The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius VI (1775-1799)
Consistory of July 12, 1779 (IX)


(29) 1. HRZÁN Z HARASOVA, František de Paula (1735-1804)

Birth. April 5, 1735, Prague, Bohemia. Son of Sigmund Gustav Herzán von Harras and Maria Anna von Harrach, niece of Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach of Salzburg. He was baptized on April 9, 1735. His name is also listed as Herczan von Harras, Herzan von Harras, and Franziskus Hertzan von Harras.

Education. Obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, on March 29, 1757; and a doctorate in law in 1758; he resided at the Pontifical Collegio Germanico, while in Rome.

Priesthood. Ordained, February 18, 1758. Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota for the German nation in 1769; took possession on February 26, 1771. Abbot commendatario of the monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Almád.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of July 12, 1779; received the red hat on July 15, 1779; and the title of S. Girolamo degli Schiavoni on December 11, 1780. Ascribed to the SS. CC. of the Council, Propaganda Fide, Bishops and Regulars, and Index. Plenipotentiary minister of Austria before the Holy See and protector of the Holy Roman Empire and of the kingdoms and of the Austrian heriditary states, January 1780. Protector of Germany, April 1780. He resided in Rome until 1796, when he returned to Austria, Imperial privy state counselor. Decorated with the grand cross of the Order of Sankt Stefan. Opted for the title of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo on September 13, 1782. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, March 10, 1788 until March 30, 1789. Opted for the title of S. Croce in Gerusalemme on April 7, 1788. Participated in the conclave of 1799-1800, which elected Pope Pius VII; he manifested the displeasure of Holy Roman Emperor Franz II against the election of Cardinals Giacinto Sigismondo Gerdil, B., and Carlo Bellisomi.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Szombathely, May 12, 1800. Consecrated, Sunday May 18, 1800, convent of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, by Pope Pius VII, assisted by Antonio Despuig y Dameto, Latin patriarch of Antioch, and by Cesare Brancadoro, titular archbishop of Nisibi.

Death. June 1, 1804, after a painful illness, Vienna. His body was transported to the cathedral of Szombathely, where a solemn funeral was celebrated; and buried, according to his will, in that cathedral. On June 18, 1804, the Cistercian monks of the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, his title, celebrated a funeral for the late cardinal.

Bibliography. Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, XXXIII, 236-237; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 33, 43, 47 and 56; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VII (1800-1846). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, p. 328.

Links. His portrait and biography, in German, Wikipedia; biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; images, bibliography and biography, in Hungarian, Vasi Digitális Könyvtár; his portrait by Antonio Cherubini, collegiate church of St. Peter, Bautzen, Deutsche Fotothek, Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden; his engraving by Antonio Capellan, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving by Anton von Maron, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; and The Hrzan Family, in Czech, genealogycz.misto.cz.

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(30) 2. MATTEI, Alessandro (1744-1820)

Birth. February 20, 1744, Rome. Of one of the most ancient families of the Roman aristocracy. Eldest of the four children of Prince Girolamo Mattei, duke of Giove, and his second wife, Maria Caterina Altieri. The other children were Carlo Maria (canon of the patriarchal Vatican basilica); Lorenzo Girolamo (cardinal, 1833); and Maria Eugenia (nun in Regina Coeli). Prince Girolamo had a son, Giuseppe (4th duke of Giove), from his first wife Anna Maria Falconieri. Related, on his mother's side, to Pope Clement X. Nephew of Cardinals Luigi Mattei (1753); and Vincenzo Maria Altieri (1777), on his mother's side. Other cardinals of the Mattei family were Girolamo Mattei (1586); Gaspare Mattei (1643); Orazio Mattei (1686); and Ruggero Luigi Emidio Antici Mattei (1875). Another cardinal of the Altieri family was Giambattista Altieri, seniore (1643).

Education. He started his ecclesiastical career very young entering Seminario Romano in 1754, finishing his studies in 1762 with the public defense of his thesis (1); later, he studied at La Sapienza University, Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in utroque iure, both canon and civil law, on June 30, 1768.

Early life. Received from Pope Benedict XIV the priorate of S. Maria in Abbatissis; and the abbey of S. Croce di Sassoferrato in 1758. Canon of the chapter of the patriarchal Vatican basilica, November 15, 1766. Named privy chamberlain supernumerary of His Holiness in August 1767. Deacon of the Pontifical Chapel.

