The Madruzzo is an illustrious family of Trent, whose recorded history can be traced to 1155. Of note are the four bishops who occupied the See of Trent from 1539 to 1658 without interruption.
Cristoforo; b. Trent, July 5, 1512; d. Tivoli, July 5,1578. After studies at Padua and Bologna he began his rapid rise in the hierarchy, becoming a canon of Trent (1529), Salzburg (1536), Brixen (1537), and then prince bishop of Trent (1539). In 1542 he was ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop, and in the next year, named administrator to the See of Brixen and created a cardinal by Paul III. He resigned the See of Trent in 1567 to become in turn cardinal bishop of Sabina, Palestrina, and Porto. A man of ability and conviction, though no thorough theologian, Cristoforo was entrusted with several diplomatic missions, including his appointment as governor of Milan by Philip II of Spain (1556) and the legation of the Marches by Pius IV (1561). His friendship with Emperor Charles V and the Emperor's younger brother and successor, Ferdinand, suited his role as mediator between the Hapsburgs and the Curia. His most notable achievement centered on the first convocation of the Council of Trent (1545–47), where as bishop he was responsible for the details that would assure its tranquil progress. In the Council he insisted with success that Church reform be discussed in each session together with the theological debates, being hopeful that such measures would win the Protestants. He strongly opposed the Council's transfer to Bologna. His friendship with cardinals Jacopo sadoleto, Giovanni morone, Reginald pole, and Ercole Gonzaga place him justly among the forces of Catholic reform, although his own career is marred by pluralism. He governed his diocese well and wrote a constitution of reform for his clergy.
Lodovico; b. Trent, 1532; d. Rome, April 2, 1600. Following ecclesiastical studies at Louvain and Paris, he became ambassador to France and, in 1561, was created a cardinal. Nephew of Cristoforo, he succeeded to the See of Trent at his uncle's resignation in 1567. As prince bishop, he participated in the third session of the Council of Trent (1562–63), where he joined the party advocating the chalice for the Bohemians, and the obligation of residency for bishops. He proved his diplomatic skill as papal legate to the imperial court (1581), the Diet of Augsburg (1582), and the Diet of Regensburg (1594).
Carlo Gaudenzio; b. Issogne in the valley of Aosta, 1562; d. Rome, Aug. 4, 1629. The course of his education brought him to Munich, Ingolstadt, and ultimately, to Pavia where he received his laureate in theology in 1595, He was named titular bishop of Smyrna, then coadjutor
at Trent to his uncle Lodovico, whom he succeeded (1600). He was created a cardinal in 1604. During his episcopate he erected a seminary, and became an ardent opponent of trials for witchcraft. As legate to the Diet of Regensburg (1613), he spoke against the confessional policy toward Protestants that had been advocated by the powerful Cardinal Melchior klesl.
Carlo Emanuele; b. Trent, 1599; d. there, Dec. 15, 1658. His studies at Monaco, Ingolstadt, and Perugia were followed with his appointment (age 21) as coadjutor to his uncle Carlo Gaudenzio at Trent. He succeeded to the see in 1629. In order to prevent the extinction of the Madruzzo line, he made long and futile efforts to secure the legitimatization of his children by his mistress, Claudia Particella. This scandal marred his episcopate and gave the occasion for elaborate legends.
Bibliography: a. galante, La corrispondenza del cardinale Cristoforo Madruzzo (Innsbruck 1911). Jedia Trent v. 1, 2. t. gar, Cenni biografici di 4 vescovi di Trento (Trent 1857). a. posch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 6:1265–67. m. morseletto, a. mercati and a. pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico (Turin 1954–58) 2:771, k. d. schimdt, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegeuwart (Tübingen 1957–65) 5:575. g. gerola. Enciclopedia Italiana di scienzi, littere ed arti 21:854–855, bibliog.
[e. d. mcshane]
"Madruzzo." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 19, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/madruzzo
"Madruzzo." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/madruzzo