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Tuesday, May 23, 2023


In September 2021, my friend and research colleague from Milan discovered the details of the ordinations of Ugo Boncompagni, the future Pope Gregory XIII, as subdeacon, deacon, priest, and bishop. Those ordinations were published on this site on 15 September 2021.

Recently he was reviewing documents in the Archivio di Stato di Milano, Atti notarili della Cancelleria arcivescovile and he came across a papal brief dated 8 April 1560 which authorized Niccolò Sfondrati, Bishop-elect of Cremona, to receive the four minor orders and the orders of subdeacon, deacon, and priest anywhere outside the city of Rome. The brief also authorized him to be ordained a bishop by one bishop, assisted by two or three other bishops.

In the same archives, at b. 22, fasc. 80, the details of Bishop-elect Sfondarti’s episcopal ordination were found:

On 19 May 1560, at Milan, in the Church of San Paolo Converso, Bishop Melchiorre Cribelli, Titular Bishop of Thagaste, assisted by Bishop Giulio Giovio, Bishop of Nocera, and Bishop Antonio Scarampi, Bishop of Nola, ordained Father Niccolò Sfondrati, as Bishop of Cremona.

Bishop Sfondrati was born at Somma, Archdiocese of Milano, on 11 February 1535. He was elected Bishop of Cremona on 13 March 1560 and he was created a cardinal in the consistory of 12 December 1583. Cardinal Sfondrati was elected Pope on 5 February 1590, taking the name Gregory XIV. He died at Rome on 16 October 1591.