Francesco Gonzaga (1538-1566)

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For the 15th-century cardinal, see Francesco Gonzaga (1444–1483).

Francesco Gonzaga (6 December 1538 – 6 January 1566) was an Italian nobleman, who was Duke of Ariano. He was also a Roman Catholic cardinal and bishop.

Biography[edit]

Francesco Gonzaga was born in Palermo on December 6, 1538, the son of Ferrante Gonzaga (a member of the House of Gonzaga) and Isabella di Capua.[1] His father was at that time viceroy of Palermo. He was the nephew of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga.[1] His brother Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga also became a cardinal.[1]

When Ferrante died in 1557 Ercole Gonzaga became guardian and the young Mantuan humanist and future Jesuit Antonio Possevino became tutor to the brothers. He studied law as a young man.[1] In 1538, he was made archpriest of Guastalla.[1] On February 26, 1560, he became a protonotary apostolic.[1]

Pope Pius IV made him a cardinal deacon in the consistory of February 26, 1561.[1] He received the red hat and the deaconry of San Nicola in Carcere on March 10, 1561.[1] The pope named him papal legate in the Campagne and Maritime Province.[1]

On March 2, 1562, he was elected Archbishop of Cosenza with dispensation for not having reached the canonical age; he was named administrator of the see.[1]

On July 16, 1562, he opted for San Lorenzo in Lucina, a titular church declared to be a deaconry pro illa vice.[1] He opted for the order of cardinal priests on March 1, 1564 and San Lorenzo in Lucina was returned to its status as a titular church at that time.[1] He resigned the government of the Archdiocese of Cosenza sometime before January 12, 1565.[1] On May 5, 1565, he was elected Bishop of Mantua with dispensation for not having reached the canonical age.[1]

He participated in the papal conclave of 1565-66 that elected Pope Pius V.[1] He died during the conclave, in Rome, on January 6, 1566. He was buried in San Lorenzo in Lucina.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Entry from Biographical Dictionary of the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
  • Losito, Maria (2005). La Casina Pio IV in Vaticano. Vatican City: Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze.