The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius VI (1775-1799)
Consistory of Consistory April 7, 1788 (XVI)


(51) 1. MENDOÇA, José Francisco Miguel António de (1726-1808)

Birth. October 2, 1725, Lisbon, Portugal. Youngest of the sixteen children of Nuno Manuel de Mendoça, fourth count of Valle de Reis, and Leonor Maria Antónia de Noronha. Baptized on the same day of his birth or on October 12, 1726. Like some of his siblings, he was destined to the ecclesiastical or religious state. His last name is also listed as Mendoça Valdereis. He is also known as Patriarch José II.

Education. Porcionista at Colégio Real de São Paulo, University of Coimbra, where he obtained a doctorate in canon law on June 23, 1748.

Early life. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Lisbon, November 10, 1744. Prelate acólito of the cathedral of Lisbon, June 6, 1749.

Priesthood. Ordained, October 5, 1755. Principal primarius of the patriarchate of Lisbon, February 24, 1777. In the congregation of the city council, he was named responsible of accounts and safe, January 2, 1778; as well as of the allocation of demands of the bishoprics of Coimbra, Viseu and Guarda, in 1786. Provider of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross and Steps of Grace, 1778-1779. Reformator- rector of the University of Coimbra, October 25, 1779 to December 2, 1785. Royal chaplain, 1781. Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Science of Lisbon. Elected patriarch of Lisbon by the cathedral chapter on August 5, 1786. Elected vicar capitular on the following August 8. He published his first pastoral letter greeting the faithful on September 8, 1786. Presented for the patriarchal see of Lisbon by Queen Maria I of Portugal on November 19, 1787.

Episcopate. Elected patriarch of Lisbon by Pope Pius VI, March 10, 1788; he was granted the pallium on that same day; consecrated, November 16, 1788, Ajuda chapel, Lisbon, by his brother João de Mendoça, bishop of Porto, assisted by José Maria de Melo, bishop of Faro, and by João Binet Pincio, bishop of Lamego. He took possession of the see on the following November 21. Named by the queen of Portugal member of the Council of State; and major chaplain of the Royal House, post inherent to the patriarchate of Lisbon, according to the brief of Pope Clement XI Piis Catholicorum Regum votis of August 24, 1709, which granted the patriarch ordinary jurisdiction over the royal family and courtiers, both civil and ecclesiastical, immediately subjected to the Holy See; as major chaplain, he baptized the children of King João IV and Queen Carlota Joaquina.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of April 7, 1788; the pope sent him the red biretta with Monsignor Girolamo Altieri with an apostolic brief dated April 11, 1788; Cardinal Ignazio Boncompagni-Ludovisi, secretary of State, sent him the news of his promotion and the red birrettino with courier Vincenzo Tagliavini; Ambassador Pereira of Portugal before the Holy See, sent to the news to the court with courier Francesco Lenzi; Monsignor Altieri arrived in Lisbon on April 22, finding the patriarch very ill; he never went to Rome to receive the red hat and the title. Honorary member of the Royal Academy of Science. On October 24, 1789, he consecrated the new Royal Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1791, he issued a new catechism for the patriarchate. He refurbished the Seminary of Santarém. Counselor of state, July 4, 1796. Did not participate in the conclave of 1799-1800, celebrated in Venice, which elected Pope Pius VII. On March 14, 1801, after the declaration of war of Spain against Portugal, he issued a pastoral letter in which is evident his patriotism and loyalty to the royal house of Bragança. During the first French occupation of Portugal, he was obligated, like other bishops, to issue a pastoral letter favorable to the invaders on December 8, 1807; the document, cleverly written, denoted the violence with which it was extorted. During the French occupation of Portugal, the royal family settled in Brazil.

Death. February 11, 1808, in his palace in Junqueira, Lisbon (1). Exposed in the patriarchal cathedral of Lisbon; and buried in front of the main altar of the church of Nossa Senhora da Graça, Lisbon, according to his will.

Bibliography. Folque de Mendóça, Felipe. "D. José Francisco Miguel António de Mendoça." Os patriarcas de Lisboa. Coordenação D. Carlos Azevedo, Sandra Costa Saldanha, António Pedro Boto de Oliveira. Palavra de apresentação do Cardeal Patriarca, D. José da Cruz Policarpo. Lisboa : Centro Cultural do Patriarcado de Lisboa; Alêtheia Editores, 2009, p. 57-66; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, XLIV, 204; Notizie per l'anno 1822. Rome : G.F. Chracas, 1822, p. 50; 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. 36 and 425.

Links. Brief biographical data in Os Cardeais Portugueses, in Portuguese, patriarcado de Lisboa; his engraving by Carlo Antonini, Wikipedia; genealogy, in Portuguese, GeneAll.net; his engraving by Carlo Antonini, Wikipedia; his engraving, portrait and arms, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is according to Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi, VI, 35; and Folque de Mendóça, "D. José Francisco Miguel António de Mendoça." Os patriarcas de Lisboa, p. 57; but the same source, p. 66, says that he died on February 13, 1808 and was buried in the church of Nossa Senhora da Graça, Lisbon, according to his will. Grande Enciclopédia Portuguesa e Brasileira, vol. 16, p. 907, indicates that he died on February 12, 1808; and that he was buried in the church of the convent of Graça. Notizie per l'anno 1822, p. 50, says that he died on February 17, 1808 and was buried in the patriarchal cathedral of Lisbon.

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