(March 5, 1605—April 1. 1605)

SS Peter and Paul

giulio (scudo)



The two patron saints of the Roman church, Peter with a book and keys, Paul with a sword..

Arms of Cardinal Aldobrandini


Arms of Pietro Card. Aldobrandini, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (1599-1621), surmounted by the Ombrellone, crossed keys.

Berman, p. 132 #1638.

Born in Rome in 1571, PIETRO CARD. ALDOBRANDINI, the son of Pietro Aldobrandini and of Flaminia Ferracci, was nephew of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605). He obtained a doctorate in Civil and Canon Law, and was named Protonotary Apostolic. He was created a cardinal deacon in 1593, and along with his cousin Cardinal Cincio took over the affairs of the papal government. On December 20, 1599 he was appointed Cardinal Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church for life. He acted as Legate for the Pope to Henri IV of France, first to regularize his situation with the Church, and then to finalize the marriage of the king with Catherine de' Medici (1600-1601). He became Archbishop of Ravenna in 1604, and in 1620 was promoted Bishop of the Suburbicarian See of Sabina. He died on the day after the conclusion of the Conclave of 1621.

The Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals was Cardinal Ptolomeo Galli.

The Governor of the Conclave was Msgr. Orazio Spinola, Archbishop of Genoa (d. 1616). He was made a referendary by Sixtus V, Vice-Legate of Bologna by Clement VIII. After the Conclave Paul V made him Vice-Legate of Ferrara He was named a cardinal by Pope Paul V in 1606, with the title of St.Biagio

The Papal Master of Ceremonies was Msgr. Paolo Alaleone, who left a diary of the proceedings. He was assisted by Msgr. Giovanni Paolo Mucanzio, who also left a diary covering the period from Gregory XIV to Paul V (Gauchat, 8 n. 1; Gattico, pp. 343-348).


Death of Pope Clement

Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, the nephew of Pope Clement, was on his way to Ravenna, to take formal possession of the See. En route, on February 11, 1605, he was overtaken by a courier who brought news that the Pope had fallen ill on the 10th with "un gagliarda convulsione di umori", and that he was in danger of his life. On his return to Rome, the Cardinal did everything he could to find help for the Pope, but there was nothing to be done. (Histoire des conclaves; Platina IV, 282). Pope Clement VIII died on March 5, 1605. The sede vacante lasted for twenty-eight days.

Interests of the Crowns

Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, the Camerlengo, the late pope's nephew, controlled some twenty-eight votes (Wahrmund, 112), not enough to elect a candidate, but sufficient to exclude anyone objectionable to him. Among his supporters were the French cardinals, and the whole group had sworn not to elect anyone but a member of their faction. Aldobrandini's candidate was Baronius, and the virtual exclusiva would be used against Montelparo, Sauli and Ascoli, who were the favorite soggetti of Cardinal Montalto (Peretti). Against Aldobrandini were ranged a number of cardinals: Sforza, Santa Cecilia (Sfondrati), Acquaviva, Farnese, D'Este, Doria, Colonna, to whom were added Montalto, Madrucci, and Borromeo.(Conclavi, 30-31; Histoire des conclaves, 296). Montalto was the arch-enemy of Galli, the Dean (according to the Duc d' Escalona: Couderc, 44).

Montalto became greatly annoyed by the tone and manner of the Adobrandini faction in the Congregations, where they tried to make themselves masters of the Conclave. And so he refused to make his votes available to them.

The Spanish interest, led by Francisco Cardinal de Avila, the official Protector of Spain, controlled around twenty-five votes. He was associated with Cardinals Montalto and Farnese. He too could exclude any candidate. The Spanish (at the request, as well, of the Duike of Mantua) certainly intended to exclude Baronius, as well as Cardinal Seraphin Razali (who had been proposed by Aldobrandini). They were also opposed to some of the creature of Clement VIII, notably the Cardinal of San Marcello (Zacchia), the Cardinal of San Clemente (Biandrate di San Giorgio), Sannesio, Toschi, St. Pietro in vinculis (Agucchi), and Tarugi. They also gave the appearance of disliking the Cardinal of Florence (Medici) and the Cardinal of Verona (Valier).

Cardinal de' Medici, Archbishop of Florence, had been instructed by the Grand Duke of Tuscany to work with Cardinal Montalto and attempt to influence him in favor of the Grand Duke's candidates. (Histoire des conclaves, 299)

The Cardinals

According to the Conclavi di pontefice romani (Volume II, p. 38-39), sixty cardinals entered Conclave on March 14. There was one surviving creatura of Pius V, Cardinal Galli, the Dean of the Sacred College. Four of Gregory XIII's cardinals were present: Medici, Valier, Joyeuse, and Sforza. Twelve cardinals of Sixtus V were in attendance: Pinelli, Ascoli (Bernerio), Pallo (Galli), Sauli, Palotta, Camerino (Pierbenedetti), Montepulciano, Giustiniani, Monte, Borromeo, and Montalto. Five cardinals of Gregory XIV were present: Santa Cecilia (Sfondrato), Aquaviva, Piatti, Pallavicini and Farnese. The only creatura of Innocent IX was Santi Quattro (Facchinetti). There were thirty-eight cardinals of Clement VIII: Aldobrandini, Tarugi, Bandino, Giuri (Givry), San Clemente, Borghese, Pianchetto, Baronius, Avila, Mantica, Arigone, Bevilaqua, Visconti, Tosco, San Marcello, Bellarmin, Sourdis, Seraphin, Spinelli, Conti, Madrucci, du Perron, Bufalo, Delfino, Sannesio, Valenti, San Pietro in vinculis (Agucchi), San Giorgio (Cinzio Aldobrandini), Cesi, Peretti, d'Este, Deti, San Cesario (Silvestro Aldobrandini), Doria, and Pio. Cardinal Dietrichstein was a late arrival. Forty votes were needed for the canonical election of a pope.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Tolomeo Galli di Como (aged 77), Suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals.(died February 3, 1607)
    –The See of Porto was vacant.
  2. Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici (aged 69), Suburbicarian Bishop of Palestrina (died April 27, 1605) "Cardinal of Florence" elected Pope Leo XI.
  3. Domenico Pinelli (aged 63), Suburbicarian Bishop of Frascati (1603-June 1, 1605). ex-Professor of Law at Padua
  4. Girolamo Bernerio, OP (aged 65), Suburbicarian Bishop of Albano.[1603-1607] (died 1611)
  5. François de Joyeuse (aged 42), Suburbicarian Bishop of Sabina.(died 1615) Archbishop of Rouen. Doctor in utroque iure.  Protector of France (1587-1589; 1596-1615).

