Vincenzo Maria Altieri

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Vincenzo Maria Altieri
Vincenzo Maria Altieri
Vincenzo Maria Altieri
Born (1724-11-27)November 27, 1724
Rome, Italy
Died February 10, 1800(1800-02-10) (aged 75)
Rome, Italy
Occupation Italian cardinal

Vincenzo Maria Altieri (1724–1800) was an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal from 1777 to 1800. He belonged to the Altieri family, one of the noble families of Rome.


Vincenzo Maria Altieri was born in Rome on November 27, 1724, the son of Girolamo Altieri, prince of Oriolo, and Maria Maddalena Borromeo.[1] Two of his father's brothers, Lorenzo Altieri and Giambattista Altieri were cardinals, while two of his nephews, Alessandro Mattei and Lorenzo Girolamo Mattei would also later become cardinals.[1]

Altieri was made a protonotary apostolic on October 3, 1743, taking possession of that office on August 24, 1747, the same day he became a Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura.[1] He served as prelate of the Sacred Congregation of the Council before being appointed vice-legate to Urbino in December 1755.[1] On November 11, 1756, he was appointed vice-legate in Romagna, and in January 1758 became governor of Ancona.[1] He was appointed to the Apostolic Camera in June 1764, returning to Rome and taking possession of that office in January 1765.[1] He became president of Carceri at this time, then served as president of the Zecca from October 1765 to 1766.[1] He was then president of Ripe from January 1767 through 1775.[1] In April 1775, he returned to the Apostolic Camera in Rome.[1] In May 1776, he became prefect of the papal household.[1]

Pope Pius VI made Altieri a cardinal in pectore in the consistory of June 23, 1777.[1] This was published in the consistory of December 11, 1780.[1] Altieri received the red hat on December 14, 1780, and was awarded the deaconry of San Giorgio in Velabro.[1] He was appointed to the Sacred Congregations of Bishops and Regulars, Council, Acque and Good Government.[1] In January 1783, he became cardinal protector of the Clerics Regular Minor.[1] On April 23, 1787, he opted for the deaconry of Sant'Angelo in Pescheria; then, on March 10, 1788, for the deaconry of Sant'Eustachio; then, on September 12, 1794, for the deaconry of Santa Maria in Via Lata.[1] At this point, he became the cardinal protodeacon.[1] On January 29, 1798, he became Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals.[1]

In February 1798, Rome was invaded by troops of the French First Republic, who created the Roman Republic.[1] Cardinal Altieri, who was by then gravely ill, was faced with the possibility of being imprisoned along with the other cardinals then in Rome.[1] Rather than face the possibility of prison, Altieri resigned his cardinalate on March 12, 1798; Pope Pius VI reluctantly accepted his resignation on September 7, 1798.[1]

Altieri died in Rome on February 10, 1800.[1] He is buried in the Altieri family chapel 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 v w Biography in the Biographical Dictionary of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giulio Maria della Somaglia
Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
29 January 1798 – February 1798
Succeeded by
Giulio Maria della Somaglia