Pallavicino, Ferrante

Pallavicino, Ferrante an Italian monastic of questionable repute, was born at Parma in 1615. He entered at an early age the Order of the Canons of St. Augustine, and made his vows; but after a few years he found that he had acted rashly, and that he was totally unsuited for the life which he had embraced. With his superior's permission he then travelled. He first repaired to Venice, where he led a life of licentiousness and wrote obscene books. He afterwards went to Germany as chaplain to a nobleman, and returned to Venice just at the time when war broke out between Edoardo Farnese, duke of Parma, and pope Urban VIII, on the subject of the duchy of Castro. Pallavicino wrote in favor of his sovereign the duke, using violent expressions against the pope and his nephews the Barberini. One of his pamphlets was entitled Il Divorzio Celeste, by which he intimated that a divorce had taken place between the Church and its divine founder. Pallavicino, now thinking he was no longer safe in Italy, resolved to go to France; but, unfortunately for him, he was accompanied by a young Frenchman of insinuating address, who proved to be a spy of the Barberini, and who led him unawares into the papal territory of Avignon, where he was immediately seized arid led to prison. He was tried for apostasy and high-treason, and was condemned and beheaded on March 5, 1644, at the early age of twenty-nine years. See Poggiali, Memorie per la Storia Letteraria di Piacenza.

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