Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758

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Prospero Lambertini.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Rome, 1699 Nov. 11. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270905827

From the description of Autograph signature to petition from François de Rochefort, 1743 Oct. 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270905829

From the description of Autograph letter signed : to Card. Bentivoglio, 1731 Feb. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270905830

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Rome, to Paulo Lignoli(?), 1699 Nov. 11. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270905828

Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini was born in Bologna on March 31, 1675, of a noble but impoverished family. He received his early education from private tutors but at the age of thirteen (1688) was sent to the Collegium Clementinum in Rome. There he studied for four years concentrating on law and theology, making himself thoroughly familiar with the church fathers, the decrees of the councils, and the pronouncements of the popes. In 1694 he received a doctorate in law and theology from the University of Rome.

He began his public career as an assistant to an auditor of the Rota. He subsequently held the offices of consistorial advocate (1701), promoter of the faith (1708), and assessor at the Congregation of Rites (1712). In 1718 he became secretary of the Congregation of the Council. Named titular bishop of Theodosia in 1725, he was appointed to the archbishopric of Ancona in 1727. Named a cardinal in 1728 (reserved in petto from Dec. 9, 1726), he was transferred to the see of Bologna (1731) and elected to the papacy in 1740.

Benedict's previous experience had prepared him for the task he then assumed. He was a man of broad theological, legal, and medical learning and was experienced in church government and administration. Not satisfied with mere condemnation of error, he began in the first years of his pontificate to issue encyclical letters in order to apply the doctrine of the church to the problems of his age, fully aware of the need to integrate the divergent cultures of scientific and religious thought.

Shortly after assuming office he established a curial congregation to select worthy bishops, reminded ordinaries of their duties, emphasized the importance of the formation of priests, improved living conditions in the papal states, and restored major and minor churches. In matters unconcerned with dogma he was known to be extremely conciliatory. This is evident in his handling of several issues including: the negotiations with the monarchs of Europe, the crisis between the French bishops and the Parlement, the difficult question of mixed marriages, and the legislation relating to the Index of Prohibited Books.

His De servorum Dei beatificatione et beatorum canonizatione (1734-1738) grew out of his practical experience as promoter of the faith and is still the classic reference on beatifications and canonizations although there have been a few moderate revisions in recent years. His extensive work on diocesan synods, De synodo dioecesana, was based on his experience in Ancona and Bologna. He carried on a correspondence with scholars throughout the world. More than 760 of his letters are extant.

To encourage historical studies he founded a number of academies in Rome, enlarged the Vatican Library, and initiated the compilation of a detailed catalog of its manuscripts. He gave his wholehearted approval for the appointment of two women as professors at the University of Bologna and established chairs of chemistry, mathematics, and experimental physics at the Sapienza.

A few weeks before his death (May 3, 1758), he appointed Cardinal Saldanha to investigate the charges made against the Jesuits in Portugal. Saldanha did not receive the brief until after Benedict's death. Nevertheless, exceeding the powers conveyed to him, he pronounced judgment on the Jesuits before the elevation of Benedict's successor, thus leaving a major problem for the latter.

From the description of Fondo Benedetto XIV : bolle e costitutiones, 1598-1758 (bulk 1750-1758). (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 145567493

