, Fiorenzuola d'Arda, diocese of Piacenza (1). Of a poor and humble family. Son of Giovanni degli Alberoni, who was a gardener and died in 1674; and Laura Ferrari, a seamstress; they had six children. He was baptized on the same day of his birth in the parish church of Ss. Nazaro e Celso by Father Gianbernardo degli Uomini. He worked as a gardener in his childhood. Then, he became a bell ringer to the monks of S. Maria di Valverde. Later, he became a clerk of the sacristy of the church Ss. Nazaro e Celso.

Education. Priests from the parish of Ss. Nazaro e Celso taught him how to read and write; and the Barnabite Fathers of the parish of S. Brigita, in Piacenza, taught him basic Latin and humanities. In 1680, he was studying philosophy at the Jesuit school of S. Pietro. He established a great friendship with Dr. Ignazio Gardini, a lawyer from Ravenna, who practiced in the criminal courts of Piacenza; for a while, Giulio seems to have acted as assistant of Dr. Gardini at the courts. In 1685, for unknown reasons, the doctor was banished from Parmesan territories and Giulio decided to accompany him in exile. When Dr. Gardini went to his native Ravenna, Giulio was with him. In Ravenna, he met Giorgio Barni, the apostolic vice-legate, who later in 1688, became bishop of Piacenza and promoted Giulio's ecclesiastical career. Cleric of Piacenza.

Priesthood. Ordained by Bishop Barni in the cathedral of Parma (no further information found). In January 1691, he succeeded then Provost degli Uomini, who had baptized him, as pastor of Ss. Nazaro e Celso. Shortly after, Bishop Barni appointed him tutor of his young nephew Count Giambattista Barni, who was destined for an ecclesiastical career, and became a cardinal in 1743. In 1696, when his pupil was sent to Rome, Abbé Alberoni went with him; and while in Rome, he learned French, which was going to be of great help in his future. In 1698, he returned to Parma, together with his pupil.

Early life. Obtained a prebend in the cathedral of Piacenza in 1698, thanks to Bishop Barni. In 1702, he was private secretary to Alessandro Roncovieri, ambassador of Duke Francesco Farnese of Parma before Louis-Joseph, duke of Vendôme. Sent by the duke of Parma on a diplomatic mission to the duke of Vendôme, commander of French forces in Italy during the War of the Spanish Succession, 1702. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Parma in 1703. The duke of Vandôme named him his secretary and took him to France, 1706; to Holland; and later, in 1711, to Spain. When the duke died in 1712, Canon Alberoni stayed in Spain as ambassador of Parma in Spain; he negotiated the marriage of King Philip V of Spain, a widower, and Elisabetta Farnese, niece of the duke of Parma; they got married by proxy on September 16, 1714. He was named prime minister in 1716, when Elisabetta Farnese arrived in Spain and the Princess of the Ursinos, who had exerted an almost absolute control over the king, was exiled by the new queen. Prime Minister Alberoni tried to advance nationally and internationally the recovery of Spain after the War of Spanish Succession. He also implemented domestic reforms in agriculture, trade, manufacturing, and welfare.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of July 12, 1717; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Adriano, June 12, 1724.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Málaga, Spain, December 6, 1717, but he was not consecrated until 1725. Knowing the ambitions of King Felipe V, the prime minister tried to restore Spain's prestige in Italy and to advance the king 's rights to the French throne. To obtain this, he reorganized the army and navy and engaged in intrigues against the Empire and its allies. Forced to declare war prematurely by the irresponsible actions of Parma and the urging of King Felipe V, Prime Minister Alberoni ordered the invasion of Sardinia in 1717 and Sicily in 1718, in spite of formal assurances to the contrary given to Pope Clement XI. Both, diplomatic and military disasters followed and the prime minister failed to obtain the support of Russia and Sweden in restoring James Stuart, the Old Pretender, to the English throne and in overthrowing Duke Philippe of Orléans. The Quadruple Alliance formed by the Empire, France, England, and Holland, reconquered Sardinia and Sicily and invaded Navarra. At that time, Cardinal Guillaume Dubois was the French minister of foreign affairs. Cardinal Alberoni was held responsible by the Spanish king, the pope, and the Quadruple Alliance for the disastrous venture and was expelled from Spain on December 5, 1719, and fled to Italy. He had to face the indignation of Pope Clement XI. He arrived in Antibo, Italy (now Antibes, France) on January 27, 1720. A Genoese galley picked him up and took him to Sestri, territory of Genoa, where he arrived on the following February 20. In Sestri, he was retained, probably at the request of the pope, to await the decision of a special commission of fifteen cardinals. The last reference to his presence in Sestri is on February 24. He escaped in March 1720 and remained in hiding, in Coire, Switzerland, or in the Apennines, until the death of the pope in 1721. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. He was given a four year sentence but in the consistory of December 20, 1723, the pope issued an absolutory brief in favor of the cardinal, imposing silence on the cause against him brought up by Spain. Participated in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Consecrated, November 18, 1725, Sistine Chapel, Rome, by Pope Benedict XIII, assisted by Niccolò Lercari, titular archbishop of Nazianzo, and by Giovanni Battista Gamberucci, titular archbishop of Amasea. Resigned government of the diocese, November 19, 1725. In that year, he reconciled with King Felipe V. For a while he lived in retirement in a Jesuit residence. Opted for the order of priests and the title of S. Crisogono, September 20, 1728. Participated in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII. The old cardinal had hoped to spend his remaining years in quiet retirement in his estate of Castelromano, but instead, he was appointed legate in Romagna on January 17, 1735 and occupied the post until September 1739; he promoted public works; and in 1739, he successfully reunited the Republic of San Marino with the Papal States; later, Pope Clement XII returned the republic its independence. Did not participate in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV. Cardinal protoprete. Opted for the title of S. Lorenzo in Lucina, customarily assigned to the cardinal protoprete, August 29, 1740. Legate in Bologna, August 29, 1740 until September 1743. He spent the last years of his life in Piacenza doing charitable and scholarly works. A brilliant diplomat and statesman, his performance as a politician receives mixed reviews.

Death. June 26, 1752, at 8 a.m., in his palace, Piacenza. Buried in the church of Collegio S. Lazzaro, Piacenza, which he had founded, and which is now called S. Lazzaro-Alberoni.

Bibliography. Bersani, Stefano. Storia del Cardinal Giulio Alberoni. Piacenza : coi tipi di Francesco Solari, 1861; Bourgeois, Émile. Le secret des Farnèse. Philippe V et la politique d'Alberoni . Paris : A. Colin, 1910. (La diplomatie secrète au XVIIIe siècle; ses débuts, II); Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 169-176; Guitarte Izquierdo, Vidal. Episcopologio Español (1700-1867). Españoles obispos en España, América, Filipinas y otros países. Rome : Instituto Español de Historia Eclesiástica, 1994. (Publicaciones del Instituto Español de Historia Eclesiástica; Subsidia; 29), p. 42, no. 162; Harcourt-Smith, Simon. Cardinal of Spain : the life and strange career of Alberoni. New York : A.A. Knopf, 1944; Notizie per l'anno1753. In Roma MDCCLIII Nella Stamperia del Chracas, p. 132, no. 43; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, V, 30-31, 45 and 52; 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, p. 44; Weber, Christoph. Legati e governatori dello Stato Pontificio : 1550-1809. Roma : Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1994. (Pubblicazioni degli archivi di Stato. Sussidi; 7), pp. 60, 371 and 446.

Links. Biography Ewan Macpherson, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, (Britannica); Storia di Giulio Alberoni by Stefano Bersani, in Italian, Google libros; images and biography, in Italian, Collegio Alberioni; his last illness and death, in Italian, Supplemento al foglio di Bologna delli 4. luglio 1741; his engraving by an anonymous artist; his portrait by Giovanni Maria Delle Piane, called il Mulinaretto, Biblioteca Classense, Ravenna, Istituto per i beni artistici culturali e naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna; his portrait, copy by Rafael Tejeo from an origiginl by an anonymous artist, Museo Naval de Madrid, Centro Virtual Cervantes; his portrait by Francesco Trevisani, Badminton House, England, Associazione Piacenza Musei; his portrait by Piera Faustini, Museo Lombardi, Parma; his portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; his portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali; plaque in the house where he died, in via Alberoni 20, Piacenza; and his mausoleum by Giovanni Cybei, church of S. Lazzaro, Collegio Alberoni, Piacenza.

