Diego de Astorga y Céspedes

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His Eminence
Diego de Astorga y Céspedes
Primate of Spain
Archbishop of Toledo
Diego de Astorga.jpg
Church Roman Catholic
Archdiocese Toledo
See Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo
Installed 22 July 1720
Term ended 9 February 1734
Predecessor Francisco Valero y Losa
Successor Position vacant
Other posts Bishop of Barcelona
Vicar-General of Ceuta
Personal details
Born (1663-10-17)17 October 1663
Died 9 February 1734(1734-02-09) (aged 70)
Madrid, Kingdom of Spain
Nationality Spanish
Alma mater University of Granada

Diego de Astorga y Céspedes (October 17, 1663 – February 9, 1734) was a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He also served as Bishop of Barcelona, Archbishop of Toledo and Grand Inquisitor.


Diego de Astorga y Céspedes was born in Gibraltar, then a Spanish town. He obtained a degree on Canon law at the University of Granada and was ordained in 1689. In 1705, he was appointed General Vicar of Ceuta (as the bishop, Vidal Marín del Campo, had been named Grand Inquisitor)[1] and Inquisitor of the kingdom of Murcia in 1710. He was consecrated as Bishop of Barcelona in 1716, being the first non Catalan priest to serve as Bishop in Barcelona, due to the abolition of the provisos on foreign bishops in Catalonia by the Nueva Planta decrees, issued by Philip V of Spain after the austriacist defeat in the War of the Spanish Succession.[2]

Four years later, in 1720, he was consecrated as Archbishop of Toledo and therefore Primate of Spain. He was also appointed Grand Inquisitor (although he resigned the same year[3]). In 1727, he was created Cardinal by Pope Benedict XIII. However, he never received the red hat and the title and did not participate in the 1730 conclave, which elected Pope Clement XII. He was also a member of the Privy council of the king Philip V after his abdication on his son Louis I.

Transparente of the Cathedral of Toledo, side view.

He ordered the crafting of El Transparente of the Cathedral of Toledo to Narciso Tomé, an example of the intrincated Spanish Baroque set behind the main altar of the main chapel (the chapel of the Santísimo Sacramento). The Bishop wished to mark the presence of the Holy Sacrament with a glorious monument, which costed 200,000 ducats and was cause of great enthusiasm, even with a poem wherein the monument was acclaimed 'the Eighth Wonder of the World'.[4]

Cardinal Astorga y Céspedes died in 1734 in Madrid and is buried at the feet of El Transparente in the cathedral of Toledo.

During his whole career, Bishop De Astorga y Céspedes promoted the devotion to Our Lady of Europe, the devotion title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Gibraltar.[5]


  1. ^ Gómez Barceló, José Luis (April 2007). "Repercusiones de la caída de Gibraltar en Ceuta" (PDF). Almoraima (in Spanish). Mancomunidad de municipios del Campo de Gibraltar (34): 106. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Joan Bonet i Baltà (1984). L'Església catalana de la Il·lustració e la Renaixença (in Catalan). L'Abadia de Montserrat. pp. 66–68. ISBN 978-84-7202-646-9. 
  3. ^ A History of the Inquisition of Spain, Volume 1, by Henry Charles Lea. Appendix 2: List of Inquisitors-General]
  4. ^ Narciso Tome's 'Transparente' in the Web Gallery of Art.
  5. ^ Historical Notes On Our Lady of Europe. Chapter 7. The Devotion In Barcelona And Madrid, based on History of Our Lady of Europe, by the Bishop Charles Caruana.

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Francisco Valero Losa
Archbishop of Toledo
Succeeded by
Luis Antonio Fernández de Córdoba Portocarrero Guzmán y Aguilar
Preceded by
Francesco del Giudice
Grand Inquisitor of Spain
Succeeded by
Juan de Camargo y Angulo