Marcantonio Maffei

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Marcantonio Maffei (29 November 1521 – 22 August 1583) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.


Marcantonio Maffei was born in Bergamo on November 29, 1521, the son of nobles Girolamo Maffei and Antonia Mattei.[1] His older brother Bernardino Maffei was also a cardinal, and his nephews Orazio Maffei and Marcello Lante.[1]

He was educated at the University of Ferrara, becoming a doctor of both laws in September 1547.[1] He then moved to Rome and in 1549, became a consistorial lawyer.[1] He also became a canon of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.[1] In 1552, he was vice-governor of Viterbo.[1]

Archbishop of Chieti[edit]

He was elected Archbishop of Chieti on July 14, 1553; he succeeded his brother Barnardino Maffei as archbishop.[1] Around 1554, he became a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura.[1] He was the Governor of Viterbo from September 27, 1555 until 1557.[1] From 1560 until January 1566, he was the vicegerent of the Vicar General of Rome; he later served as Vicar General of Rome.[1] Pope Pius V made him his nuncio before the Kingdom of Poland.[1] In 1566, he was appointed Datary of His Holiness, maintaining that position until 1570.[1] Sometime before January 14, 1568, he resigned the administration of his archbishopric.[1] Following the death of Maffei's brother Achille, Maffei was given his canonry in St. Peter's Basilica on July 29, 1568.[1] He became a Domestic Chaplain of His Holiness in October 1569.[1]

Cardinal Priest[edit]

Pope Pius V made him a cardinal priest in the consistory of May 17, 1570.[1] He received the red hat and the titular church of San Callisto.[1]

He attended the papal conclave of 1572 that elected Pope Gregory XIII.[1] Under the new pope he was the Prefect of the Chancery of Apostolic Briefs.[1]

He died in Rome on August 22, 1583.[1] He was buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Entry from Biographical Dictionary of the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church