The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XII (1730-1740)
Consistory of September 28, 1733 (VI)
Celebrated in Rome


(14) 1. PASSERI, Marcello (1678-1741)

Birth. June 7, 1678, Ariano. Son of Ascanio Passeri and Antonia Intonti. He was baptized on the same day of his birth. His last name is also listed as Passari.

Education. Initial studies with the Jesuits; then, he studied law in Naples; and later at La Sapienza University, Rome (doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law, May 20, 1699). Received the subdiaconate, December 19, 1699; diaconate, June 10, 1702.

Priesthood. Ordained, June 10, 1702, the same day he received the diaconate. In the diocese of Ariano, he was canon of its cathedral chapter and vicar general; and practice law as advocate of the poor. In 1709, he went to Rome at the invitation of his cousin Giovanni Zaverio da Leone, auditor of Cardinal Lorenzo Corsini, future Pope Clement XII. While in Rome, he deepened his law studies. Auditor of Cardinal Álvaro Cienfuegos, S.J. When his cousin was raised to the episcopate, he became auditor of Cardinal Corsini. Pope Benedict XIII, who had met him in Benevento, where he was archbishop, appointed Msgr. Passari as one of the canonist of the Council of Letran celebrated in 1725. The same pope planned to name him bishop of Avellino e Frigento, after the resignation of Cardinal Francesco Antonio Finy in 1726, but because of difficulties, the promotion did not advance. Conclavist of Cardinal Corsini in the conclave of 1730, in which the cardinal was elected pope. Uditore Santissimo; after his promotion to the cardinalate, he became pro-uditore. The pope named him canon of the chapter of the patriarchal Vatican basilica but he declined; then the pope gave several rich benefices in the kingdom of Naples.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Nazianzo, March 5, 1731. Consecrated, March 11, 1731, Rome, by Cardinal Álvaro Cienfuegos Villazón, S.J., archbishop of Monreale. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, March 31, 1731. Regent (sigillatore) of the Apostolic Penitentiary, June 12, 1731; and datary of the chancery.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of September 28, 1733; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria in Aracoeli, December 2, 1733. Together with Cardinals Neri Maria Corsini and Antonio Saverio Gentili, he was asked by the pope to try to end the dispute between the royal court of Portugal and the Holy See over the provision of bishops for that kingdom and establish a concordat; the mission was successful and the concordat was signed in the library of the convent of Aracoeli, Rome; for future memory, Father Giuseppe Maria di Evora, later plenipotentiary minister of Portugal in Rome, had a portrait, which is still in that library, painted; in the portrait appear the three cardinals and Father Evora. Protector of the Apostolic Hospice S. Michele. Protector of the Benedictine Congregation of Monte Vergine, January 21, 1737. Participated in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV. In 1741, he started suffering from several illness and traveled to Loreto seeking to recover; returned to Rome, where the illnesses aggravated; he was visited by Pope Benedict XIV at his house, shortly before dying.

Death. September 25, 1741, Rome. Transferred to the church of S. Maria in Portico, Rome, on September 26, 1741; the capella papalis took place the following day, and according to his will, he was buried in the middle of that church under a tombstone with his cardinalitial arms and an elegant inscription placed by his nephew Giuseppe Antonio Passari (1).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 262-264; Notizie per l'anno 1736. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1736, p. 187-188; Notizie per l'anno bissestile 1752. Rome : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, presso S. Marco al Corso, 1752, p. 120, no. 5; 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. 7, 46 and 303; Seidler, Sabrina M.; Weber, Christoph. Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777) : das biographische Werk des Patriziers von Lucca Bartolomeo Antonio Talenti. Frankfurt am Main ; New York : Peter Lang, 2007. (Beiträge zur Kirchen- und Kulturgeschichte, Bd. 18), p. 222-224.

Links. His portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali ; and his engraving by Girolamo Rossi, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna.

(1) This is the text of the inscription taken from Seiedler, Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777):

D.O.M.
MARCELLO E VETUSTA PASSERIORUM
ARIANENSI FAMILIA
Cui CAROLUS CAESAREO DIPLOMATE
AQUILA GENTILITIO STEMMATI
ADDERE INDULSIT
CLEMENTIS XII. P.O.M. AUDITORI
AC INDE
S.R.E. PRESBYTERO CARDINALI
TITULI S.M. DE ARACOELI
PIETATE DOCTRINA ET PRUDENTIA
SPECTATISSIMO
VIX. ANN, LXIII. M. III, D. XVIII.
OB VII. KAL. OCTOBRIS
ANN. MDCCXLI.
JOSEPH ANTONIUS PASSERI
BENEDICTI XIV. P.O.M.
A CUBICULO HONORIS
PATRUO BEN. P.

