|Cardinal-bishop of Palestrina|
|Consecration||August 14, 1672|
by Gasparo Carpegna
|Created cardinal||23 Mar 1676|
|Born||17 March 1643|
|Died||15 June 1717 (age 74)|
Born on March 17, 1643 in Rome, he was the son of Orazio Spada and Veralli Maria. He was also a great-nephew of Cardinal Bernardino Spada and a nephew of Cardinal Giambattista Spada on his father's side, and a nephew of Cardinal Fabrizio Verallo on his mother's side. His sister, Eugenia Spada (1639–1717) married Girolamo Mattei, Duca di Giove of the House of Mattei. Spada completed his studies as a doctor of law ("in utroque iure") at the University of Perugia in 1664; after which he took holy orders on December 22, 1669. He was subsequently appointed referendary to the Apostolic Signatura and Lay Abbot of the monastery of Santa Maria d' Attilia, in the diocese of San Severino.
In 1672 he became titular Latin Archbishop of Patras but had to obtain a dispensation because he was still below canonical age, and papal nuncio to the duchy of Savoy. On August 14, 1672, he was consecrated bishop by Gasparo Carpegna, Cardinal-Priest of Santa Pudenziana with Alessandro Crescenzi (cardinal), titular Latin patriarch of Alexandria, and Bernardino Rocci, titular archbishop of Damasco, serving as co-consecrators. Two years later on January 3, 1674, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to France. Pope Clement X created him cardinal-priest in the consistory of 27 May 1675, and he was given the titulus of San Callisto. This was exchanged in 1689 for that of San Crisogono and in 1708 for that of Santa Prassede.
He was appointed legate to Urbino in 1686 and served as Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals from 1688 to 1689. Finally he achieved his most senior appointment as Cardinal Secretary of State, serving from 1691 to 1700 under the papacy of Innocent XII. In 1710 he became cardinal-bishop of the Roman see of Palestrina. Other titles included Prefect for the Congregation of Good Government (now suppressed), archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and Secretary for the Holy Office or Inquisition from 1716 until his death. As cardinal he also participated in the papal conclaves of 1676, 1689, 1691 and 1700.
He died in the family palace in Rome, and his body was laid out for viewing in the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella before being interred within the Spada family chapel.
- Renata Ago, Carriere e clientele nella Roma barocca, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1990.