The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846)
Consistory of July 12, 1841 (XVIII)


(56) 1. GIZZI, Tommaso Pasquale (1787-1849)

Birth. September 22, 1787, Ceccano, diocese of Ferentino. Of a comfortable family of the bourgeoisie. Son of Nicola Gizzi, mayor of Ceccano during the empire, and Cecilia Ciavaglia.

Education. Seminary of Ferentino, Ferentino (humanities, philosophy and theology); Archgymnasiun of Rome, Rome (doctorate in utroque iuris, July 22, 1817). Received the subdiaconate, September 24, 1808; diaconate, May 27, 1809.

Priesthood. Ordained, September 2, 1810. He received a half-benefice from Prince Colonna in the collegiate church of Ceccano, March 14, 1812. After several years of priestly ministry in Ceccano, he went to Rome with his family in 1814 to escape the accusation of collaboration with the French authorities; he studied law and became a member of the Accademia dell'Arcadia in June 1816; he taught philosophy during those years; he complete his his juridical formation under Luigi Zinanni, auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota. He was inscribed in the registry of advocates of the Roman Curia on December 5, 1819. Auditor of the nunciature in Switzerland, April ; he established himself in Lucerne on the following May 14; when Nuncio Ignazio Nasalli had to go to a mission in the Low Countries, he was promoted to chargé d'affaires, August 1823; he left Lucerne on March 26, 1827. Named auditor of the nunciature in Bavaria on September 2, 1826. Named internuncio in Switzerland on August 21, 1827; he left Lucerne definitively on September 15, 1828. Auditor of the nunciature in Münich, September 1828. Chargé d'affaires of the nunciature in Turin, January 5, 1829; he took possession of the post on February 6; he left Turin on March 24, 1835 to return to Rome, where he was given a mission before the Austrian court, together with Archbishop della Genga Sermattei, of Ferrara, to congratulate new Emperor Ferdinand I; they left Rome on May 5 and arrived in Vienna on May 18; while in that city, he had a long meeting with Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Austrian minister of State, to discuss the situation in Italy and Belgium; he left Vienna on June 22. Privy chamberlain supernumerary of His Holiness, May November 22, 1831. Domestic prelate of His Holiness, December 16, 1834. Named internuncio in the new kingdom of Belgium, January 25, 1835; arrived in Brussels on July 3 of that year; presented his ceredentials to King Léopold I on the following July 5; he was called to Rome on May 3, 1837; he left Brussels on July 2 and was in Rome on October 24. Named apostolic delegate in the city of Ancona, November 15, 1837; he established himself in his delegation on the following December 11; he left Ancona for Rome on January 21, 1839.

Episcopate. Elected titular archbishop of Tebe, February 18, 1839. Consecrated, April 21, 1839, church of Tor dei Specchi, Rome, by Cardinal Giacomo Filippo Fransoni, prefect of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide, assisted by Giuseppe Maria Vespignani, titular archbishop of Tiana, secretary of the S.C. of the Examination of Bishops, and by Ignazio Giovanni Cadolini, titular archbishop of Edessa di Osroene, secretary of the S.C. of Propaganda Fide. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, April 26, 1839. Nuncio in Switzerland, May 31, 1839; he resided at Schwytz. Nuncio in Sardinia, April 23, 1841; he had to face the opposition to the re-establishment of the nunciature not only from the magistrates but also from part of the clergy and the bishops, who were influenced by Febronianism and Jansenism. He had to return to Ceccano in September 1843 because of poor health.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal and reserved in pectore in the consistory of July 12, 1841; published in the consistory of January 22, 1844; received the red hat and the title of S. Pudenziana, January 25, 1844. Protector of Ceccano, February 9, 1844. Apostolic legate in the province of Forlì, April 30, 1844 until August 1846. Participated in the conclave of 1846, which elected Pope Pius IX. He was one of the members of the Comissione di Stato, a special congregation composed of six cardinals established by the new pope to prepare a large amnesty, and deal with the construction of the railroad and the reform of the secretariat of State. Secretary of State, August 8, 1846 until July 5, 1847. President of the Council of State, and minister of the Interior, and of External Affairs, June 14, 1847; resigned the posts the following July 5 because of his opposition to the creation of a Civic Guard in Rome; acting secretary of State until July 17; he remained as member of the S.C. of the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs until August 19. Member of the Congregation of Loreto before January 18, 1848. He retired to Ceccano in July 1848. He joined Pope Pius IX on December 11, 1848, during the pope's exile in Gaeta.

Death. June 3, 1849, of an apoplexy, at his sister's residence in casa Grossi, in Via Ariola, Lenola, Fondi. Exposed in the collegiate church of S.Maria Maggiore, Lenola, where the funeral took place; he was buried in the middle of the presbytery of that church. A marble with a Latin inscription was placed over the sepulchre. His red hat was hung from the central arch of the presbytery of the parish church, where it remained until 1920. At the request of his relatives, his remains were exhumed on July 1, 1992, and transferred to Cappella dei Conti Gizzi, in the Monumental Cemetery of Ceccano.

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, p. 295-397; LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les potificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, Grégoire XVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 427-430; 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. 33, 44 and 365.

Link. His portrait and biography, in Italian, Comune di Lenola, provincia di Latina, Italy.

Note. In this consistory, the pope created and reserved in pectore another cardinal but never published his name.

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