  6. Agostino Valier (aged 73), Cardinal Priest of San Marco (died 1606) Bishop of Verona.
  7. Antonio Maria Galli (aged 51), Cardinal Priest of Santa Prassede (died 1620) Bishop of Osimo.
  8. Antonio Maria Sauli (aged 64), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere [1603-1607] (died 1623) Doctorate in law (Padua)
  9. .
  10. Giovanni Evangelista Pallotta (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (died 1623) Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica.
  11. Mariano Pierbenedetti (aged 66), Cardinal Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro (died 1611) "Camerino"
  12. Gregorio Petrocchini (aged 70), Cardinal Priest of S. Agostino (died 1612) "Montelparo"
  13. Paolo Emilio Sfondrato (aged 45), Cardinal Priest of Santa Cecilia [1591-1618] (died 1618). Legate in Bologna and the Romangna "Montepulciano"
  14. .
  15. Benedetto Giustiniani (aged 60), Cardinal Priest of Santa Prisca (died 1621)
  16. Francesco Maria Bourbon del Monte Santa Maria (aged 55), Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Aracoeli (died 1627). Prefect of the SC of the Council of Trent.
  17. Ottavio d'Aquaviva d'Aragona (aged 45), Cardinal Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo [1602-June 5, 1605] (died 1612). Doctor in utroque iure, Perugia
  18. Flaminio Piatti (aged 52), Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria della Pace (died 1611).
  19. Ottavio Paravicini (aged 52), Cardinal Priest of S. Alessio (died 1611).
  20. Federico Borromeo (aged 40), Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria degli Angeli (died 1618) Archbishop of Milan. Doctorate in law, Pavia
  21. Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti de Nuce (aged 30), Cardinal Priest of Santi Quattro Coronati (died 1606).
  22. Francesco Maria Tarugi, Orat. (aged 80), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria sopra Minerva (died 1608) Archbishop of Siena.
  23. Ottavio Bandini (aged 46), Cardinal Priest of Santa Sabina (died 1629) Archbishop of Fermo.
  24. Anne d'Escars de Givry, OSB (aged 59), Cardinal Priest of Santa Susanna (died 1612) ex-Bishop of Lisieux, Coadjutor of Langres.
  25. Giovanni Francesco Biandrate di San Giorgio (aged 60), Cardinal Priest of San Clemente (died July 16, 1605) Bishop of Faenza.
  26. Camillo Borghese (aged 52), Cardinal Priest of San Crisogono (died 1621) Secretary of the Inquisition, Vicar-General of Rome..
  27. Cesare Baronio, Orat. (aged 66), Cardinal Priest of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo (died 1607) Bibliothecarius S. R. E.
  28. Lorenzo Bianchetti (aged 59), Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna (died 1612). Doctor of Law, Bologna
  29. Francisco de Ávila (aged 56 ?), Cardinal Priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme [1599-1606] (died 1606). Cardinal Protector of Spain
  30. Francesco Mantica (aged 71), Cardinal Priest of San Tommaso in Parione (died 1614). Doctor in utroque iure, Padua
  31. Pompeio Arrigoni (aged 53), Cardinal Priest of Santa Balbina (died 1616) Doctor in utroque iure, Padua
  32. Bonifacio Bevilacqua Aldobrandini (aged 34), Cardinal Priest of S Anastasia [1599-1611] (died 1627) Legate in Perugia and Umbria. Prefect of the Council of the Index. law degree, Padua
  33. Alfonso Visconti (aged 53), Cardinal Priest of S. Sisto (died 1608) Archbishop of Spoleto. Doctor in utroque iure, Pavia
  34. Domenico Toschi (aged 70), Cardinal Priest of San Onofrio [1604-1610] (died 1620) Bishop of Tivoli. .Doctor in law, Pavia
  35. Paolo Emilio Zacchia (aged 51), Cardinal Priest of San Marcello (died May 31, 1605). Bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto
  36. Franz von Dietrichstein (aged 34), Cardinal Priest of San Silvestro in Capite (died 1636) Archbishop of Olomouc (cf. Histoire des conclaves, 325-326)
  37. Roberto Bellarmino, SJ (aged 62), Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Via [1595-June 1, 1605] (died 1621) Archbishop of Capua
  38. François d'Escoubleau de Sourdis (aged 30), Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli (died 1628).Archbishop of Bordeaux
  39. Séraphin Olivier Razali (aged 67), Cardinal Priest of S. Salvatore in Lauro (died 1609) Doctor in utroque iure, Bologna.Latin Patriarch of Alexandria
  40. Filippo Spinelli (aged 39), Cardinal Priest of San Bartolommeo all' Isola (died 1616) bishop of Policastro.
  41. Carlo Conti (aged 48), Cardinal Priest without title (died 1615) bishop of Ancona. Doctor in utroque iure, Perugia
  42. Carlo Gaudenzio Madruzzo (aged 43), Cardinal Priest without title (died 1629) Prince-Bishop of Trento. Doctor in utroque iure, Pavia
  43. Jacques Davy du Perron (aged 48), Cardinal Priest of S. Agnese in Agone (died 1618). bishop of Evreux, France.
  44. Innocenzo del Bufalo Cancellieri (aged 39), Cardinal Priest of S. Tommaso in Parione (died 1610) Bishop of Camerino. Doctor of law (Rome)
  45. Giovanni Delfino (aged 60), Cardinal Priest of San Matteo (died 1622). Bishop of Vicenza
  46. Giacomo Sannesio (aged ca. 45), Cardinal Priest of San Stefano Rotondo (died 1621).
  47. Erminio Valenti (aged 41), Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Transpontina (died 1618).
  48. Girolamo Agucchi (aged 50), Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vinculis (died April 27, 1605)
  49. Girolamo Pamphili (aged ca. 60), Cardinal Priest of San Biagio (died 1610).
  50. Ferdinando Taverna (aged 47), Cardinal Priest of San Eusebio (died 1619). Legate of the Marches
  51. Anselmo Marzato, OFM Cap (aged 62), Cardinal Priest of San Pietro in Montorio (died 1607) "Cardinal of Monopoli", his birthplace.

