The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Nicholas V (1447-1455)
Consistory of February 16, 1448 (I)

(2) 1. CERDÀ I LLOSCOS, O.SS.T., Antonio (1390-1459)

Birth. 1390, Santa Margalida, Mallorca, Spain. His first name is also listed as Antonio; and his last name as de la Cerda and as Cerdán. He was called the Cardinal of Messina or the Cardinal of Lérida.

Education. Studied humanities in Palma de Mallorca and theology at the University of Lérida; obtained a doctorate in theology and the title of magister.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found). Canon of the cathedral chapter of Mallorca. Entered the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (Trinitarians) (1), in the convent of the Holy Spirit, Mallorca. Professor of moral theology, Scholastic theology, Sacred Scripture and canon law at the University of Lérida. Attended, as the first definitor of his order, the general chapter celebrated in Cerf-Froid, Amiens, April 24, 1429. He redacted the new constitutions (Constitutiones canonicorum regularium ordinis SS. Trinitatis ac redemptionis captivorum) mandated by the superior general of the order, Fray Juan Halbout, after having been approved and highly praised by the general chapter. For two years, he visited the convents in England, Scotland and Ireland; and later, in Spain and Italy. Named procurator general of his order in the Roman Curia. Privy chamberlain of Pope Eugenius IV. Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota. Chosen by Pope Nicholas V as counselor of the studies in philosophy and theology. At the recommendation of King Alfonso V of Aragón, he was promoted to the episcopate.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Messina, July 8, 1447; confirmed, January 8, 1448. Consecrated (no information found). Abbot commendatario of Valledigna, Valencia. He did not participate in the Council of Basle (1431-1449).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of February 16, 1448; received the red hat and the title of S. Crisogono on February 17, 1448. Transferred to the see of Lérida, March 28, 1449 (2); took possession by procurator and continued residing in Rome; resigned the commendam of the monastery of Valledigna; occupied the see of Lérida until his death. On April 29, 1449, he resigned the commendam of the Cistercian monastery of Valldigne, diocese of Valencia. Attended the secret consistory of October 27, 1451. Participated in the conclave of 1455, which elected Pope Callistus III. Prior commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of Santa María de Obarra, diocese of Lérida, December 11, 1455; the priorate had the administration, spiritual and temporal, of the Benedictine monastery of San Pedro de Roda, diocese of Gerona Administrator of the see of Giovinazzo, June 6, 1455 until 1458. Administrator of the metropolitan see of Ravenna, June 28, 1455 (3). Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals for the year 1456. Legate in the Marche; he helped conclude the peace negotiations between Florence and King Alfonso of Naples. Prior commendatario of San Pedro, Barcelona, July 29, 1458. He assisted Pope Callistus III at his death on August 6, 1458, feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, which the pope had established. Participated in the conclave of 1458, which elected Pope Pius II. He was tutor to King Alfonso IV of Naples and to his sons. He wrote the treatise De educatione principum (On the education of princes). Pope Pius II called him the prince of theologians".

Death. September 12, 1459, Rome. Buried in the patriarchal Vatican basilica, in a chapel that he had restored and that served as the winter choir of the canons (4). The chapel and the sepulchre disappeared when the new basilica was built in the 16th century.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 108; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 4 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 969; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1932, p. 146; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 10, 30, 32, 62, 167, 169-170, 190; Goñi Gaztambide, José. "Cerda, Antonio." Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España. 4 vols and Supplement. Dirigido por Quintín Aldea Vaquero, Tomás Marín Martínez, José Vives Gatell. Madrid : Instituto Enrique Flórez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1972-1975; Suplemento (1987), suppl. 122-124.

Webgraphy. Biography by Pedro Aliaga Asensio, O.Ss.T., in Spanish, DB~e, Diccionario Biográfico Español; biography, in English, Enciclopèdia Catalana; biography, in Majorcan, Bisbat de Lleida; his engraving, arms and portrait, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1932, p. 146; and to his two biographies in Mallorcan, linked above; his biography in English, also linked above, says that he was a Mercedarian (Order of Our Lady of Mercy).
(2) On April 25, 1449, he was elected bishop of Lérida by a part of the cathedral chapter in competition with Jorge Bardaxi, bishop of Tarazona; but before this double election had taken place, Pope Nicholas V had transferred him from Messina to Lérida on March 28, 1449, see inferior in category but superior in rents.
(3) This is according to Goñi Gaztambide, "Cerda, Antonio." Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España, suppl., 123; neither Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, II, 221; nor Pius Bonifatius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae (3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957), p. 718, list him in their catalogs of the occupants of this see.
(4) This is the text of his brief epitaph transcribed by Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 969:


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