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(15) 2. SPINOLA, Giovanni Battista (1681-1752)

Birth. July 6, 1681, Genoa (1). Of a patrician family. Eldest of the seven children of Francesco Spinola and Maria Negroni. Of the other six siblings only one daugther got married. Some sources call him iuniore. Grand-nephew of Cardinal Gianfrancesco Negroni (1686), on his mother's side. Related to Cardinal Niccolò Serra (1766), also on his mother's side. Other cardinals of the various branches of the Spinola family were Agostino Spinola (1527); Filippo Spinola (1583); Orazio Spinola (1606); Agustín Spínola (1621); Giandomenico Spinola (1626); Giulio Spinola (1666); Giambattista Spinola, seniore (1681); Giambattista Spinola, iuniore (1695); Niccolò Spinola (1715); Giorgio Spinola (1719); Girolamo Spinola (1759); and Ugo Pietro Spinola (1831)

Education. Went to Rome when he was fifteen years old and studied at Seminario Romano; later, he continued his education under the direction of his uncle Cardinal Negroni studying canon, civil and criminal law at La Sapienza University, where he obtained a doctoraate.

Early life. Auditor of his uncle the cardinal. Privy chamberlain of His Holiness, 1707. Entered the Roman prelature, 1711. Governor of Benevento, October 26, 1712; while in that city, because of his good conduct of affairs, he obtained the favor of Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini, its archbishop, future Pope Benedict XIII. Relator of the S.C. of the Sacred Consulta, and auditor of Cardinal Annibale Albani, camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, 1717. Cleric of the Apostolic Chamber, 1722. Governor of Castelnuovo, 1723. Secretary of the S.C. of the Sacred Consulta, September 1724. Received the diaconate, April 1726.

Priesthood. Ordained, February 15, 1728, Rome, by Pope Benedict XIII. Governor of Rome and vice-camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, May 30, 1728 until September 28, 1733.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of September 28, 1733; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Cesareo in Palatio, December 2, 1733. Legate in Bologna, December 2, 1733, for a triennium; prorogated for another triennium, September 28, 1736; vice-legate, March 11, 1740; last time documented in the post, the following October 14; his years in Bologna were very difficult because Italy was besieged by foreign troops and suffered severe shortages. Legate a latere in the duchies of Parma and Piacenza, retaining his other legation, January 8, 1734. Abbot commendatario of Subiaco, 1738. Participated in the conclave of 1740, which elected Pope Benedict XIV. Prefect of the S.C. of Ecclesiastical Immunity, June 15, 1741, after the death of Cardinal Giacomo Lanfredini. Opted for the title of S. Maria degli Angeli, September 23, 1743. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 17, 1746 until April 10, 1747.

Episcopate. Opted for the order of bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano, November 15, 1751. Consecrated, April 9, 1752, in the Pauline chapel of the Apostolic Palace of Quirinale, Rome, by Pope Benedict XIV.

Death. August 20, 1752, Albano Laziale, of an apoplexy suffered while visiting his diocese (2). Transferred to Rome the following day. The capella papalis took place on August 23, 1752, in Gesù church, of the professed house of the Society of Jesus, with the participation of Pope Benedict XIV; and, according to his will, he was buried in that same church, in the tomb of the Negorni family, without any funeral memorial.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1794, VIII, 264-265; Del Re, Niccolò. Monsignor governatore di Roma. Rome : Istituto di Studi Romani Ediotres, 1972, pp. 113-114; Notizie per l'anno1753. In Roma MDCCLIII : Nella Stamperia del Chracas, p. 132, no. 44; 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. 7, 39, 45, 50 and 56; Seidler, Sabrina M.; Weber, Christoph. Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777) : das biographische Werk des Patriziers von Lucca Bartolomeo Antonio Talenti. Frankfurt am Main ; New York : Peter Lang, 2007. (Beiträge zur Kirchen- und Kulturgeschichte, Bd. 18), p. 296-297; 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. 143, 159, 361 and 929; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 662 and 914.

Links. His engraving by Rocco Pozzi, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; and his engraving by Rocco Pozzi, Banque d'images, Centre de Recherche, Château de Versailles.

(1) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi, VI, p. 7; and Notizie per l'anno1753, p. 132, no. 44. Seidler, Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777), p. 296, says that he was born on July 9, 1681.
(2) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi, VI, p. 7 and 39; and Del Re, Monsignor governatore di Roma, p. 114. Seidler, Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777), p. 297; and Notizie per l'anno1753, p. 132, no. 44, indicate that he died on August 21, 1752.

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