The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Clement XIV (1769-1774)
Consistory of March 15, 1773 (X)


(12) 1. DE SIMONE, Gennaro Antonio (1714-1780)

Birth. September 17, 1714, Ginestra, fiefdom of his maternal family, archdiocese of Benevento. From the noble family of the marquises De Simone. He was the fourth of five children. The other siblings were Francesca, one who died at birth, Alessandro and Francesco. Uncle of Cardinal Camillo De Simone (1816). Grand-uncle of Cardinal Domenico De Simone (1830). His first name is also listed as Ianuarius Antonius; and his last name as De Simeoni.

Education. Studied at the Seminary of Benevento; he also studied law.

Early life. Went to Rome in the pontificate of Pope Benedict XIV and entered the service of the Holy See. Abbot comendatario of S. Elia a Pianisi from 1751. Prelate of the S.C. of the Reverend Fabric of St. Peter's basilica, May 1753. Civil auditor of the general auditor of the Apostolic Chamber, December 1753. Auditor of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Justice, September 1759. Second lieutenant of the auditor general of the Apostolic Chamber, November 1762; first lieutenant, July 1763. Auditor of His Holiness (uditore Santissimo), October 1767; confirmed in the post by Pope Clement XIV. Protonotary apostolic ad honorem, November 1767. Named canon of the chapter of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, December 1767.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of March 15, 1773; received the red hat on March 18, 1773; and the title of S. Bernardo alle Terme, April 19, 1773. Ascribed to the SS. CC. of Council, Rites, Examination of Bishops, and Regular Discipline. Protector of Benevento; of Morrovalle; and of the monastery of S. Chiara in Monte Lupone. Participated in the conclave of 1774-1775, which elected Pope Pius VI.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Pesaro, March 13, 1775. Consecrated, April 30, 1775, cathedral of Frascati, by Cardinal Henry Benedict Mary Stuart, bishop of Frascati, duke of York, assisted by Orazio Mattei, titular archbishop of Colosso, and by Stefano Evodio Assemani, titular archbishop of Apamea. Prefect of the S.C. of Religious Immunity, February 1779. Resigned government of the diocese because of illness, on August 18, 1779, and retired to Terni.

Death. December 16, 1780, after a long and painful illness, in Terni. Exposed and buried in the church of S. Francesco, Terni, where the funeral also took place.

Bibliography. Allegretti, Guido F. Visita pastorale del cardinale Gennaro Antonio de Simone alla diocesi di Pesaro. Pesaro : Walter Stafoggia Editore, 2007; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, LXVI, 161; 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 339; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), III, 475.

Link. His portrait, diocese of Pesaro; his portrait, diocese of Pesaro; his portrait, ARTPAST, Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali, Italy; his engraving by Domenico Cunego, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; Visita pastorale del cardinale Gennaro Antonio de Simone alla diocesi di Pesaro, flickr; Cronotassi dei Vescovi della Diocesi di Pesaro, in Italian, Archidiocesi di Pesaro.

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