The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XIII (1758-1769)
Consistory of October 2, 1758 (II)


(2) 1. PRIULI, Antonio Marino (1707-1772)

Birth. August 17 (or 25), 1707, born at sea while his parents were returning to Venice, because they had gone to Padua to venerate S. Antonio (1). From a noble patrician family. Fifth of the eight children of Antonio Marin Priuli and Cornelia Cornaro. The other siblings were Cecilia, Marina, Laura, Lucrezia, Antonio Marin (called Giovanni), Antonio Marin (called Luigi) Antonio Marin (also called Luigi). He was baptized in the parish church of S. Felice. His first name is also listed as Antonio Marin; and as Antonio Maria. Grand-nephew of Cardinal Giorgio Cornaro (1697), on his mother's side. Other cardinals of another line of the family were Lorenzo Priuli (1596); Matteo Priuli (1616); Pietro Priuli (1706); Luigi Priuli (1712).

Education. He received his initial education at home under the directions of the preceptors; having decided to enter the ecclesiastical state, he went to study theology with the Jesuits, in the private school of Father Pola, celebrated theologian. Them, he studied at the University of Padua, where he obtained a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law on August 31, 1734. Received the insignias of the clerical character on December 21, 1728; the minor orders on December 27, 1728; the subdiaconate on September 3, 1730; and the diaconate on September 8, 1730.

Priesthood. Ordained on September 10, 1730. Entered the Roman prelature. Nominated to the see of Vicenza by the Republic of Venice.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Vicenza on December 19, 1738. Consecrated on January 18, 1739, Rome, by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, January 18, 1738.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of October 2, 1758; with an apostolic brief of October 4, 1758, the pope sent him the red biretta with ablegato Monsignor Felice Savorgnano; received the red hat on June 2, 1759; and the title of S. Maria della Pace, July 13, 1759. Opted for the title of S. Marco, April 19, 1762. Ascribed to the SS. CC. of the Tridentine Council, Bishops and Regulars, Rites, and Indulgences and Sacred Relics. Transferred to the see of Padua, April 6, 1767. Participated in the conclave of 1769, which elected Pope Clement XIV.

Death. October 26, 1772, Treville, a place of rest of his family, municipality of Castelfranco Veneto, where he had gone trying to improve his vacillating health. His body was transferred to Padua and exposed in its cathedral, where the solemn exequies took place with the participation of the canons of the cathedral chapter and the clergy; he was buried in the sepulchre of the bishops in that cathedral.

Bibliography. Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, LV, 254-255; 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. 20, 45,46, 330 and 441; 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. 552-555; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 781.

Links. His portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Italy; his engraving by Pietro Antonio Pazzi, CalcoGRAFICA - Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, Italy; his engraving by Pietro Antonio Pazzi, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; and another engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek.

(1) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi, VI, 441. Seidler, Päpste und Kardinäle in der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts (1730-1777), p. 553; and Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni, LV, 254, say that he was born on August 25, 1707.

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(3) 2. PIERRE DE BERNIS, François-Joachim de (1715-1794)

Birth. May 22, 1715, château of Saint-Marcel-d'Ardèche, his parents' ancestral home, diocese of Nîmes, France. Of a noble but impoverished family. Son of François (Joachim) de Pierre de Bernis and Élisabeth du Chastel de Condres. His first name is also listed as Pierres de Bernis; and as de Bernis only. Grand-uncle of Cardinal Anne-Louis-Henri de La Fare (1823).

Education. Initial education at home by his mother and private tutors; then, he studied at the school of the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul (Barnabites); later, at the Jesuit Collège Louis-le-Grand, Paris, from 1729; and finally, in 1731, at Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, Paris, where he completed his studies in 1734. Received the insignias of the clerical character.

Early life. For his family connections he was named canon of the cathedral chapters of Brioude in 1738; and Lyons in 1750. He went to Paris to look for fortune. At this time, he wrote his poetry , light and frivolous improper of his state but very well received by the Parisian high society; later in life, he deplored these writings. Cardinal André-Hercule de Fleury, then prime minister, who had promised to help Abbé Bernis, having learned of his dissipated life, reprimanded him and told him that he had nothing to expect from the prime minister. Member of the Académie Française, November 26, 1744, in recognition of his poetical writings. He acquainted himself with the wealthy and met the future Madame de Pompadour and in 1745, he became member of her entourage. Thanks to her friendship, he was appointed French ambassador to Venice in 1751; occupied the post in October 1752; he remained in the post until 1755; he gained the appreciation of Pope Benedict XIV for helping solve the Holy See's differences with the government of the Republic of Venice.

