Patrizi, Constantin

Patrizi, Constantin a modern Italian prelate, the intimate companion of pope Pius IX, and cardinal-vicar, was born at Siena Sept. 4, 1798. He was the scion of a noble family, and was intended for military service, but being of a serious turn of mind he preferred the service of the Church, and in her ranks rapidly rose to places of responsibility and influence. In 1834 he was honored with a bishopric, and two years later was created a cardinal. Five years after this he was made the vicargeneral of his holiness the pope, whom he served most faithfully his life long. Patrizi had been instrumental in the election of Pius IX, and became the most devoted, laborious, and perhaps important official, after Antonelli, in this pontificate. He was, however, the decided foe of the Jesuits, and in these latter years, when the Jesuits rule with high hand at Rome, Patrizi has had but little to say that was not carefully weighed, lest it were intended in injury to the Society of Jesus. But the pope himself never wavered in his affection for Patrizi. Pius IX knew him to be an honest man whose counsels were worth heeding, and to the last esteemed his friend the vicar-general. Patrizi died Dec. 17, 1876. Besides the offices above referred to, he was bishop of Porto and Rufinus, prefect of the Congregation of the Episcopal Residence, prefect of the Congregation of Rites, archpriest of the Maria Majoria, and, besides, dean of the Sacred College. His last years were embittered by the presence of a Methodist church just across the way from his vicarial palace. A few days before his death a mutual friend informed the pope that Patrizi avowed his "illness afflicted him only for two reasons: because it prevented his saying mass and seeing his holiness." Pius IX, greatly moved by this declaration, resolved to break his voluntary imprisonment to attest in person his affection for his best friend. He gave orders accordingly, but his physicians effectively interfered, and Patrizi was denied this last favor.

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