Angelo Giori

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Angelo Cardinal Giori

Angelo Giori (born May 11, 1586 in Pieve Torina ; † August 8, 1662 ibid) was a cardinal of the Roman Church . For many years he was in the service of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, who later became Pope Urban VIII. His elevation to the cardinal status took place at the end of Urban VIII's pontificate due to the loyalty relationship that had existed for years. Giori, who came from a humble background, always remained an outsider among his cardinal colleagues.


Angelo Giori was born on May 11, 1586 to Giovanni Francesco Giori and Polidora Polini. The parents came from simple circumstances, nothing more is known about them. Angelo Giori studied grammar in Camerinio , where he also gave elementary lessons to children. Thanks to an uncle who worked as a valet for the Cardinal Maffeo Barberini , he too got a job as a tutor in the Barberini's house. With the help of his uncle, he also continued his studies. He ultimately even earned a doctorate in canonical and civil law.

After Maffeo Barberini was elected Pope Urban VIII , he appointed Angelo Giori as his personal papal chamberlain. Angelo Giori was thus responsible for looking after the Pope's everyday environment. Due to the close proximity to the Pope, Giori was one of the most influential people at the Curia . Urban VIII also very soon entrusted him with the task of altarista della basilica vaticana . In this, among other things, he had to accompany and prepare the trade fairs. In 1632 Urban VIII also appointed him segretario dei memoriali , a function in which Giori was primarily responsible for the petitions and petitions addressed to the Pope. In 1635 he was appointed maestro di camera , a position in which Giori had considerable influence on which people were admitted to the Pope.

The income that Giori had in the meantime he used to buy a palazzo in his birthplace in the Marche region . Allegedly, Gianlorenzo Bernini is said to have stayed there occasionally and, among other things, created a court painting in Giori's palace. This is also conceivable because Urban VIII entrusted him with the commercial supervision of a number of art projects. This included the erection of the papal tomb in the apse of St. Peter , which was carried out by Bernini. Giori himself was also an art patron. From 1639 to 1643 he had the church of Santa Maria in his birthplace restored and expanded with chapels, some of which were set up for his family and his own burial site. On July 13, 1643, Giori was awarded the cardinal dignity and ordained a priest together with two other courtiers of Urban VIII, namely Fausto Poli and Francesco Adriano Ceva . End of August d. J. he was installed as cardinal priest of Santi Quirico e Giulitta .

Urban VIII died in 1644, which went hand in hand with a significant change in his court position for Cardinal Giori. He largely withdrew from court life at the curia . Instead, Giori devoted himself to diplomatic activities in the interests of the Barberini family . While many members of the Barberini family were in Paris during the pontificate of Innocent X , Cardinal Giori stayed in Rome and taught Cardinal Francesco Barberini , who lived in Paris, about the development of things in Rome. It was also Cardinal Giori who pushed ahead with the construction of the tomb of Urban VIII. Through his connections within the Curia, he ensured that Pope Innocent X attended the unveiling of the tomb despite all the differences with the Barberini family.

Significance of Angelo Giori within the Curia

His contemporaries have always been derogatory about Giori's intellectual abilities. The climber from a humble background never had decision-making powers of political or diplomatic significance. Together with Cardinals Fausto Poli and Francesco Adriano Ceva, who were similarly given a cardinal hat, he is described in the reports of his contemporaries as mean (in the sense of simple, common), stingy and uncultivated. The historian Carolin Behrmann, who has dealt with this cardinal in more detail, stated that his work and his area of ​​responsibility were always in the informal area:

To be neutral and not to attract too much attention to the outside world, with demonstrative restraint and proof of loyalty, but always to be present in the immediate vicinity of papal power: Angelo Giori relied on the supportive influence of a single family, a patron. The success was spectacular and meteoric at the same time. Within the curial leadership circles he remained a suspiciously eyed outsider until the end of his life - for the simple climber from the provinces, however, it was a meteoric career in the courtly firmament. "


  • Carolin Behrmann: Little man with a thirst for recognition. Cardinal Angelo Giori and the subtle differences in the College of Cardinals. In: Arne Karsten (ed.): The hunt for the red hat. Cardinal careers in baroque Rome. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-525-36277-3 , p. 172 ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Carolin Behrmann, Little man with a thirst for recognition , p. 185