Cardinal and papal agent at the English court; b. Ferrara, 1614; d. Faenza, Nov. 23, 1681. This brilliant young noble of Ferrara attracted the notice of Cardinal Francesco Barberini (secretary of state to Urban VIII), who in 1639 sent him to succeed George con as papal agent to Henrietta Maria, Queen of England. Rossetti, well received at Court, tried to ease the lot of English papists; and overoptimistic about the reunion with Rome, a topic then much discussed, he urged conversion on King Charles I. He also sought to further the Queen's desire for an English cardinal, and tried to negotiate a loan to aid the King against the Parliamentarians. All this drew on him the hostility of the Puritans, and in July 1641, Rossetti left for Flanders, where in September he was named titular archbishop of Tarsus and nuncio extraordinary to the Peace Conference at Cologne. In 1643 he was named bishop of Faenza and later cardinal deacon. His appointment as legate a latere to the Congresses of Münster and Osnabrück never took effect. Rossetti then devoted himself with great zeal to his diocese of Faenza, visiting, confirming, holding synods, opening hospitals, and caring for the poor. Promoted cardinal priest and then cardinal bishop, Rossetti was in 1680 chosen bishop of Porto by Innocent XI, but he died the following year. He is buried in Faenza cathedral. He wrote an account of his mission to England and commentaries on the Summa of Aquinas.
Bibliography: g. albion, Charles I and the Court of Rome (London 1935) 316–376. m. j. havran, The Catholics in Caroline England (Stanford 1962). g. moroni, Dizionario de erudizone storico-ecclesiastica, 103 v. in 53 (Venice 1840–61); index, 6 v. (1878–79) 59:175–176.