Papal nuncio and promoter of Tridentine reform; b. place and date unknown; d. San Severo, Italy, 1604. He showed diplomatic skill as nuncio for Gregory XIII at Graz (1582), at the imperial Diet of Augsburg (1582), and at Cologne (1583). During his nunciature at Prague, where Emperor Rudolf II (reign 1576–1612) usually resided, Malaspina, together with Giovanni Francesco Bonhomini, nuncio at Cologne, worked with energy to move the timorous emperor toward a plan of effective re-form. They achieved success at Breslau, Paderborn, and Münster, and were aided by the Jesuits. In June 1592, Clement VIII entrusted Malaspina with the difficult nunciature of Poland. There he brought peace between King Sigismund III (reign 1587–1632) and his chancellor, Jan Zamojki (1587–1605), winning the confidence of both. At the death (Nov. 17, 1592) of Sigismund III's father, John III of Sweden, Sigismund became the claimant for the throne of Sweden. Malaspina accompanied him to Uppsala, witnessed the crowning (Feb. 19, 1593), but saw his hopes for a Catholic restoration in Sweden destroyed by strong religious opposition and the ambitions of Sigismund's uncle Charles, Protestant Duke of Södermanland, who in July 1599 assumed power. Malaspina was instrumental in the negotiations for the return of the Ruthenian Church to the See of Rome (1595) and the restoration of peace in Transylvania after the abdication of King sigismund bÁthory (1599). From 1599 until his death he remained in his Diocese of San Severo.
Bibliography: l. pastor The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages 23:282, 308–309; 24:87–95, 97–101, 117–122. r. spirito, Dizionario ecclesiastico 2:790. a. posch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 6:1324, bibliog.
[e. d. mcshane]