The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Paul V (1605-1621)
Consistory of July 29, 1619 (IX)
Celebrated in Rome

(50) 1. AUSTRIA, Fernando de (1609-1641)

Birth. Saturday May 16, 1609 (1), between 2 and 3 p.m., at the palace of San Lorenzo el Real del Escorial, archdiocese of Toledo, Spain. Third of the eight children of King Felipe III of Spain and Queen Margarita de Austria. Infante of Spain. The other siblings were King Felipe IV of Spain (1621-1665); Carlos, Alfonso Mauricio (died at 1), Anna María (married King Louis XIII of France), María (lived one day), María Anna Margareta (married Emperor Ferdinand III) and Margarita Francisca (died at 6). He was called El Cardenal Infante. He was baptized in the following month by Cardinal Bernardo de Rojas y Sandoval, archbishop of Toledo; the godparents were Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne, and Infanta Doña Ana, his sister. He is also listed as Ferdinando von Spanien; and as Ferdinand von Österreich.

Education. Educated in the Spanish royal court.

Early life. Destined to the ecclesiastical state at a very young age although his personal inclination was towards the army and politics. His father requested the pope his promotion to the cardinalate when Fernando was 10 years old.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of July 29, 1619; received the deaconry of S. Maria in Portico Octaviae, July 29, 1619; with dispensation for not having yet received the diaconate. The red hat was imposed at a later date in 1619 in Madrid, by Cardinal Antonio Zapata y Cisneros.

Episcopate. Perpetual administrator of the temporal affairs of the metropolitan and primatial see of Toledo, March 1, 1620; never visited the archdiocese (2). Prior of Crato. Abbot commendatario of Alcobaça, Portugal. He had an illegitimate daughter (3). Instigated by the prime minister, valido, Count-Duke of Olivares, his brother, King Felipe IV, distrusted him and kept him away from the court with outside appointments. Did not participate in the conclave of 1621, which elected Pope Gregory XV. Did not participate in the conclave of 1623, which elected Pope Urban VIII. Viceroy of Cataluña, 1632-1633. Governor of the duchy of Milan, 1633-1634. Granted active and passive voice in the conclave although he had not received the diaconate, January 14, 1634. Governor of Flanders, November 4, 1634 until November 9, 1641. His victory over the Swedish in Nördlingen, 1634, accredited him as one of the best strategists of his time.

Sacred orders. Received the minor orders (no further information found).

Death. November 9, 1641, of an ulcer in the abdomen (4), Brussels. Buried in Brussels. In 1643 his remains were transferred to Spain and buried in the Panteón de los Infantes in the royal chapel-tomb in the monastery of S. Lorenzo de El Escorial (5) (6) (7).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. 9 vols. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, VI, 197-198; Gauchat, Patritium. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recientoris Aevi. Volumen IV (1592-1667). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1967, pp. 14, 53 and 339; Gonzálvez, Ramón. "Austria, Fernando de", Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España. Dirigido por Quintín Aldea Vaquero, Tomás Marín Martínez, José Vives Gatell. Madrid : Instituto Enrique Flórez, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1972-1975. 4 v and supplement, I, 54; Pérez Bustamante, Ciriaco. "Los cardenalatos del duque de Lerma y del infante don Fernando de Austria." Boletín de la Universidad de Santiago, 24 (1935), 19-74; Van der Essen, Alfred. Le cardinal-infant et la politique européanne de l'Espagne, 1609-1641. 2 v. Bruxelles : Éditions Universitaires, 1944 (Éénements et personnages de notre histoire nationale (Anciens Pays-Bas et Belgique)) Note: Tome premier, 1609-1634; Tome second, 16341641; Van der Essen, Afred. "Le rôle du cardinal-infant dans la politique espagnole du XVII siècle." Revista de la Universidad de Madrid, XIV, 3 (1954), 357-383.

Webgraphy. His portrait and biography by Juan Antonio Sánchez Belén, in Spanish, DB~e, Diccionario Biográfico Español; Ferdinand, Cardinal Infante of Spain (1610-1641), on horseback, by Gaspar de Crayer, Sothebys; biography, in German, Wer war Wer - im Dreißigjährigen Krieg; portraits and biography, in Russian, Dark Harbour; his genealogy, C1 D5 E3, Genealogy, EU; his portrait by Diego Velázquez, CGFA; The Infante Cardinal Ferdinand (1609–1641), Juan Pantoja de la Cruz (1553–1608) (after), The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England; his portrait by Pieter Pauwel Rubens, Web Gallery of Art; his portrait by Pieter Pauwel Rubens, Artothek; his portrait by Anthonis van Dyck, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Artothek; his portrait with his brother King Felipe IV, by Gerard Seghers, Rubenshuis, Antwerp, Belgium; his prosopography, in German, Requiem Datenbank; his tomb in the royal chapel-tomb in El Escorial, Spain, Requiem Datenbank; engravings, portraits and arms, Araldica Vaticana; La Familia del Rey, los Tíos de Carlos II: El Cardenal-Infante Don Fernando de Austria (Parte I), in Spanish, Reinado de Carlos II, martes, 18 de enero de 2011; Parte II; Parte III; Parte IV; Parte V; Parte VI; Parte VII; Parte VIII; Parte IX; Parte X; Parte XI; Parte XII; Parte XIII; Parte XIV; Parte XV; Parte XVI; Parte XVII; Parte XVIII; Parte XIX; Parte XX; Parte XXI; Parte XXII; Parte XXIII y última; Testamento del Cardenal-Infante don Fernando, in Spanish, Reinado de Carlos II, lunes, 30 de mayo de 2011.

(1) This is according to Gonzálvez, "Austria, Fernando de", Diccionario de historia eclesiástica de España, Suppl., 154, and his genealogy, linked above; his biography in German, linked above, indicates that he was born on May 24, 1610.
(2) Governed the archdiocese through his coadjutor Álvaro de Villegas with the help of auxiliary bishops Alfonso de Requeséns, O.F.M.Obs., Francisco Maldonado, Miguel Avellán and Timoteo Pérez. In 1625, King Felipe IV of Spain named Cardinal Antonio Zapata co-adminstrator of Toledo.
(3) Mariana de la Cruz, who died as a professed nun of the Royal Discalced Monastery of Madrid (* Brussels 1641, + Madrid 1715).
(4) According to his biography linked above, there were rumors in Brussels that he had been poisoned by agents of the Spanish court who feared that he would establish himself, with the help of France, as an independent regent of the Spanish Netherlands. The same source discredits the rumors.
(5) This is the inscription on his tomb: FERDINANDUS, PHILIPPI III FILIUS.
(6) On the lid of the sarcophagus is the following epitaph, among garlands: Dilatavit gloriam populo suo et induit se loricam sicut gigas et protegebat castra gladio suo.
(7) This is the text of his Rogito in the primatial and metropolitan cathedral of Toledo, kindly provided by Mr. Alex Jabonero, from Toledo:


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