Sacred orders. Received the subdiaconate from the patriarch of Venice in 1755. Returned to France in May 1755. King Louis XV named him minister of State in early 1757; and minister of foreign affairs in June 1757. He negotiated the treaty of alliance of France and Austria against England and Prussia on May 1, 1756, which produced the Seven Years War.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of October 2, 1758; the pope sent him the red biretta with an apostolic brief dated October 9, 1758. No deaconry was assigned to him. The unpopularity of the Seven Years War and the loss of Madame de Pompadour's friendship forced him in November 1758 to submit his resignation to the king, who banished him in December 1758 to one of his four abbeys, Vic-sur-Aisne, in Soissons. He was ordained priest on September 6, 1760, in the chapel of the episcopal palace of Soissons, by Cardinal Dominique de La Rochefoucauld, archbishop of Rouen, future cardinal, in the presence of Bishop François Fitz-James of Soissons. Nominated archbishop of Albi by King Louis XV of France on May 27, 1764.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Albi, July 9, 1764; on that same day he was granted the pallium. Consecrated, August 5, 1764, at the cathedral of Sans, by Cardinal Paul d'Albert de Luynes, archbishop of Sens, assisted by Joseph-Bruno de Bausset-Roquefort, bishop of Béziers, and by Jean-Baptiste Champio de Cicé, bishop of Auxerre. He was offered the post of ambassador of France before the Holy See in April 1769 he did not accept until the end of the conclave in the following May 30; occupied the post until March 22, 1791, when he was removed. Participated in the conclave of 1769, which elected Pope Clement XIV. Received the red hat on June 22, 1769. Opted for the order of priests and the title of S. Silvestro in Capite, June 26, 1769. He has received more blame than he deserves in the suppression of the Society of Jesus by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. It is known that he regretted the measure, and that as ambassador of France he tried to avert it by assisting the wavering pope in securing the delays for which he had asked. But the pressure exercised by the Bourbons of Spain, Naples, and France, and the passive attitude and tacit consent of Austria ended the negotiations abruptly. Opted for the order of bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano, retaining the administration of Albi, April 18, 1774. Participated in the conclave of 1774-1775, which elected Pope Pius VI. During the French Revolution, he celebrated, in the national church of S. Luigi dei Francesi, a solemn funeral for King Louis XVI, who had been executed on the guillotine. He offered refuge in his palace to the French princes and clergy in exile in Rome. Forced to take the constitutional oath, he sent a document with so many reservations that was considered null on January 5, 1791; the archdiocese was declared vacant on he following February 15. He was deprived of all his French benefices by the Revolution. Apostolic visitor of the French foundations, December 10, 1793. He frequently corresponded with Joseph Pâris-Duverney and with François-Marie Arouet, Voltaire; their correspondence has been published.

Death. November 3, 1794, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Marcello, Rome, where the funeral took place, and buried in the church of S. Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. Pope Pius VI bestowed on him the epithet "Protector of the Church of France". Later, in 1803, with permission from First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte, his remains were transferred to the cathedral of Nîmes and buried there; his heart and entrails (præcordia) remained buried in the church of S. Luigi dei Francesi, Rome .

