The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Pius IV (1559-1565)
Consistory of January 6, 1563 (III)
Celebrated in Rome


(22) 1. GONZAGA, Federico (1540-1565)

Birth. At the beginning of July 1540, Mantua. Of the dukes of Mantua. Posthumous son of Federico II Gonzaga and Margherita Paleologa, marchioness of Monferrato. Venetian patrician. Called the Cardinal of Monferrato. His eldest brother, Francesco, was duke of Mantua; and when he died, Guglielmo, the second-born male, became the duke of Mantua. Nephew of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga (1527). Other cardinals of the family were: Francesco Gonzaga (1461); Sigismondo Gonzaga (1505); Pirro Gonzaga (1527); Francesco Gonzaga (1561); Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga, O.S.Io.Hier. (1578); Scipione Gonzaga (1587); Ferdinando Gonzaga (1607); Vincenzo Gonzaga (1615).

Education. He was raised under the tutelage of his mother and his uncles Cardinal Ercole and Ferrante Gonzaga, viceroy of Sicily, duke of Guastalla, future governor of the Duchy of Milan. He studied at the University of Bologna.

Sacred orders. (No information found). He was promoted to the cardinalate at the request of his uncle Cardinal Ercole; of his brother Guglielmo, duke of Mantua; of his cousin Cesare Gonzaga, duke of Guastalla; and of the brother of the latter, Cardinal Francesco Goznaga, promoted on February 26, 1561; and of the bishop of Fano Ippolito Capilupi.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of January 6, 1563; received the red hat and the title of S. Maria Nuova, deaconry pro illa vice elevated to title, March 27, 1563. There was widespread disatisfaction about his promotion because of his young age and lack of experience.

Episcopate. Administrator of the diocese of Mantua, with dispensation for not having yet reached the canonical age, June 4, 1563. Legate in Mantua, 1564. Granted the title of bishop of Mantua, October 16, 1564. He never received the episcopal consecration.

Death. February 21 (or 22), 1565, at 1 p.m., Mantua. Buried next to the main altar of the cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Mantua (1).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, V, 53-54; 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, 1630, II, col. 1669; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 40, 74 and 234.

Webgraphy. Biography by Filippo Crucitti, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 57 (2001), Treccani; portrait, arms of the House of Gonzaga and biography, in French, Wikipédia; his genealogy, A1 B4, Genealogy EU; his arms, Araldica Vaticana; his tomb, Requiem Datenbak; Tuscany by Joseph Lins, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia.

(1) This is the text of his epitaph taken from Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm: FEDERICO. FEDERICI. DVCIS. FILIO. POSTHVMO. GONZAGÆ. MANTVÆ. EPISC. CARDINALI. LEGATO. ACERBISSIMA. MORTE. EREPTO. ANNO. ÆTAT. XXV. SALVTIS. HUMANÆ. MDLXV.

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(23) 2. MEDICI, Ferdinando de' (1549-1609)

Birth. July 13 or 18 or 30, 1549, Florence. Of the dukes of Tuscany. Son of Cosimo I de' Medici, duke of Florence, and Leonor Álvarez de Toledo. Brother of Giovanni de' Medici, iuniore (1560). He was the father of Cardinal Carlo de' Medici (1615); and great-uncle of Cardinals Giancarlo de' Medici (1644) and Leopoldo de' Medici (1667). His baptismal godfather was Ferdinand von Habsburg, king of Bohemia and of Hungary, future Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, from whom he got his name.

Education. He spent much of his childhood in the Medici suburban villas of Castello, dell'Embrogiana, of Belvedere. He was instructed by private preceptors, among them Antonio Angeli da Barga, and directed by them he studied the Latin classics. According to his secretary, Pietro Usimbardi, Ferdinando found the instructions somewhat dull, perhaps due to a visual defect. In the footsteps of his father, he showed an early interest in the antique archaeological finds, which he had already collected in 1560.

Early life. Since he was the fourth son of the Duke of Florence, he seemed excluded from an eventuality succession to the Ducal throne, but the death of two of his elder brothers, Cardinal Giovanni and Garzia, in November 1562 due to the malarial fevers, changed his possibilities. Ferdinando also suffered from malaria but survived. He was promoted to the cardinalate to substitute his brother Giovanni, due to the pressure exercised by his father supported by Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano and by the ducal secretary Bartholomew Concini.

Sacred orders. He never received the sacred orders.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of January 6, 1563; received the red hat and the deaconry of S. Maria in Domnica, May 15, 1565. There was widespread dissatisfaction about his promotion because of his young age and lack of experience. He contined to reside in the Duchy of Florence, in Pisa, as well as in Florence and did not change his life and behavior. In July 1563, Ludovico Beccadelli, bishop of Ragusa, was named his tutor; and in the fall of 1564, he was replaced by Antonio Angeli, who remained as such until 1570, when he was promoted to bishop of Massa Marittima; he was replaced by Pietro Angeli da Barga. Participated in the conclave of 1565-1566, which elected Pope Pius V. In March 1569, he was named member of the Congregation of Waters and he was charged with the completion of the aqueduct of Salone. Legate in Perugia, 1571 to 1588. In 1572, Pope Pius V gave him the government of Castel della Pieve. Participated in the conclave of 1572, which elected Pope Gregory XIII. Named by the Pope protector of the patriarchates of Antioch, Alessandria and of the Kingdom of Ethiopia; in 1584, he organized the Oriental Printing House which was dedicated in the first place to publish a version of the Bible in Arabic language for the Islamic territories. Protector of Spain on January 9, 1584. Participated in the conclave of 1585, which elected Pope Sixtus V. In 1580, he was named protector of the Friars Minor Observant. Opted for the deaconry of S. Eustachio, May 10, 1585. Opted for the deaconry of S. Maria in Via Lata, January 7, 1587. Cardinal protodeacon. Grand duke of Tuscany and duke of Siena, October 19, 1587. At the death of his brother Francesco, grand duke of Tuscany, without successors, the cardinal ascended the throne as Ferdinand I and asked the pope to accept his resignation to the cardinalate in order to secure the succession; he submitted his resignation on November 28, 1588. He married Chrétienne de Lorraine, May 5, 1589. They had nine children. The eldest child succeeded him at his death as Grand Duke of Florence Cosimo II (1590-1621). The other children were Eleonora (1591-1617); Caterina (1593-1628 or 1629), married to Duke Ferdinando I Gonzaga of Mantua and Montferrato; Francesco (1594-1614); Carlo (1596-1666); Filippo (1598-1602); Lorenzo (1599-1648); Maria Magdalena (1600-1633); and Claudia (1604-1648).

Death. February 7, 1609, Florence. Buried in the Medici Chapel, church of S. Lorenzo, Florence.

Bibliography. Butters, Suzanne B. "Contrasting priorities : Ferdinando I de' Medici, cardinal and grand duke" in The possessions of a Cardinal : politics, piety, and art, 1450-1700. Edited by Mary Hollingsworth & Carol M. Richardson. University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010, p. 185-225; Cecchi, Alessandro ; Gasparri, Carlo . Le collezioni del cardinale Ferdinando. I dipinti e le sculture. Rome : École Française de Rome, 2009. (Villa Médicis, 4); Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, V, 54-55; 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, 1630, II, col. 1669 ; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, essagero di S. Antonio, 1960, III, 40,

Webgraphy. Biography by Elena Fasano Guarini, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 46 (1996), Treccani; biography, in English, Encyclopaedia Brittanica; his portrait by Maso da San Friano, alias Tommaso Manzuoli, Quadreria del Palazzo Comunale - Salone del Consiglio, Comune de Prato; his portrait and biographical data, kleio.org; his portrait, secolo XVIII (1723), regione ecclesiastica Toscana, diocesi Prato, Beni Ecclesiastici in web (BeWeB); his fireplace, secolo XVI (1588-1590), bottega veneta, regione ecclesiastica Triveneto, diocesi Padova, Beni Ecclesiastici in web (BeWeB); his engraving, as Duke of Tuscany, secolo XVII (1650-1699), ambito italiano, regione ecclesiastica Triveneto, diocesi Trento, Beni Ecclesiastici in web (BeWeB); his coat of arms, in a baptismal font, secolo XVI (1580), masetranza venete, regione ecclesiastica Triveneto, diocesi Padova, Beni Ecclesiastici in web (BeWeB); his tomb, Requiem Datenbank.

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