  52. Francesco Sforza di Santa Fiora (aged 42), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Via Lata [1588-1617] (died 1624) Cardinal Protodeacon
  53. Alessandro Damasceni Peretti de Montalto (aged 33), Cardinal Deacon of S. Lorenzo in Damaso [1589-1623] (died 1623) Grand-nephew of Sixtus V. Vice-Chancellor of the S. R. E.
  54. Odoardo Farnese (aged 31), Cardinal Deacon of San Eustachio [1595-1617] (died 1626). Great-grandson of Pope Paul III
  55. Pietro Aldobrandini (aged 33), Cardinal Priest of S. Pancrazio (died February 10, 1621) nipote of Pope Clement VIII. Major Penetentiary. Cardinal Camerlengo
  56. Bartolomeo Cesi (aged 39), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Portico (died 1621) Doctor in utroque iure, Perugia.
  57. Andrea Baroni Peretti Montalto (aged 32), Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria [1600-1617] (died 1629) cousin of Pope Sixtus V
  58. Alessandro d'Este (aged 36), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria Nuova (died 1624). Brother of the Duke of Modena
  59. Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini (aged 54). Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro [1598-June 1, 1605] (died 1610) Nephew of Pope Clement VIII
  60. Giovanni Battista Deti (aged 25), Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin (died 1630).
  61. Silvestro Aldobrandini (aged 17), Cardinal Deacon of San Cesareo (died 1612) Grand-nephew of Clement VIII. Prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem [Cardella, VI, 85-86]
  62. Giovanni Doria (aged 32), Cardinal Deacon without title (died 1642).
  63. Carlo Emmanuele Pio di Carpi (aged 20), Cardinal Deacon of San Nicola in Carcere [1604-1623] (died 1641).

Cardinals absent:

  1. Domenico Ginnasi (aged 53), Cardinal Priest of S. Pancrazio (died 1639) Archbishop of Manfredonia. Nuncio in Spain
  2. Antonio Zapata y Cisneros (aged 54), Cardinal Priest without title (died 1635) Archbishop of Burgos
  3. Ascanio Colonna (aged 44), Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana (died 1608). Prior of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Venice
  4. Pierre de Gondi (aged 72), Cardinal Priest of San Silvestro in Capite (died 1616) ex-Archbishop of Paris. Doctor in utroque iure, Paris
  5. Charles III de Lorraine-Vaudemont, Cardinal Priest of S. Agata dei Goti [1591-1607] Bishop of Metz,.
  6. Fernando Niño de Guevara (aged 64), Cardinal Priest of S. Martino ai Monti [1598-1609] (died 1609) Archbishop of Seville
  7. Bernardo de Rojas y Sandoval (aged 58), Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia (died 1618) Archbishop of Toledo
  8. Bernard Maciejowski (57), Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina (died 1608) Archbishop of Krakow



Cardinal Cesare Baronio

On Wednesday, March 9, the Dean of the Sacred College had a letter read out in Spanish to the Congregation of Cardinals. The Duke of Feria had written from Sicily to the Sacred College and sent along a copy of a letter he had written to the late Pope Clement, as yet unaware of the Pope's death, to complain about the treatment the question of the Kingdom of Sicily had received in the Annales of Cardinal Baronius. He begged the Sacred College to do something about this matter.He demanded that Baronius' works be suppressed, in particular the Annales. At that point Cardinal Baronius arose, and apologized gracefully for his writings, stating that what he published was only based on what was in the Vatican Library, a memorial from France, and his pieces had been read and reread by Cardinal Aldobrandini and published with consent of three other cardinals; that he had always had respect for the King of Spain, whose subject he had been born (cf. Laemmer, Analecta Romana 142-143). Cardinal d' Avila, who had read the letter, asked pardon for having read the letter before knowing its contents, and stated that there was good reason to have regard for the honor of His Catholic Majesty, a great prince, devoted to the Church, who had such great means to serve it. Upon that statement there arose a great murmuring among the cardinals, with sharp accents, from Bandini and S. Giorgio on one side, in Baronius' defense, while others were saying that great regard indeed should be had for the King of Spain, but the situation also involved the reputation of a Cardinal of the Church who had published on the urging of the recently dead Pope. (Laemmer, Meletematum, p. 360 n. 1; the conclavist is evidently a supporter of Baronius; Conclavi, 33-34; Histoire des conclaves, 297)

The Dean, Cardinal Galli, was greatly blamed by many cardinals for having raised the issue, hoping (as they alleged) to base his own fortunes on the ruins of another's. Nonetheless, Farnese defended him, which led to a discussion of the conduct of Cardinal del Monte and then an examination of the conduct of the cardinals who had been Auditors of the Rota. Cardinal Giustiniani undertook to defend Cardinal del Monte.

