Cardinal bishop; b. Savona, 1446; d. Rome, July 18, 1516. He became a Franciscan, prompted by his great uncle, Francesco Della Rovere, who was general of the order in 1464. Vigerio taught theology in Padua and, after Francesco became Pope Sixtus IV in 1471, lectured at the Sapienza in Rome. He was made bishop of Senigallia in 1476 and was given administrative assignments by Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII, and Alexander VI. Under Julius II, a Franciscan and a relative, he was governor of Castel Sant'Angelo. In December 1505 he was made a cardinal and protector of the Franciscan order. In 1506 he returned to his studies but was taken away from them and put in command of the papal troops that beseiged and captured Mirandola in 1511. He defended Julius II against the irregular council of Pisa, was made cardinal bishop of Palestrina, and attended the Fifth lateran council in 1512. In 1513, on the death of Julius, he resigned the See of Senigallia to his nephew. His writings show him more a learned humanist than a theologian. He was a precursor of the 16th-century cult of St. Joseph, and the Decachordum, his best known work, can be viewed as a treatise of asceticism based on the virtues of the Holy Family. He wrote two works on the life and the rule of St. francis of paola, whose patron he had been. Vigerio's sermons, reputedly of value, seem to be lost.
Bibliography: a. aubery, Histoire géérale des cardinaux, 5v. (Paris 1642–49) 3:93–95. p. godefroy, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 15.2:2988–92. p. ridolfi da tossignano, Historiarum seraphicae religionis libri tres (Venice 1586). a. chacon, Vitae, et res gestae pontificum romanorum et S. R. E. cardinalium ab initio nascentis ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX, 4 v. (Rome 1677).
[d. r. campbell]