Arezzo, Tommaso

Arezzo, Tommaso an Italian cardinal, was born at Orbitello, Tuscany, Dec. 17,1756.. He was the younger son of Claudio Maria Arezzo, says Aretius, the historiographer of Charles V. , He was placed in the College of Nazareno at Rome, which at that time had' illustrious professors. He studied rhetoric under Francis Tasso, philosophy under the celebrated Beccaria, and theology under Molinelli. In 1777 he entered an ecclesiastical college in order to study civil and canonical law. Among his ecclesiastical honors, he was charged with the duties of chancellor. Pius VI sent him as vicelegate to Bologna, and appointed him successively governor of Fermo, of Perugia, and of Macerata. In 1798 Arezzo abandoned this position and retired into Sicily, where his family originated. Two years after, he returned to Rome and was appointed archbishop in partibus of Seleucia, in Syria, and in 1781 ambassador extraordinary to the court of Russia, in order to co-operate in the union of the Greek Church.' The death of Paul I caused him to leave St. Petersburg, and he went as legate to Dresden. Upon the invitation of Napoleon, he presented himself before the emperor at Berlin (1807), who sent him to Rome to arrange the difficulties which existed between France and the Holy See. Not having succeeded in this mission, his conduct was taxed with perfidy, the more so as he was appointed governor of Rome in place of the prelate Cavalchini. He was arrested in September, 1808, but finally obtained his liberty and retired to Florence. He escaped sentence of death by fleeing to Sardinia in the guise of a seaman. In 1815 Pius VII made him priest-cardinal of St. Peter's, and on Sept. 23 of the same year he went as legate to Ferrara. He refused the bishopric of Novara and the archbishopric of Palermo, which the king of the Two Sicilies offered him. In 1830 he was called to the vice-chancellorship of the Church and appointed bishop of Sabina. He died at Rome, Feb. 3, 1832, and was interred in the Church of St. Lawrence. The memoirs of Arezzo, so valuable concerning the ecclesiastical history of, his time, were never published. Cardinal Arezzo was the founder of the academy called "Degli Ariostei" at Ferrara, and he re-established the College of Jesuits founded in that place by St. Ignatius. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

 
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