The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261)
Consistory celebrated between
August 17, 1255 and February 1, 1256


(1) 1. MONTECASSINO, O.S.B., Riccardo di (?-1262)

Birth. (No date found), in Italy. He is also listed as Riccardo Annibaldi.

Education. Entered the Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictines) in the monastery of Montecassino.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found). He was elected abbot of Montecassino probably at the end of 1251 because the first time that he is documented in the dignity is January 26, 1252 in a letter to Abbot Pietro di Glanfeuil, written while in the company of Pope Innocent IV in Perugia. He obtained several privileges for his abbey from Pope Alexander IV between December 24, 1254 and February 7, 1255. In March 1255, the pope excommunicated Manfred Hohenstaufen, pretender to the crown of Sicily, who favored Abbot Riccardo.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest of S. Ciriaco alle Terme between August 17, 1255 and February 1, 1256 (1). Does not appear as signatory of any papal bulls. For having participated in the coronation of Manfred as King of Sicily in Palermo on August 10, 1258, he was deposed by Pope Alexander IV on August 10, 1259; the pontiff considered Manfred an usurper; because of the friendship of the cardinal with the king, the former kept the government of the abbey until his death (2). Cardinal protoprete, at the end of 1261 (?).

Death. March 1, 1262, Montecassino (3). Buried in Montecassino.

Bibliography. Bloch, Herbert. "The date of Abbot Richard of Monte Cassino and the problem of his promotion to the College of Cardinals", in Mediaeval Studies, 38 (1976), 483-491; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 2, 287-288; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 132; Del Re, Niccolò. "Chi fu l'unico vero cardinale creato da Alessandro IV", in Strenna dei Romanisti, 47 (1987), pp. 169–176; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIIIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1929. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1929, p. 122; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen I (1198-1431). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1913; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, p. 7; Paravicini Bagliani, Agostino. Cardinali di curia e "familiae" cardinalizie. Dal 1227 al 1254. 2 vols. Padova, Antenore, 1972. (Italia Sacra ; 18-19), II, 545-551.

Webgraphy. Images and biography, in Polish, Wikipedia; biographical information, in Italian, at the end of "Un 'Cardinale' all'inferno".

(1) This is according to his biographical data, linked above, which is based on a biography of the cardinal by Niccolò del Re published in Strenna dei Romanisti XLVII (1987), p.169-176, using the information provided by Benedictine palologist Mauro Inguanez (+ 1955). Unfortunately, no U.S. library has reporting holding that volume of the annual. Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 131, says that he was promoted in December 10, 1253; and Francesco Cristofori, Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa (Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888), p. 143, indicates that he was created cardinal in December 1252. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIIIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1929, p. 122, says that he is confused with Cardinal Riccardi Annibaldeschi di Molaria, O.S.B. (1239). Paravicini Bagliani, Cardinali di curia e "familiae" cardinalizie. Dal 1227 al 1254, II, doubts that he was ever promoted to the cardinalate.
(2) In twelve private documents of Abbot Riccardo issued between January 26, 1252 and February 3, 1262, a letter to Abbot Pietro di Glanfeuil (January 26, 1252) and a private privilege for his abbey (August 17, 1255) Abbot Riccardo does not mention the title of Cardinal, signing only as Riccardus Dei gratia Cassinensis abbas.In ten consecutive documents issued between February 16, 1256 and February 3, 1262, he signed as Riccardus Dei gratia tituli S. Ciriaci presbyter cardinalis et Cassinensis abbas). These documents suggest, therefore, that Abbot Riccardo was craeated a cardinal by Pope Alexander IV between August 17, 1255 and February 16, 1256.
(3)The obituary of the abbey of Montecassino dated March 1, 1262 reported: obierunt Riccardus sacerd. et monach. et abbas ("died Riccardo priest, monk and abbot") and does not mention his cardinalate.

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