Santa Croce, Prospero Di

Santa Croce, Prospero Di, An Italian prelate and diplomatist, was born at Rome in 1513. He studied law at Padua, and afterwards entered the Church. Paul III gave him the bishopric of Castel-Chisamo, on the island of Candia. He was employed as papal nuncio in Germany, Portugal, Spain, and France. While in the last named country, he received, at the request of Catherine de' Medici, the bishopric of Aries, and in 1565 the cardinal's hat. In 1573 he gave up his see in favor of his nephew, Silvio di Santa Croce, and returned to Rome. Sixtus V made him bishop of Albano, but he lived only a few months after receiving the see. This cardinal introduced tobacco into Italy, and the name "Santa Croce" was given to the plant. He died at Rome, Oct. 2, 1589. He wrote the Memoirs of his life, and of the civil wars in France, in Latin. These have been published in the Collectio Veterum Scriptorum of Martenne and Durand, under the title De Civilibus Gallioe Dissensionibus Comm. Besides this, there are Decisiones Rotoe Romanoe, Constitutiones laneoe Artis in Urbe erectoe, and many Letters in French and Italian concerning the affairs of France, which are published in the Synodes des Eglises Reformees.

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