Opening of the Conclave

Before the opening, the favorites were Cardinals Paolo Emilio Zacchia (of Genoa, Bishop of Citta-Castellana, who died on May 31, 1605), Giovanni Francesco Blandrata (Bishop of Acqui) and Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici (Bishop of Palestrina). Cesare Cardinal Baronius, the famous church historian and polemicist, was a major candidate, but he was opposed by the Spanish Court, both because of his assistance in bringing Henri IV to the French throne and because of his negative attitude to the Spanish claims to the Sicilian monarchy. A report survives in the Archivas of Simancas, sent by the Spanish Ambassador in Rome, the Duc d' Escalona, to the King of Spain, on April 24, 1605, between the two conclaves, characterizing each of the cardinals (Couderc, 38-46)


The Conclave opened on Monday, March 14 (Gauchat, 8 n. 1). The various officials of the Conclave were sworn in by the Cardinal Dean of the Sacred College in a ceremony in the Capella Paolina.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 15, the Cardinals vested in the Aula Regia and proeeded to the Capella Paolina. The Dean of the Sacred College, Cardinal Tolomeo Galli di Como, read the Mass of the Holy Spirit, and the Cardinals received Holy Communion. The Masters of Ceremonies then withdrew and the Cardinals began their balloting (Diary of Joannes Paulus Mucantio: Gattico, p. 344). On the first vote, on Tuesday, March 15, Cardinal Robert Bellarmin received 11 votes and Baronius 8 (Couderc, 25) Farnese, Doni and Pio each had one, and Montalto two (Histoire des conclaves, 301). It was noticed that an alliance was being formed against Cardinal Aldobrandini (Laemmer, Meletematum, p. 361 n.). After lunch, the Conclavists were screened by the three Cardinals who were the senior members of each Order, with the assistance of the Secretary of the Conclave and the Masters of Ceremonies. The cardinals who were infirm were allowed three conclavists.

On Wednesday, March 16, the Sacristan read the Mass for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff in the Capella Paolina. After Mass, the Bulls of Pope Clement VIII and Pius V were read and sworn to. Then Cardinals Cesi and Pio presented and had read the Breves which granted them permission to participate and vote in the Conclave, despite the fact that they had not taken holy orders as Deacons. Cardinals Deti and Doria presented testimony that they had been ordained to the Diaconate; these too were read out. In the scrutiny, Cardinal Baronius received 19 votes, with none joining him at the accessio. Verona (Valier) and Visconti each had 7. (Histoire des conclaves, 301)

On the 17th, the Cardinal of Santa Cecilia (Sfondrati) became ill of the tertian fever, and decided that he had to leave the Conclave. A General Congregation of the Cardinals was called after lunch in the Paoline Chapel. The Spanish faction was alarmed, and attempted to convince him to remain. They wanted to remove him to the chamber reserved for a hospital, where he would be cared for. Medicines were sent for. But Aldobrandini pointed out that the papal Bulls forbade a cardinal to change cells, even if he was ill. The Cardinals heard a report from the doctors stating that Sfondrati was seriously ill and that the facilities to treat him adequately did not exist inside the Conclave. They were compelled to swear to the testimony. The Congregation of Cardinals considered Sfondrati's request to be removed from the Conclave with great reluctance, despite the fact that the litter and wagons were already prepared outside the Conclave. During the night his fever became worse, and on the 18th he was carried to his palazzo, leaving fifty-nine cardinals to continue deliberations. In the scrutiny of the 17th, Cardinal Baronius received only 12 votes, and Cardinal Bellarmin 8. For the next few days there was little change. Cardinal Silvestro Aldobrandini also became ill, with a "catarrh" ("fluxion") Farnese also came down with a fever, and produced blood; he was given a third conclavist to attend to his needs (Conclavi, 45-48; Histoire des conclaves, 304-307).

