(28) 1. PIGNATELLI DI BELMONTE, Theat., Domenico (1730-1803)
Birth. November 19, 1730, Naples. Son of Domenico Pignatelli y Aymerich (1685-1771), second marquis of San Vincenzo and general of the Imperial Army, and Anna Francesca Pinelli-Ravaschieri (1702-1779), princess of Belmonte. Younger brother of Antonio Pignatelli (1722-1794), elder majordome of Ferdinand IV of Naples; and of Gennaro Adelmo Pignatelli (1728-1785), Olivetan, archbishop of Bari (1770-1777) and Capua (1777-1785). The family gave the Church Pope Innocent XII; and Cardinals Francesco Pignatelli, seniore, Theat. (1703); Francesco Maria Pignatelli, iuniore (1794); and Ferdinando Maria Pignatelli, Theat. (1839).
Education. He studied with the Theatines of Naples from 1738. Entered the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Theatines probably in 1745. He professed in December 1746. Received his formation at Theatine houses of study.
Priesthood. Ordained, September 22, 1753. In his order, lector of sacred canons in the house of studies Ss. Apostoli, Naples, December 12, 1755; secretary of the superior general; superior of Ss. Apostoli, Naples; procurator general; coadjutor of Father Antonio Francesco Vezzosi, Theat., superior general of his order, May 31, 1774 (?); and superior general, April 22, 1777. Examiner of those promoted to ecclesiastical chairs.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Caserta, February 25, 1782. Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, February 25, 1782. Consecrated, March 3, 1782, church of S. Silvestro al Monte, Rome, by Cardinal Innocenzo Conti, secretary of Apostolic Briefs, assisted by Girolamo Volpi, titular archbishop of Neocesarea, and by François de Pierre de Bernis, titular bishop of Apollonia, vicar general of Albi. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Palermo, March 29, 1802; received the pallium on the same day. Regent of Sicily, 1802-1803, during the brief reign of King Ferdinando IV.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of August 9, 1802 (1); received the red biretta on December 5, 1802, in the chapel of the seminary of Palermo. He died before receiving the red hat and the title.
Death. February 5, 1803, of gout and gangrene, Palermo. Exposed and buried in the church of the Theatine Fathers, Palermo.
Bibliography. LeBlanc, Jean. Dictionnaire biographique des cardinaux du XIXe siècle : contribution à l'histoire du Sacré Collège sous les pontificats de Pie VII, Léon XII, Pie VIII, Grégoire XVI, Pie IX et Léon XIII, 1800-1903. Montréal : Wilson & Lafleur, 2007. (Collection Gratianus. Série instruments de recherche), p. 753; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VI (1730-1799). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, p. 152; Ritzler, Remigium, and Pirminum Sefrin. Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi. Volumen VII (1800-1846). Patavii : Typis et Sumptibus Domus Editorialis "Il Messaggero di S. Antonio" apud Basilicam S. Antonii, 1968, pp. 8 and 298.
Webgraphy Portrait and brief biographical data, in English, Famous Members; his engraving, portraits and arms, Araldica Vaticana.
(1) Ritzler, Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi, VII, 8, indicates that he was created a cardinal in place of Paulo Luis Silva, assessor of the Supreme S.C. of the Roman and Universal Inquisition who had been created and reserved in pectore in the consistory of February 23, 1801 and died before his name was published.
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