Francesco Maria Brancaccio

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His Eminence

Francesco Maria Brancaccio
Cardinal-Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina
Church Catholic Church
Diocese Diocese of Viterbo
In office1671–1675
Predecessor Marzio Ginetti
Successor Ulderico Carpegna
Consecration8 September 1627
by  Cosimo de Torres
Created cardinal28 November 1633
Personal details
Born(1592-04-15)15 April 1592
Canneto, near Bari, Italy
Died9 January 1675(1675-01-09) (aged 82)

Francesco Maria Brancaccio (15 April 1592, Canneto, [1] near Bari – 9 January 1675) was an Italian Catholic Cardinal. [2]

Bari Comune in Apulia, Italy

Bari is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Bari and of the Apulia region, on the Adriatic Sea, in southern Italy. It is the second most important economic centre of mainland Southern Italy after Naples and Palermo, a port and university city, as well as the city of Saint Nicholas. The city itself has a population of 326,799, as of 2015, over 116 square kilometres (45 sq mi), while the urban area has 750,000 inhabitants. The metropolitan area has 1.3 million inhabitants.



Brancaccio was born on 15 April 1592, the son of Baron Muzio II Brancaccio, governor of Apulia and Zenobia in the Kingdom of Naples. He was educated by the Jesuits in Naples. [3] He was ordained there as a priest in 1619 and was rose through local ecclesiastic ranks until 1627 when he became Bishop of Capaccio which was then within the Kingdom of Naples. On 8 Sep 1627, he was consecrated bishop by Cosimo de Torres, Cardinal-Priest of San Pancrazio, with Giuseppe Acquaviva, Titular Archbishop of Thebae, and Francesco Nappi (bishop), Bishop of Polignano, serving as co-consecrators. [2] While a bishop, he came into conflict with the local foot guards with whom he had a disagreement about local ecclesiastic jurisdiction. [4] When the disagreement was elevated to armed conflict, a castrato in Brancaccio's employ killed the captain of the guard. The Vice-King [5] ordered the bishop to stand trial and he obeyed; making arrangements to travel to Naples to give his account. But rather than travel to Naples he fled in a felucca towards Rome and upon arrival sought an audience with Pope Urban VIII to explain his side of the story. Urban agreed to defend the bishop and a furious Kingdom of Naples took custody of all the wealth and assets of Brancaccio's bishopric.

Apulia Region of Italy

Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers (7,469 sq mi), and its population is about four million.

Zenobia 3rd-century Queen of the Palmyrene Empire

Septimia Zenobia was a third century queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria. Many legends surround her ancestry; she was probably not a commoner and she married the ruler of the city, Odaenathus. Her husband became king in 260, elevating Palmyra to supreme power in the Near East by defeating the Sassanians and stabilizing the Roman East. After Odaenathus' assassination, Zenobia became the regent of her son Vaballathus and held de facto power throughout his reign.

Kingdom of Naples former state in Italy

The Kingdom of Naples comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Pope Urban absolved Brancaccio of any crime and ordered that he be returned to Capaccio but the Vice-King opposed it and urged the pope to send him elsewhere. [4] The Pope, in need of more cardinals loyal to the Barberini cause, instead kept Brancaccio in Rome and he was elevated to the rank of cardinal in his consistory of 28 November 1633.


Now as a cardinal, there were few who would publicly speak ill of Brancaccio, though they may have wanted to. He was restored to his bishopric where he remained until 1635 when yet another conflict with yet another Vice-King saw him resign. While in Naples he worked closely with cardinals Francesco Boncompagni and Ippolito Aldobrandini. [4]

Ippolito Aldobrandini (cardinal) Catholic cardinal

Ippolito Aldobrandini was a Catholic Cardinal. He served as Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church from 1623 to 1638. Pope Clement VIII, whose birth name was also Ippolito Aldobrandini, was his great-uncle.

He became Bishop of Viterbo in 1638; then he became cardinal-bishop of Sabina (1666–68), of Frascati (1668–71), and finally of Porto e Santa Rufina (1671-75). He attended the papal conclaves of 1644, 1655, 1667 and 1669, which elected popes Innocent X, Alexander VII, Clement IX and Clement X respectively. [2]

Papal conclave Papal election

A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, also known as the pope. The pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Patron of the arts

Grave of Francesco Brancaccio Scultbarocca.jpg
Grave of Francesco Brancaccio

During his time in Rome he formed the Biblioteca Brancacciana (which later moved to Naples and became that city's first public library - it is now part of the National Library of Naples) and housed the artist Salvator Rosa.[ citation needed ]

Salvator Rosa Italian painter and poet

Salvator Rosa was an Italian Baroque painter, poet, and printmaker, who was active in Naples, Rome, and Florence. As a painter, he is best known as "unorthodox and extravagant" as well as being a "perpetual rebel" and a proto-Romantic.

In 1642 Giovanni Gentile dedicated a teaching-collection of music entitled Solfeggiamenti et ricercari a due voci ( Solfèges and ricercari for two voices - Lodovico Grignani, Rome, 1642) to him. The frontispiece gives him as "CARD. FRANCESCO MARIA / BRANCACCIO. / VESCOVO DI VITERBO" ("Cardinal Francesco Maria Brancaccio, bishop of Viterbo") and in the appendices is a canon in two voices "Cavato dalle lettere vocali del nome, e cognome / DELL'EMINENTISSIMO E REVERENDISSIMO / CARDINALE BRANCACCIO" ("Based on the vocal letters of the name and surname of the most eminent and most reverend / cardinal Brancaccio").[ citation needed ]

Episcopal succession

While bishop, he was the principal consecrator of: [2]

and the principal co-consecrator of: [2]

References and notes

  1. Note: a quarter of which now constitutes the municipality of Adelfia
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Francesco Maria Cardinal Brancaccio" . David M. Cheney. Retrieved 26 August 2016
  3. S. Miranda: BRANCACCIO, Francesco Maria
  4. 1 2 3 Pope Alexander the Seventh and the College of Cardinals by John Bargrave, edited by James Craigie Robertson (reprint; 2009)
  5. Note: usually a local count or other noble charged with the administration of the kingdom.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Pedro de Mata y Haro
Bishop of Capaccio
Succeeded by
Luigi Pappacoda
Preceded by
Desiderio Scaglia
Cardinal-Priest of Santi XII Apostoli
Succeeded by
Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri Degli Albertoni
Preceded by
Alessandro Cesarini (iuniore)
Bishop of Viterbo e Tuscania
Succeeded by
Stefano Brancaccio
Preceded by
Giovanni Battista Maria Pallotta
Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina
Succeeded by
Stefano Durazzo
Preceded by
Marzio Ginetti
Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina
Succeeded by
Giulio Gabrielli
Preceded by
Giovanni Battista Maria Pallotta
Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati
Succeeded by
Ulderico Carpegna
Preceded by
Marzio Ginetti
Cardinal-Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina
Succeeded by
Ulderico Carpegna

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