On March 19, Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein appeared at the Door of the Conclave, still dressed in his traveling clothes (which caused a scandal, since he looked every bit a layman); he and his two conclavists were allowed entry by the Cardinal Camerlengo and the heads of the three orders.

From the 18th to the 20th, more names were proposed, and discarded. Aldobrandini engaged in frequent conversations with Cardinal d' Avila. The Spanish faction complained that Aldobrandini was wrong in wanting to exclude all of the creature of Sixtus V, among whom were several worthy candidates.

On Sunday, March 20, the Sacristan said the usual Mass for the Election of a Pope. Cardinal Sauli was ill and unable to appear in the Capella Paolina. The daily Congregation therefore met in his room. (Gattico, 345)

On March 23, Cardinal Baronius had 17 votes, and Cardinal Serafino 10 (Conclavi, 65)

Thursday, March 24, Cardinal Baronius had 23 votes, and a rumor was going around that next day at the accessio would bring him victory; his opponents gathered around d' Avila, seeking to put together an exclusiva.

On Friday, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, Baronius had 27 votes The opposition was greatly irritated, and Cardinal Montalto remarked that they were dealing with children.

On Saturday, March 26, Baronius had thirty-one votes, a majority, but still nine votes short of canonical election.

On Sunday, March 27, Baronius received thirty-one votes (Conclavi, 76)

On March 28, Baronius still had his thirty votes, Cardinal Sauli had ten, and Cardinal Bernerio (Ascoli) 10 (Conclavi, 79). When some cardinals went to call on Aldobrandini in his cell, they found him out making the rounds ceaselessly. He was imitated by Cardinals Sannesio, Valenti, Cesi, Vicenza (Delfini), Spinelli, and others. On the same day Cardinal Deti had to leave the conclave, suffering from a tertian fever (Conclavi, 82)

On Tuesday, March 29, Baronius had 30 votes, and Medici 11 (Conclavi, 82, 88). The tedium of being locked in conclave, with no progress for all of Aldobrandini's efforts, began to have its effects.(Histoire des conclaves, 327-328).

On Wednesday, March 30, Baronius had 30 votes, Medici 12, Sauli 11, and Aquaviva d' Aragona 10. (Conclavi, 91, 93; cf. Laemmer, Meletematum, p. 361 n.)

On Thursday, March 31, an audience was granted by the Cardinals to the Spanish Ambassador at the small window of the Conclave. The Ambassador informed the Cardinals that Count de Fuentes, Governor of Milan, had discovered that 500 English heretics, pretending to be pilgrims, had entered Italy with the intention of pillaging the shrine of the Holy House of Loreto; he presented a letter from the Governor to that effect as well. He was thanked for his message (Diary of Joannes Paulus Mucantio, in Gattico, 346)


On Friday, April 1, there was a stunning change in direction. The details are provided by the Cerremoniere, Msgr. Giovanni Paolo Mucanzio (Gauchat, 8 n. 1):

Die 1 Apr. 1605 mane fuit ultimum scrutinium in quo rev(erendissi)mus Baronius 28 vota habuit. Hora prima noctis ei(u)sdem diei omnes card(ina)les praeter card(ina)lem Avilam ad electionem venerunt et ab eis el(ectus) fuit Alexander de Medicis card(inal) de Florentia nuncupatus. Et statim cardinales accesserunt ad cellulam dicti rev(erendissi)mi card(inalis) de Florentia (quia cum illis non fuerat), ut illum ducerent ad sacellum Paulinum, et in Sum(mum) Pont(ifi)cem eligerent. Tamen expectaverunt parumper, donec ad conclave redirent re(verendissi)mi card(ina)les Detus et de Bubalis, qui infirmitatis causa exiverant. Post adventum dictorum duorum card(ina)lium fere omnes card(ina)les accesserunt ad cellam rev(erendissi)mi card(inalis) de Florentia, et illum duxerunt in sacellum Paulinum, in quo, exclusis omnibus conclavistis, omnes card(ina)les sederunt in loco sup, et per vota aperta et viva suffragia elegerunt in Sum(mum) Pont(ifi)cum dictum card(ina)lem de Florentia qui assumpsit nomen Leonis XI.... Card(ina)les in conclavi fuerunt 61, et 60 fecerunt suffragia in dictum card(ina)lem de Florentia.

