Bernardino Spada

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Cardinal Bernardino Spada (oil painting by Guido Reni , ca.1631)
Spada's Cardinal Coat of Arms (Palazzo Ossoli Soderini, Rome)

Bernardino Spada (born April 21, 1594 in Brisighella , † November 10, 1661 in Rome ) was a cardinal of the Roman Church .


Bernardino Spada came from the Italian aristocratic family Spada , who owed their rise to the merchant Paolo Spada . In the course of his life he accumulated a considerable fortune due to his not always legal business conduct, which he used, among other things, to invest in the careers of his descendants. Bernardino Spada was his third born son. He enabled a steep career at the curia .

The ordination received Bernardino Spada between mid May and early December 1623, still in the same year has not even thirty years Spada became the titular archbishop of Damiata appointed. He was ordained bishop on December 4, 1523 by Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio ; Co- consecrators were Guillaume du Nozet , titular archbishop of Seleucia in Isauria , and François Boyvin de Péricard , bishop of Evreux . Bernardino Spada was the nuncio at the French royal court from 1623 to 1627 . This was followed by the takeover of the Legation in Bologna from 1627 to 1631 . In this office, Bernardino Spada had to enforce the interests and instructions of the Pope in the city.

On 26 January 1626 appointment was made for Cardinal Priest by Urban VIII. ; his titular church was Santo Stefano al Monte Celio . As a member of the College of Cardinals , Bernardino Spada advocated his family members, among other things. Through his mediation, the marriage of his nephew Orazio Spada to Maria Veralli came about. As a result, the Spada came into the inheritance of this long-established family, whose only descendant was Maria Veralli.

From January 15, 1638 to January 10, 1639, Bernardino Spada was treasurer of the Holy College of Cardinals . On May 22, 1642, he opted for the titular church of San Pietro in Vincoli , in the same year he carried out a peace mission at the Farnese court in Padua with his brother Virgilio in the course of the war for the Duchy of Castro , which led to the abandonment of a planned campaign against Rome led. Bernardino Spada took part in the 1644 conclave , in which Pope Innocent X was elected.

He opted on February 19, 1646 for the cardinal class of the Cardinal Bishops and received the suburbicarian diocese of Albano on February 19 of the same year . On April 29, 1652 he moved to the suburbicarian bishopric of Frascati , on September 23, 1652 he again exchanged this bishopric for that of Sabina . He was a participant in the 1655 conclave , from which Alexander VII emerged as pope. Finally, on October 11, 1655, he opted for the suburbicarian diocese of Palestrina .

Bernardino Spada died on November 10, 1661 before sunrise in Rome. He was buried in a family grave in the church of San Girolamo della Carità .


Bernardino Spada acquired the palace in Rome, now known as Palazzo Spada, in 1623 and from 1635 had it restored by Francesco Borromini .

The relatives he supported also included the 11 children from Orazio Spada's marriage to Maria Veralli. Among them, Fabrizio Spada also made a career at the Curia - not least thanks to the protection of his great-uncle - and not only received the cardinal's hat in 1675, but also became cardinal state secretary .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. This period results from the fact that on the occasion of his episcopal ordination he received a dispensation from the requirement that the ordination should have taken place at least six months ago; see. Spada, Bernardino. In: Salvador Miranda : The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. ( Florida International University website , English)
  2. cf. Philippe Bountry: Le sacré collège des cardinaux . In: Souverain et pontife. Recherches prosopographiques sur la Curie Romaine à l'âge de la Restoration (1814–1846) . École française de Rome, Rome 2002, margin no. 711 (French, online edition [accessed April 22, 2020]).
predecessor Office successor
Alfonso de la Cueva Albuquerque Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina
Antonio Barberini
Francesco VI. Barberini Cardinal Bishop of Sabina
Giulio II. Cesare Sacchetti
Carlo I. Medici Cardinal Bishop of Frascati
Giulio III. Sacchetti
Gaspar de Borja y Velasco Cardinal Bishop of Albano
Federico Cornaro