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Sixtus V, Pope, 1520-1590. Documents relating to the Order of San Hipólito Mártir, 1585-1771. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Sorelló, Miguel, ca. 1700-1765,. Prospettiva della prima macchina, rappresentante un porto franco, [graphic] : figurato ad oggetto di rimostrare il provido pensiero, e cura della Maestà di don Carlo di Borbone rè delle Due Sicilie, di Gerusaleme &c. &c. &c. ... ; la medes.a macchina fatta ardere dà S.a Ecc.za il Sr. Pñpe d. Fabrizo Colonna ... la sera de gl'otto 7br̃e, festa della Natività della Glõ. Vẽrg. Maria, doppo d'avere la mattina, nella chiesa di S. M.a del Popolo, presentata la Chinea, e censo à S.a Beatitud. papa Benedetto XIV, l'an. 1740 / Pietro Parrocel inv. e dis. ; Michele Sorellò incise con lic. de sup. ; Francesco Scardavelli capo bombardiere, e capo focarolo di C.S.A. Getty Research Institute, Research Library
referencedIn Catholic Church. Collegio dei cardinali. Scrutinio per la morte de Benedetto XIV : Accessus et voti scrutinari, 1758. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Autograph letter signed : to Card. Bentivoglio, 1731 Feb. 23. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Autograph letter signed : Rome, to Paulo Lignoli(?), 1699 Nov. 11. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Crimmins, John D. (John Daniel), 1844-1917. The papal autograph collection / collected by John D. Crimmins. Catholic University of America
referencedIn Sertor, Gaetano. Il conclave dell'anno MDCCLXXIV : dramma per musica da recitarsi nel Teatro delle Dame. Dedicato alle medesime dame, [ca. 1775]. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Knights of Malta. Legal summaries : manuscript, 1749-1758. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Maria Clementina, Princess, consort of James Prince of Wales, 1702-1735. Autograph letter signed : Bologna, to Pope Benedict XIII, 1727 Dec. 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Pope Benedict XIV letter to Scipione Maffei, 1753 Oct. 6. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Sertor, Gaetano. Il conclave dell'anno MDCCLXXIV : dramma per musica da recitarsi nel Teatro delle Dame. Dedicato alle medesime dame, [ca. 1775] Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Catholic Church. Collegio dei cardinali. Conclavi, 1585-1846. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Fondo Benedetto XIV : bolle e costitutiones, 1598-1758 (bulk 1750-1758). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Vasi, Giuseppe, 1710-1782,. Prospettiva della p.a macchina, con cui si rappresenta la fondazione del Regno di Napoli, e Sicilia [graphic] : fatta dal conte Rogiero Normanno, ... ; fatta ardere detta macchina d'ordine di Sua Ecc.za il Sigr. Pñpe d. Fabrizio Colonna ... à dover presentare il censo, e Chinea nella vigilia de Ss. Pietro, e Paolo Apostoli a Sua Beatitudine papa Benedetto XIV l'anno 1745 / Giuseppe Doria architetto inv., e dis. ; Giuseppe Vasi incise. Getty Research Institute, Research Library
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Autograph signature to petition from François de Rochefort, 1743 Oct. 16. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Pozzi, Giuseppe, d. 1765,. Disegno della seconda machina rappresentante una cuccagna a similitudine di quelle che si fanno nej felicissimi regni delle Due Sicilie : incendiata per commando di Sua Eccellenza il. sig.r principe Don Lorenzo Colonna gran contestabile del regno di Napoli &c. &c. ambasciatore straordinario di Sua Maestà il re' delle Due Sicilie &c. &c. &c. nel giorno de gloriosi ss. apostoli Pietro, e Paolo dopo la presentazione della Chinea alla Santità di Nostro Signore papa Benedetto XIV l'anno 1757 [graphic] / Paolo Posi architetto ; Giuseppe Palazzi disegnò ; Giuseppe Pozzi incise. Getty Research Library
creatorOf Rua, Hernando de la. Treatises, encyclicals, bulls, and proclamations : relating to the Spanish colonies, chiefly Mexico and Peru : manuscript, [16---17--] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Autograph letter signed : Rome, 1699 Nov. 11. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Benedict XIV, Pope, 1675-1758. Privilegios de Indias : manuscript extract, circa 1742. Library of Congress
creatorOf Catholic Church. Diocese of Québec. Correspondence, 1767-1838. University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Bentivoglio, Cardinal, person
associatedWith Catholic Church corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Collegio dei cardinali. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Collegio dei cardinali. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Congregatio Breviarii Emendationi et Reformationi Preposita. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Diocese of Québec. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Pope (1740-1758 : Benedict XIV) corporateBody
associatedWith Crimmins, John D. (John Daniel), 1844-1917. person
associatedWith Knights of Malta. corporateBody
associatedWith Maffei, Scipione, marchese, 1675-1755. person
associatedWith Maria Clementina, Princess, consort of James Prince of Wales, 1702-1735. person
associatedWith Pozzi, Giuseppe, d. 1765, person
associatedWith Rochefort, François de. person
associatedWith Sertor, Gaetano. person
associatedWith Sorelló, Miguel, ca. 1700-1765, person
associatedWith Vasi, Giuseppe, 1710-1782, person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Italy
Subject
Theater--History--18th century
Indians of Mexico
Fasts and feasts--Catholic Church
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1675-05-13

Death 1758-05-03

Italians

Latin,

Italian

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