Practically all of the cardinals had come to an agreement to elect Cardinal Alessandro de' Medici. They went to Medici's cell, since he was not in the company that had come to the agreement, in order to escort him to the Capella Paolina. But before they did so Cardinals Deti and del Bufalo were summoned back to the Conclave from their sickbeds (Diary of Mucanzio in Gattico, p. 347). When the two cardinals arrived, Medici was escorted from his cell to the Chapel, where a vote was taken openly viva voce. Medici was elected unanimously per adorationem. He immediately accepted, and, when asked by the Cardinal Dean to choose a name by which he would be known, he replied Leo XI. He retired to the Sacristy to vest in papal attire, and when he returned to the Chapel he was seated on the papal Sedia Gestatoria. Cardinal Aldobrandini, the Camerlengo, presented him with the ring of the Fisherman. Each cardinal came forward to congratulate the new Pope, and received the customary kiss in return. By that time it was the third hour of the night or later, and it was decided not to open the doors of the conclave. This would avoid the customary sacking of the property of the cardinals. When the new Pope retired to his cell in the Conclave, however, he discovered that it had already been sacked by the Conclavists.

In the early morning of Saturday, April 2, therefore, the new Pope Leo XI (Alessandro de Medici) was vested in the Capella Paolina. Cardinal Sforza then made the traditional announcement of the election, and the cardinals procededed to the ceremony of kissing the Pope's foot, hand and cheek. Thereupon the gates of the Conclave were opened and the Pope was escorted to the Vatican Basilica where a Te Deum was sung.

He was crowned Pope Leo XI in St. Peter's Basilica on April 10, Easter Sunday, by Cardinal Francesco Sforza, the Cardinal Protodeacon (Gauchat, 8 n. 3). One week later, on April 17, he took possession of his cathedral, the Lateran Basilica (Gauchat, 8 n.4). He died on April 27, 1605, after a reign of twenty-seven days.



Conclavi de' Pontefici romani, quali si sono potuti trovari fin a questo giorno (Roma 1667) 312-316..  Conclavi de' Pontifici Romani (Cologne 1692) Volume 2 [augmented edition, by Gregorio Leti], 26-108.     Histoire des conclaves depuis Clément V, jusqu' à présent [Innocent XII], augmentée... (Cologne: 1694) {translation of the Conclavi de' Pontefici Romani, by Vanel], 294-337.


Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo Quinto, Tomo Sesto (Roma 1793).   P.O. v. Torne, Ptolémée Gallio, Cardinal de Côme (Paris 1907).  Maria Teresa Fattori, Clemente VIII e il Sacro Collegio, 1592-1605: meccanismi istituzionali ed accentramento di governo (Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann 2004) [Päpste und Papsttum, 33].


Giuseppe Novaes, Elementi della storie de Sommi Pontefice Tomo Nono, terza edizione (Roma 1822) 77-81.. Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 38 (Venezia 1846) 48-50. Alexis François Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains pontifes romains Volume V (Paris 1851) 164-169. Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusiva) (Wien 1888) 111-117.   J.-B.Couderc, SJ, Le Vénérable Cardinal Bellarmin Volume II (Paris 1893) 26-27.


Anton Gindely, "Zur Geschichte der Einwirkung Spaniens auf die Papstwahlen namentlich bei Gelegenheit der Wahl Leos XI im Jahre 1605.". Sitzungsberichte der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften phil.-hist. Klasse 36 (Wien 1862)


Leone Caetani, "Vita e Diario di Paolo Alaleone de Branca, Maestro di cerimonie pontificie, 1582-1638," Archivio della R. Società Romana di Storia Patria 16 (1893) 5-39.


Patritium Gauchat, OM Conv. (ed.), Hierarchia catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi Volumen Quartum (Monasterii 1935).


On Cardinal Baronius:  Generoso Calenzio, Orat. La vita e gli scritti del Cardinale Cesare Baronio, Orat. (Roma: Tipografia Vaticana 1907) [fulsome apologist].

© 06/17/2008, 09/20/2009

November 26, 2013 3:40 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
Valid CSS!

| Home | | Papal Portraits Home | | Medals Bibliography | | Other Conclaves | | Conclave Bibliography |