Priesthood. Ordained, February 27, 1768. Entered the Roman prelature as domestic prelate of His Holiness, July 13, 1768; and later, on July 21, 1768, as referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace. Relator of the S.C. of Good Government, November 1770. Apostolic visitor of the abbey of Farfa, from September 1775. Prelate of the S.C. of the Tridentine Council, 1775. Auditor of the cardinal camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, May 1776.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Ferrara, February 17, 1777. Consecrated, February 23, 1777, church of S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome, by Cardinal Bernardino Giraud, former archbishop of Ferrara, assisted by Marcantonio Conti, titular archbishop of Damasco, and by Giuseppe Maria Carafa, bishop of Mileto. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, March 9, 1777.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal reserved in pectore in the consistory of July 12, 1779; published in the consistory of May 22, 1782 celebrated in Ferrara; received the red hat and the title of S. Balbina in the consistory celebrated in Imola on May 27, 1782. Ascribed to the SS. CC. of Bishops and Regulars, Rites, Index and Fabric of St. Peter's basilica. He celebrated a diocesan synod in Ferrara on June 5 to 7, 1781 (2). Opted for the title of S. Maria in Aracoeli, April 3, 1786. On January 20, 1791, he wrote a pastoral letter addressed to the clergy and the faithful of the diocese in which with reference to the events of the French Revolution, never explicitly named, he defended the practice and the tenets of the Catholic religion, in particular the celibacy of priests, the frequent communion and the primacy of the pope. In this period, he welcomed in Ferrara a large number of priests emigrated from France who had not wanted to pledge allegiance to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy issued by the Revolution, but at the same time subjected them to careful monitoring. The French army occupied Ferrara on June 22, 1796; on the following day, a truce between the Holy See and Napoléon Bonaparte, placed Ferrara under French control; after the ephemeral occupation, the French pressed by the Austrian troops of General Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser left Ferrara in August; the legate a latere Cardinal Francesco Maria Pignatelli left and Cardinal Mattei assumed, temporarily in August 1796, the government of the city and of the province (3); he reestablished the papal authority. Called by Bonaparte on August 19, 1796 to his general headquarters in Brescia for his attempt to reestablish the papal government in Ferrara, the cardinal was harshly treated by Bonaparte and imprisoned; he was relegated to Milan as a hostage; and later to Brescia again; freed on October 30, 1796, he was allowed to return to Ferrara, remaining in the hands of the French. In that same month, Ferrara became part of the newly established Repubblica Cispadana, which on June 29, 1797, became the Repubblica Cisalpina. Napoléon saw Cardinal Mattei again in Ferrara in October 1796 and engaged him to obtain from Pope Pius VI to start peace negotiations. Cardinal Mattei arrived in Rome on October 27, 1796, but the proposal of Bonaparte was not taken into due consideration by the secretary of State, Cardinal Ignazio Busca, who, in accordance with the Congregation of State, opted for the path of procrastination. The consequences were not long in coming: in February 1797, the French army crossed the border, headed for Rome. Chosen by the pope to negotiate, the cardinal had to sign the disastrous Treaty of Tolentino on February 19, 1797; by this treaty, the Holy See abandoned the Legations and Avignon; the cardinal returned to Ferrara and had to resign his post for having refused to take the oath of the Cisalpine Republic. Participated in the conclave of 1799-1800, which elected Pope Pius VII. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Palestrina, April 2, 1800; he kept the administration of the see of Ferrara until August 24, 1807. Ascribed to the SS. CC. of Ecclesiastical Immunity (before March 17, 1802: and of the Holy Office (before October 29, 1804). In September 1804, he celebrated a synod in the diocese of Palestrina, which acts were printed in Rome in that same year. Named examiner of bishops in theology before June 22, 1805. Named protector of the Capuchins before July 25, 1807. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina, March 27, 1809. Sub-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. After the French occupation of Rome, he was named pro-datary on March 26, 1808. Named member of the S.C. for the Discipline of the Regulars before November 26 1808. Expelled from Rome on June 10, 1809 by order of the French authorities as a reprisal for posting the bull of excommunication against Emperor Napoléon; he was exiled to Bologna; and then to Paris, by imperial order, where he arrived in the following month of November; he refused to attended Napoleon's wedding to Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria on April 12, 1810, and because of this he was prohibited by Napoleon to wear the red cardinalitial habit and became one of the thirteen "black cardinals". He was relegated to Rethel (Ardennes) by order of the emperor (4); he remained there together with Cardinal Pignatelli until the signature of the Concordat of Fontainebleau by Pope Pius VII on January 25, 1813. Reunited with the pope, he was again exiled on January 27, 1814, to Alais; freed by an order of the provisional government on April 2, 1814. He rejoined the pope, who was on his way to Rome, in May 1814; entered the Eternal City with the pontiff on May 24, 1814. Named member of the Congregation for the examination of the disorders occurred in the secular and regular clergy, May 31, 1814; of the Congregation for the Reform, June 4, 1814; of the Commission to examine the position of Monsignor N. M. Nicolai, July 9, 1814; of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs when it was organized on July 19, 1814; and of the Consistorial Congregation on June 14, 1815. Confirmed as pro-datary of His Holiness on June 14, 1814; occupied the post until his death. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Ostia and Velletri, September 26, 1814. Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. Made his solemn entrance in Velletri on October 5, 1814; in June 1817, celebrated a diocesan synod, which acts were published in Rome in 1816; obtained from Pope Pius VII the faculty to institute in the seminary of Velletri courses of philosophy and theology to grant the doctorate to the seminarians; this disposition was abrogated later by Pope Leo XII. Named member of the Congregation Particular for the Reform of the Studies on December 30, 1814; and of the Commission to examine the acts of Cardinal Jean-Siffrein Maury on June 22, 1815. Named prefect of the S.C. Ceremonial on June 14, 1815. Became archpriest of the patriarchal Vatican basilica on May 10, 1817; and president of the Reverend Fabric of St. Peter's on the following June 1. Decorated with the grand cross of the Austrian Royal Order of Sankt Stephans of Hungary by Emperor Francis I of Austria during his visit to Rome in 1819. He became ill while officiating in St. Peter's basilica on April 14, 1820 and died six days later.

