The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XIV (1769-1774)
Consistory of January 29, 1770 (II)


(1) 1. MAREFOSCHI, Mario (1714-1780)

Birth. September 10, 1714, Macerata. Second of the three children of Gianfrancesco Compagnoni Masucci and Maria Giulia Marefoschi. The other siblings were Camillo and Giuseppe. Nephew of Cardinal Prospero Marefoschi (1724). His last name is also listed as Marefoschi Compagnoni; and as Compagnoni Marefoschi.

Education. He did regolarmente gli studi volle abbracciare lo stato ecclesiastico (1).

Early life. In December 1740, he assumed the Marefoschi prelature and placed that last name before his own. Referendary of the Tribunals of the Signature of Justice and of Grace, December 22, 1740. Relator of S.C. of the Apostolic Visit, December 1740; and of the S.C. of Good Government, January 1742-1751. Voter of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Grace. Prelate of the S.C. of the Council. Auditor of Cardinal Henry Benedict Mary Clement Stuart of York, July 1747. Secretary of the S.C. of Rites, August 1751 to 1759. Canon of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, July 22, 1753. Consultor of the S.C. of the Index, September 1753. Secretary ad interim of the S.C. of the Examination of Bishops, February 1756 (became secretary in December 1763); and, simultaneously, secretary of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, September 24, 1759 until September 10, 1770; and of the S.C. of the Correction of Oriental Books, December 1759. Dean of the Tribunal of the Signature of Grace, 1762. He was part of the SS. CC. of Apostolic Visit, Index and Examination of Bishops, as examiner in sacred canons. When he was not elevated to the cardinalate in the consistory of September 26, 1766, the city of Rome expressed its strong disapproval for the promotion of Monsignor Benedetto Veterani and exclusion of Monsignor Marefoschi; Cardinal Pietro Paolo Conti, from his sickbed, wrote to the pope saying that he would have willingly resigned his cardinalate in favor of the latter.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal and reserved in pectore in the consistory of January 29, 1770; published in the consistory of September 10, 1770; received the red hat, September 13, 1770; and the title of S. Agostino, December 12, 1770. Ascribed to the SS. CC. of the Council, Propaganda Fide, Index, Examination of Bishops. Good Government, Avignon and Loreto. Protector of Ireland, January 11, 1771; and also of Collegio Irlandese, Rome; of Collegios S. Isidoro, Fuccioli and Germanico-Ungarico, Rome; of the Theological Academy, Rome; of the province della Marca; of the cities of Macerata, Ancona, Sanseverino, Orvieto, Todi, Tivoli, Imola and Gubbio; and of other lands and artistic universities. He obtained for the cathedral of Macerata from Pope Clement XIV the mosaic of S. Michele Arcangelo by Calendra. The Accademia de' Catenari, in Macerta, celebrated his promotion to the cardinalate with a session in its public palace in which il dotto Pirro Aurispa delivered an erudite oration praising the new cardinal, which was printed in Osimo in 1772. Prefect of the S.C. of Rites, July 1771 until his death. Archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran basilica, February 1771. Member of the commission to execute the suppression of the Society of Jesus, 1773 . He was known for his philo-Jansenist leanings and his friendship with Pietro Tamburini, a noted Jansenist author and celebrated professor of the University of Paris, and for having recommended the removal of the Jesuits from staffing the Pontifical Irish College, Rome. Participated in the conclave of 1774-1775, which elected Pope Pius VI. Legate a latere for the closing of the holy door of the patriarchal Lateran basilica for the Jubilee of the Holy Year 1775, November 13, 1775. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, March 30, 1778 until March 1, 1779.

Death. December 23, 1780, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Marcello, Rome, where the funeral took place; the body was privately transported to and buried in his title, S. Agostino.

Bibliography. Giochi, Filippo M. Un eminente bibliofilo maceratese del secolo XVIII : il Cardinale Mario Compagnoni Meerfoschi e la sua biblioteca. Loreto : Tecnostampa Editore, 1999; Marefoschi, Mario Compagnoni ; Clement; XIV. Relazione della visita apostolica del collegio Ibernese fatta dall'Emminenrissimo e Reverendissimo Signor Cardinale Mario Marefoschi presentata alla Santità di Nostro Signore Clemente XIV. Roma : Nella stamperia di Marco Pagliarini, MDCCLXXII. Con licenza de' superiori; Monaldini, Giuseppe Antonio ; Marefoschi, Mario Compagnoni. Bibliothecae Marii Compagnonii Marefusci S.R.E. Cardinalis catalogus. Publice prostabit Romae :Administrante venditionem Iosepho Antonio Monaldinio, 1786; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, XLII, 270-271; 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. 27, 42 and 56; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 590; Weber, Christoph. Die päpstlichen Referendare 1566-1809 : Chronologie und Prosopographie. 3 vols. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 2003-2004. (Päpste und Papsttum ; Bd. 31/1, 31/2, 31/3; Variation: Päpste und Papsttum ; Bd. 31), II, 719.

Links. His portrait, Collegiate church of S. Stefano in Monte Santo, I Santesi Weblog; his portrait, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - CulturaItalia; his portrait, engraving and arms, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni, XLII, 270: the appropriate studies to embrace the ecclesiastical state.

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