The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Innocent X (1644-1655)
Consistory of May 28, 1646 (III)

(12) 1. WAZA, S.J., Jan Kazimierz (1609-1672)

Birth. May 22, 1609, Kraków, Poland. Son of King Zygmunta III Waza of Poland and Konstanze of Habsburg, archduchess of Austria. He had four brothers, Jan Olbracht (cardinal); Jan II Kazimierz; Karol Ferdynand (bishop of Wrocław, 1625-1655; and Płock, 1640-1655); and Aleksander Karol; two sisters, Anna Konstancja and Anna Katarzyna Konstancja; two half-brothers. Władysław IV, king of Poland; and Krzysztof; and three half-sisters, Anna Maria, Katarzyna and Katarzyna. Nephew of Leopold Habsburg, bishop of Strasbourg (1607-1626); and of Karol Habsburg, bishop of Wrocław (1608-1624). Brother of Cardinal Jan Olbracht Waza, S.J. (1629). Related to Cardinal Fryderyk Jagiellończyk (1493). His family name is also listed as Vasa; as Wasa; and as Wazów. He was king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania (1648-1668). His first name is also listed as Giancasimiro. He used (as incognito?) the name Jagellonidi (Jagellon), the name of the then extinct Polish-Lithuanian royal dynasty. He was the grandson of the sister of Sigismund II Augustus (+ 1572), the last Jagellonian king of Poland and grand duke of Lithuania.

Education. Entered the Society of Jesus in 1643. (No further educational information found).

Sacred orders. Received the tonsure and minor orders as a Jesuit novice on Dececember 6, 1643, from Giovanni Battista Scanaroli, titular bishop of Sidone and auxilliary of Rome, in the upper chapel of Jesuit novitiate in the church of S. Andrea al Quirinale.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of May 28, 1646; he never went to Rome to receive the red hat and the title. In a letter to the pope written in Warsaw and dated on November 9, 1647, he resigned the cardinalate. In the consistory of July 6, 1648 the resignation was presented, per procuratorem ad hoc delegatum, to Pope Innocent X, who accepted it.

Later life. He married Ludovica-Maria Gonzaga-Mantua (1611-1667), widow of his half-brother King Wladislas VII, who had died without a male heir. Elected king of Poland on November 20, 1648 and crowned on January 17, 1649, he reigned until September 16, 1668 when he abdicated the throne and went to live in France until his death. He joined the Society of Jesus again. Titular king of Sweden, 1660-1672. The king of France gave him the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris. He was also abbot of Saint-Martin, Nevers.

Death. December 16, 1672, abbey of Saint-Martin, Nevers. Exposed and buried in the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris. His remains were exhumed on August 8, 1675 and transferred to Poland. On January 31, 1676, he was buried in the crypt of the Royal Basilica, Wawel Castle, Kraków, but his heart remained in that abbey. The funeral was celebrated by Francesco Martelli, titular archbishop of Corinto, nuncio to Poland, together with Toussaint de Forbin Janson, bishop of Beauvais, ambassador extraordinary of France to the Polish Diet for the election of a new king, and Andrzej Trzebicki, bishop of Kraków. Polish King Michala Korybuta was also buried in the cyrpt in that occasion.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, VII, 71; Gauchat, Patritium. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen IV (1592-1667). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1967, p. 29; Glebocki, Józef Teodor. Napad Karola Gustawa Szwedzkiego na Polske za Jana Kazimierza w latach 1655-1656-1657. Kraków : Wytloczono u Z.J. Wywialkowskiego, 1861; Jujeczka, Stanisław. Klerycy z ziem polskich, litewskich i pruskich święceni w Rzymie (XVI – pocz. XX w.); Clerici ex terris Poloniae, Lithuaniae et Prussiae Romae seu Urbe ordinati (saec. XVI ad init. XX). Wrocław, 2018, p. 78-79, n. 218; Klaczewski, Witold. Abdykacja Jana Kazimierza : spoleczenstwo szlacheckie wobec kryzysu politycznego lat 1667-1668. Lublin : Wydawn. Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Sklodowskiej, 1993. (Rozprawy Wydzialu Humanistycznego.; Rozprawy habilitacyjne, 73); Krajewski, Michal Dymitr. Dzieje panowania Jana Kazimierza od roku 1656 do jego abdykacyi w roku 1668. Warszawa : Naklad i druk S. Orgelbranda, 1846; Plebanski, Józef Kazimierz. Jan Kazimierz Waza ; Marja Ludwika Gonzaga : dwa obrazy historyczne. Warszawa : G. Gebethner i R. Wolff, 1862; Russell, Susan. "John Casimir Wasa (1609-1672), cardinal and prince of Poland : problems of precedence and primogeniture for Innocent X" 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. 249-308; Szmydki, Ryszard. Wyprzedaz mienia po Janie Kazimierzu w roku 1673 = Vente du mobilier de Jean-Casimir en 1673. Warszawa : Wydawn. Neriton, 1995; Wasilewski, Tadeusz. Jan Kazimierz. Warszawa : Zamek Krslewski w Warszawie, 1985; Wójcik, Zbigniew. Jan Kazimierz Waza. Wroclaw : Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolinskich, 1997.

Webgraphy. Images and biography, in English, Wikipedia; portrait and biography, in Polish, Prószyński Media; his genealogy, A1, B2, C2, D1, E2, F1, G5, euweb.cz; his portrait as a child, Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur; portrait and biography, in English, artyzm.com; his engraving by Matthäus Merian, Antiquariat Hille, Berlin; engraving by Matthäus Merian, Antiquariat Hille, Berlin.

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