Bibliography. Bernis, François-Joachim de Pierres. Mémoires et lettres de François-Joachim de Pierre cardinal de Bernis 1715-1758. 2 vols. Paris : Plon, 1878. Responsibility: publiés avec l'autorisation de sa famille d' après les manuscrits inédits par Frédiric Masson; Bernis, François-Joachim de Pierres. Oeuvres de François-Joachim de Pierre, cardinal de Bernis.... Paris : Ménard et Desenne fils, 1822; Bernis, François-Joachim de Pierres. Poésies diverses. Préface per Fernand Drujon. Paris : A. Quantin, 1882. Notice bio-bibliographique par Fernand Drujon. Note: Petits poètes du XVIIIe siècle; Berton, Charles. Dictionnaire des cardinaux, contenant des notions générales sur le cardinalat, la nomenclature complète ..., des cardinaux de tous les temps et de tous les pays ... les détails biographiques essentiels sur tous les cardinaux ... de longues études sur les cardinaux célèbre .... Paris : J.-P. Migne, 1857 ; Facsimile edition. Farnborough ; Gregg, 1969, col. 516-519; Cheke, Marcus, The Cardinal de Bernis. London : Cassell, 1958; Desprat, Jean-Paul. Le Cardinal de Bernis : la belle ambition (1715-1794). Paris : Perrin, 2000; Mc Shane, E. D. "Bernis, François Joachim de Pierre de." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America. 19 vols. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1967-1996, 2, 352-353; Pierres de Bernis, François Joachim de ; Paris du Verney, Joseph. Correspondance du Cardinal de Bernis avec M. Paris-Du-Verney, depuis 1752, jusqu'en 1769; pricidie d'une notice historique. 2 vols. Londres ; Paris : [s.n.], 1790; 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. 20, 39, 49 and 73; Rouart, Jean-Marie. Bernis : le cardinal des plaisirs. Paris : Gallimard, 1998; Vaillot, René. Le cardinal de Bernis : la vie extraordinaire d'un honnête homme. Paris : Abin Michel, 1985; Voltaire ; Bourgoing, Jean François de ; Pierres de Bernis, François Joachim de. Correspondance de Voltaire et du Cardinal de Bernis depuis 1761 jusqu'` 1777. Publiée d'aprhs leurs lettres originales, avec quelques notes, par le citoyen Bourgoing. Paris : Dupont, 1799.

Links. Biography by Joseph Sollier, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English (Brittanica); his portrait, engraving and biography, in English, Wikipedia; his engraving and biography, in French, Wikipedia; biography, in French, Academie Française; Memoirs et lettres de François-Joachim de Pierre, cardinal de Bernis (1715-1794), in French, The Internet Archive; Cover of: Memoirs and letters of Cardinal de Bernis by François-Joachim de Pierre de Bernis, with an introd. by C.-A. Sainte-Beuve; translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley. Illustrated with portraits from the original, Open Library; Le cardinal de Bernis depuis son ministère, 1758-1794: La suppression des jésuites; Le schisme constitutionnel by Frédéric Masson, in French, Internet Archive; his portrait by an anonymous artists, Palais de Versailles, Ministère de Culture et Communication, France; his portrait by an anonymous artists, Palais de Versailles, Ministère de Culture et Communication, France; his portrait by an anonymous artist, Hotel de Puy-Montbrun de Montélimar, Ministère de Culture et Communication, France; his portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs, Walters Arts Museum, Baltimore, Maryland, Fondazione Federico Zeri, Bologna; his portrait by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Christie's; his engraving by Domenico Cunego, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Italy; detail of the same engraving by Domenico Cunego, Archives diplomatiques, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, France; François-Joachim de Bernis, diplomate clairvoyant, Portraits de cardinaux français du XVIe au XXe siècle, la-Croix.com; his engraving by Pietro Antonio Pazzi, CalcoGRAFICA - Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, Italy; two engravings, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving by Charles Germain de St Aubin, Magyar Elektronikus Könyvtár, Hungary; his engraving, Patrimoine Culturel Numérisé, Ministère de Culture et Communication, France; his engraving by Domenico Cunego, Sirpac sistema informativo Regione Marche, Italy; monument with his præcordia in church of S. Luigi dei Francesi, Rome.

(1) This is the inscription in the monument, taken from Requuiem Datednbank, linked above:

D     .     0     .     M     .
PRÆCORDIA
FRANCISCI IOACHIM DE PIERRE DE BERNIS S . R . E. CARD . ALBANEN .
ARCHIEPISCOPI ALBIENSIS
GALLIÆ APUND SANCTAM SEDEM ORATORIS
OBIIT ROMÆ III . NON . NOUEMBRIS ANN . SAL . MDCCXCIV .
ÆTATIS SUÆ OCTUAGESIMO

AVUNCULI CINERES
IN PATRIAM TRANSFERRI
ET IN ECCLESIA NEMAUSIENSI
CONDI CURAVIT
RENATUS DE BERNIS
EX SORORE PRONEPOS
ANNO DOMINI MDCCCIII

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