Giulio Cesare Sacchetti
Sacchetti was born in 1586, the second surviving son of Giovanni Battista Sacchetti and Francesca Altoviti, both Florentine patricians who had moved to Rome in the late sixteenth century. Giulio was the uncle of Cardinal Urbano Sacchetti.
Sacchetti's father was a trading partner of the Barberini family of Pope Urban VIII and the two families became close. Sacchetti's elder brother, Marcello Sacchetti, became papal treasurer to Pope Urban VIII and a prominent patron of the arts until his death in 1629.
Educated at the University of Perugia and the University of Pisa, Sacchetti was ordained in 1623 and elected Bishop of Gravina. His ties to the new pope saw him become a cardinal only three years later.
Elevation to cardinal
Sacchetti was papal nuncio to Madrid from 1624-6 and was elevated to cardinal on 19 January 1626, named as Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna. He was appointed as papal legate to Ferrara from 1627 to 1631 and to Bologna from 1637 until 1640.
He held a number of senior positions within the Holy See including Prefect of the Sacred Consulta of Religious Immunity, the Sacred Consulta of Rites and the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature of Justice. From 1641 to 1642 he was appointed Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals.
Sacchetti was presented by Antonio Barberini, at the instruction of Cardinal Mazarin) the French first minister, as the French nomination for the papacy at the papal conclave of 1644. So certain of victory was Sacchetti's brother Matteo, that he threw open the doors of his cellar and began giving away wine in celebration shouting, "Viva Papa Sacchetti!" (Long live Pope Sacchetti!). Contemporary John Bargrave suggested Matteo's certainty stemmed from the fact that the Barberini (two of whom were cardinals and nephews of the previous Pope Urban VIII) had started referring to him as Your Eminence; a title reserved for cardinals, suggesting his brother's elevation to the papacy (and thus his own to the cardinalate) was imminent.
However, Sacchetti was not a popular choice with the people of Rome who were afraid he would pursue Barberini policies and practices if elected. To this end they devised a rhyming ditty expressing: 'Don't make Sacchetti pope or Rome will fall to pieces'. Spain, fearing he would be pro-French, vetoed his nomination via its representative Cardinal Gil de Albornoz. The conclave instead elected Giovanni Battista Pamphili, who took the papal throne as Pope Innocent X. Mazarin attempted to use the French veto against Pamphili, who apparently favoured the Spanish, but it arrived too late.
Despite his close association with the Barberini, who suffered under Innocent X, Giulio Sacchetti's career continued to flourish.
When Innocent X died, Sacchetti was again presented as the French candidate at the papal conclave of 1655 but when it became apparent that he did not have a majority, he asked Mazarin to give his support to Fabio Chigi, who was duly elected and took the name of Alexander VII.
Death and burial
Sacchetti died 28 June 1663 in Rome and was buried at the Florentine church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome.
While bishop, he was the principal consecrator of:
- Juan Roco Campofrío, Bishop of Zamora (1625);
- Sebastião de Matos de Noronha, Bishop of Elvas (1626);
- Alessandro Deti, Bishop of Anglona-Tursi (1632);
- Niccolò Sacchetti, Bishop of Volterra (1634);
- Lelio Falconieri, Titular Archbishop of Thebae (1634);
- Nicolaus de Georgiis, Bishop of Hvar (1635);
- Pietro Paolo Febei, Bishop of Bagnoregio (1635);
- Lodovico Saffiro, Bishop of Squillace (1635);
- Benedetto Rezzani, Bishop of Sagone (1635);
- Francesco Antonio Sacchetti, Bishop of San Severo (1635);
- Onorato Onorati, Bishop of Urbania e Sant'Angelo in Vado (1636);
- Filippo Cansacchi, Bishop of Gravina di Puglia (1637);
- Vencent Cavaselice, Bishop of Carinola (1640);
- Gregorio Panzani, Bishop of Mileto (1640);
- Sallustio Pecólo, Bishop of Venosa (1640);
- Giovanni de Rossi (bishop), Bishop of Cefalonia e Zante (1640);
- Francesco Visconti, Bishop of Alessandria della Paglia (1640);
- Marino Badoer, Bishop of Pula (1641);
- Vincenzo Milani, Bishop of Caorle (1641);
- Giovanni Giacomo Panciroli, Titular Patriarch of Constantinople (1642);
- Alessandro Sperelli, Auxiliary Bishop of Ostia-Velletri (1642);
- Francesco Colonna, Bishop of Castro di Puglia (1642);
- Camillo Baldi, Bishop of Nicotera (1645);
- Domenico Cennini, Bishop of Gravina di Puglia (1645);
- Gian Vincenzo de' Giuli, Bishop of Massa Lubrense (1645);
- Vincenzo Saporiti, Bishop of Nebbio (1646);
- Giambattista Spínola, Archbishop of Acerenza e Matera (1648);
- Leonard Dati, Bishop of Montepulciano (1652);
- Lorenzo Reynoso, Archbishop of Brindisi (1652);
- Giovanni Battista Paggi, Bishop of Brugnato (1655);
- Giovanni Battista Ferruzzo, Bishop of Trivento (1655);
- Gregorio Carducci, Bishop of Valva e Sulmona (1655);
- Marco Antonio Bottoni, Auxiliary Bishop of Frascati (1655);
- Francisco Gaeta, Bishop of Bitetto (1655);
- Cherubino Malaspina, Bishop of Sansepolcro (1655);
- Carlo Fabrizio Giustiniani, Bishop of Accia and Mariana (1656);
- Celio Piccolomini, Titular Archbishop of Caesarea in Mauretania (1656);
- Henri Borghi, Bishop of Alife (1658);
- Carlo Labia, Archbishop of Corfu (1659);
- Ottaviano Carafa, Titular Archbishop of Patrae (1660);
- Francesco Maria Annoni, Bishop of Muro Lucano (1660);
- Francesco de Marchi, Bishop of Krk (1660);
- Giacomo de Angelis, Archbishop of Urbino (1660);
- Francesco Cini, Bishop of Macerata e Tolentino (1660);
- Gennaro Sanfelice, Archbishop of Cosenza (1661);
- Esuperanzio Raffaelli, Bishop of Penne e Atri (1661);
- Felice Antonio Monaco, Bishop of Martirano (1661); and
- Tommaso de Rosa, Bishop of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi e Bisaccia (1662).
- Some sources suggest he was born in 1587.
- Pope Alexander the Seventh and the College of Cardinals by John Bargrave, edited by James Craigie Robertson (reprint; 2009)
- Zirpolo, L.H. Ave Papa, Ave Papabile (2005) 98
- S. Miranda: Giulio Cesare Sacchetti
- Catholic Hierarchy: Sacchetti
- Non fate Papa Sacchetti, se non Rome sara a pezzetti Zirpolo (2005),98
- Zirpolo Lilian H. 'Climbing the social, political, and financial ladders: the rise of the Sacchetti in seventeenth-century Rome', The Seventeenth Century, Vol. XII, 2, Autumn 1997, 151–171, p 159
- Ave Papa/Ave Papabile: the Sacchetti family, their art patronage, and political aspirations by Lilian H. Zirpolo (2005), 99, note 8
- "Giulio Cesare Cardinal Sacchetti" Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
|Catholic Church titles|
|Cardinal Priest of Santa Suzanna
Giovanni Battista Spada
Federico Baldissera Bartolomeo Cornaro
|Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
Carlo de' Medici
|Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati
|Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina