The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Gregory XIV (1590-1591)
Consistory of December 19, 1590 (I)


(1) 1. SFONDRATI, Paolo Emilio (1560-1618)

Birth. March 21, 1560, Milan. Of a decurionale family originally from Cremona. Son of Paolo Sfondrati, count della Riviera, and Sigismonda d'Este. He is also listed as Paolo Camillo; and his last name as Sfondrato. Grand-nephew of Francesco Sfondrati (1544). Nephew of Pope Gregory XIV (1590-1591), on his father's side. Grand-uncle of Cardinal Celestino Sfondrati, O.S.B. (1695).

Education. Educated under his uncle Cardinal Sfondrati, future pope. Studied law.

Early life. Befriended by Filippo Neri, the future saint, he resided in the house of S. Maria in Vallicella when he was 17 years old. Due to this, he was interested in religious and cultural questions and not in politics or economics. Abbot of Civate.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 19, 1590; received the red hat and the title of S. Cecilia, January 14, 1591. Cardinal nipote. Governor of Fermo, January 27, 1591. Legate a latere in Bologna and Romagna, January 30, 1591 until 1592. Governor of Spoleto, 1591. Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Justice. Participated in the conclave of 1591, which elected Pope Innocent IX. Participated in the conclave of 1592, which elected Pope Clement VIII. Participated in the first conclave of 1605, which elected Pope Leo XI. Participated in the second conclave of 1605, which elected Pope Paul V. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 7, 1607 to January 7, 1608.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Cremona, September 13, 1607 (1). Consecrated, September 16, 1607, in the holy chapel, Loreto, by Cardinal Gaspare Alfonso Visconti, assisted by Alessandro Strozzi, archbishop of Fermo, and by Rutilio Benzoni, bishop of Loreto. Did not reside in his diocese. Established a congregation of priests similar to the Oblati founded in Milan by Cardinal Carlo Borromeo. Resigned the government of the diocese before July 19, 1610. Prefect of the S.C. of the Index from August 1611 until his death. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano, retaining the denomination of cardinal of S. Cecilia, August 17, 1611.

Death. February 14, 1618, Tivoli. Buried in the church of S. Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome, with an epitaph that he had composed (2). The executors of his will erected a monument in his honor on the left side of that church.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, V, pp. 310-313; 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, cols. 1839-1842; 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, 54, 61 and 181; Gauchat, Patritium. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, IV, 36, 167; Sanclemente, Enrico. Series critico-chronologica episcoporvm cremonensivm svb avspiciis prætantissimi antistitis Homoboni Offredi ex authenticis monvmentis avcta et emendata svaqve integritati maxima ex parte restitvta. Cremonæ : apvd Josephvm Feraboli, MDCCCXI, p. 164-167; Weber, Christoph. Legati e governatori dello Stato Pontificio : 1550-1809. Roma : Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1994. (Pubblicazioni degli archivi di Stato. Sussidi; 7), pp. 152, 243, 365, 386 and 914.

Webgraphy. His tomb in S. Cecilia, Rome, The Australian National University; his engraving, arms and portrait, Araldica Vaticana; An expression of piety: the last will of Cardinal Paolo Emilio Sfondrato (1561–1618) by Kate Gallagher, Papers of the British School at Rome, Volume 67 (1999), 303-321.

(1) This is according to Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, III, 181; Sanclemente, Enrico. Series critico-chronologica episcoporvm cremonensivm, pp. 164 and 166, says that he was elected on September 3 or 7, 1607.
(2) This is its text cited by Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalvm, II, col. 1842; and by Sanclemente, Enrico. Series critico-chronologica episcoporvm cremonensivm, p. 166:

PAVLVS.
TT. S. CÆCILIE.
S.R.E.
PRESB. CARD. SFONDRATVS.
MISERRRIMVS. PECCATOR.
ATQVE. EIVSDEM. VIRGINIS.
HVMILIS. SERVVUS.
HIC. AD. EIVS. PEDES. HVMILITER. REQVIESCIT.
VIXIT. ANNOS. LVII. MENSES. X.
DIES. XXV.
OBIIT. ANNO. MDCXVIII.
MENSE. FEBR. DIE. XIV.
ORATE. DEVM. PRO. EO.

In the picture of this inscription linked above, the dates appear in Arabic and not in Roman numerals.
(3) This is its inscription cited by Ferdinando Ughelli in Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalvm, II, col. 1842: DEO. TRINO. VNI. PAVLO. SFONDRATO. CARD. EPISC. ALBAN. GREGORII. FR. FIL. BONON. LEGATO. SIGNATVRÆ IVSTITIÆ. PRÆFECTO. CREMONENSI. PRÆSULI. PIETATE. IN. DEVM. CARITATE. IN. PAVPERES. PLANE. MEMORANDO. QVOD. S. CÆCILIÆ. CORPVS. INSIGNI. SEPVLCHRO. LVMINIBVS. AD. CENTVM. PERPETVO. COLLVCENTIBUS. TERRESTRI. PROPE. CÆLO. DECORAVIT. TEMPLVM. EXORNATVM. SACERDOTIBVS. MINISTRIS. PRETIOSIS. VASIS. ET RELIQVIIS. AVCTVM. HEREDEM. EX. ASSE. RELIQVIT. QVODQ. OMNEM. EIVSMODI. RERVM. MEMORIAM. VIVENS. REPVLIT. DE. MORTVO. ANNO. ÆTATIS. LVII. SAL. MDCXVIII. ODOARDVS. CARD. FARNESIVS. AVGVSTINVS. PACINELLVS. SENEN. TESTAMENTARII EXECVTORES. PP.

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