Death. April 20, 1820, Rome. Exposed in the church of S. Marcello, Rome, where the funeral took place; and buried in his family's chapel in the church of S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome (5).

Bibliography. Boutry, Philippe Souverain et Pontife : recherches prosopographiques sur la curie romaine à l'âge de la restauration, 1814-1846. Rome : École française de Rome, 2002, pp. 419-422; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, XLIII, 301-304; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 33, 42, 46 and 215; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VII (1800-1846). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 37and 38; Storti, Nicola. La storia e il diritto della Dataria Apostolica dalle origini ai nostri giorni. Napoli : Athena Mediterranea Editrice, 1969, p.173; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), II, 605.

Links. Biography by Renato Sansa, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 72 (2008), Treccani; biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; his engraving, Araldica Vaticana; his image, sitting down, on the painting of the signature of the Treaty of Tolentino, Repubblica Napoletana 1799; his episcopal lineage by Charles N. Bransom, Jr., in English, Apostolic Succession in the Roman Catholic Church; his portrait, Artpast, Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali; sketch by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Musé Ingres, Montauban, Ministère de la culture et de la communication; his engraving by Carlo Antonini, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving by Carlo Antonini, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his tomb in the Mattei Chapel, S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome, The Australian National University; his tomb and epitaph Artpast, , Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali.

(1) In that same year, was published in Rome his sermon De Sancti Spiritus adventu oratio habita in sacello pontificio ipso Pentecostes die.
(2) The acts of the synod were published in that same year under the tile Synodus diocesana quam sub faustissimis auspiciis sanctissimi in Christo pater Pii papae sexti ... in Ecclesia metropolitana celebravit diebus 5 - 7 mensis iunii anno 1781.
(3) On April 25, 1798, he wrote an important Istruzione pastorale ... sulla decisione fatta dalla Santa Sede Apostolica del giuramento civico prescitto dal governo della Repubblica Cisalpina alli suoi pubblici funzionari, which was published in Ferrara in 1799, where he had returned on May 29 .
(4) During his exile in Rethel, he wrote Meditazioni delle verità eterna per fare gli esercizi spirituali, secondo il metodo di S. Ignazio, distribuito in otto giorni, published in Rome in 1814, after his return. Besides, he also published Alexandri Matthaeii... archiepiscopi s. Ferrariensis ecclesiae ad clerum populumque suae dioec. epistola pastoralis (Rome 1777); Avvertimenti per degnamente amministrare il S. Sagramento di penitenza... proposti a reverendi confessori della sua citt` e diocesi (Ferrara 1783); Epistola... ad clerum diocesium suarum de actis in prima congregatione pro-synodali... (Rome 1819).
(5) This is the text of his epitaph, taken from the photograph of his tomb, linked abobe:

XP
ALEXANDRI
S·R·E·CARD·MATTHAEI
EP·OST·ET·VELIT
S·COLL·DEC
ET·BAS·VATICANAE·ARCHPR
EXV VIAE
VNIVERSAE TERRAE VIAM INGRESSAE
DIE XX·APRILIS ANNO MDCCCXX
AETATIS ANNO LXXVII
HIC EXPECTANT
BEATAM RESVRRECTIONEM

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