(1) This is according to Guitarte, Episcopologio Español (1700-1867), p 42, no. 62; Notizie per l'anno1753, p.132, no. 43; and Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, p. 31, note. 2. Harcourt-Smith, Cardinal of Spain : the life and strange career of Alberoni, p. 17, says that he was born on March 21, 1664. His first biography in English, linked above, says that he was born on May 30, 1664. The second biography in English, also linked above, says that he was born on May 21, 1664.

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(58) 1. CSÁKY, Imre (1672-1732)

Birth. October 28, 1672, Castle of Zips (Spis) Szepesváre (or Szepesvárban), fief of his family, diocese of Eger, Hungary (1). Of an ancient and wealthy family. Son of Count István Csáky and his second wife, Klára Melith. Before he was ten years old, he was destined to an ecclesiastical career; on March 2, 1682, he was appointed honorary abbot of Kereki. His first name is also listed as Emerico.

Education. On August 5, 1682, he started his education at Jesuit Collegio Cassoviensis, under the supervision of Father János Kecskeméti, S.J.; it lasted until 1688; he then attended the Capitular school at Cassovia (Kosice), 1688; later, he went to Collegium Pazmaneum, Vienna, 1690-1693 ( masters of artes, 1691; doctorate in philosophy, 1693); finally, he studied at Collegio Germanico-Hungarico, Rome, 1693-1695 (obtained a doctorate in theology, September 5, 1695); received the diaconate on December 18, 1694. He was named canon of the cathedral chapter of Eger in 1693. He returned to Hungary in June 1695.

Priesthood. Ordained on May 1, 1696. Pastor in Cassova, May 9, 1696. Abbot commendatario of the monastery of Tapolca, June 2, 1696. In 1699, as a member of the committee formed to settle the affairs of counties, he moved to Vienna. On June 30, 1701, he was named royal councilor. The following year, 1702, he was appointed vice-chancellor of the royal court. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Esztergom on August 8, 1702, leaving the canonship of Eger, where he had had personal conflicts with Pethes András, the provost. Abbot commendatario of the monastery of Szent Gothárdi, 1703.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Nagyvárad, June 25, 1703 (2). Consecrated, August 5, 1703, by Franz Anton von Harrach zu Rorau, archbishop of Salzburg. He participated in the Annual Bratislava National Assembly in 1708. Provost of the collegiate church of Pozsony (or Pressburg, or Bratislava), 1710. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Kalocsa-Bács, retaining the administration of Nagyvárad and that of Pozsony, for a quinquennium, November 19, 1714. He was granted the pallium on February 4, 1715. He designed the foundation of the present Italian-baroque style cathedral of Kalocsa. Administrator of the see of Eger.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal and reserved in pectore in the consistory of July 12, 1717; published in the consistory of October 1, 1717; with the papal bull of October 8, 1717, the pope sent him the red biretta. Lord Lieutenant of counties of Bács and Bihar. In 1718, he attempted to list the mineral waters of Hungary. Participated in the conclave of 1721, which elected Pope Innocent XIII. Received the red hat and the title of S. Eusebio, June 16, 1721. Did not participate in the conclave of 1724, which elected Pope Benedict XIII. Did not participate in the conclave of 1730, which elected Pope Clement XII.

Death. August 28, 1732, Castle of Skalca, that he had built near Nagyvárad. Buried in the church of Szent Anna, Debrecen, Hungary, of the Piarist Fathers, that he had founded.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 176-177; Málnási, Ödön. Gróf Csáky Imre bíbornok élete és kora, 1672-1732. Kalocsa : A Gróf Csáky Csafád Kiadása, 1933; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1952, V, 31, 45, 164 and 405; 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), p. 327.

Links. Biography, in Hungarian, Magyar Katolikus Lexikon; biographical entry, in Hungarian, Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár; and brief biographical data , in Hungarian, n. 15 under Csáky, Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár; his portrait, Archdiocesan Museum of Kalocsa; another portrait, from the same source; another view of the same portrait; and his engraving and biography, in Hungarian, Wikipédia.

(1) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, V, 404. His first biography, linked above, indicates that he was born on October 18, 1672.
(2) The diocese of Nagyvárad of the Latins, or Varadino, or Gran Varadino, was established in 1077. It was united to Satu Mare, Szatmár, on June 5, 1930; separated on June 28, 1940; united again on April 9, 1948; and separated again on October 18, 1982. It is now Oradea Mare in Rumania and it is suffragan of Bucarest.

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