Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni

Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni (also known as Gian Antonio, Gianantonio; 1519–1591) was an Italian Cardinal.

Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni
Cardinal, Bishop of Ostia
ChurchCatholic Church
Consecration25 Aug 1557 (Bishop)
by Giovanni Angelo Medici
Created cardinal31 January 1560
by Pope Pius IV
Personal details
Born1519 (1519)
Died18 April 1591(1591-04-18) (aged 71–72)
Rome, Papal States
BuriedSanta Maria degli Angeli, Roma



Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni was born in Milan in 1519 to a prominent family. He was brother of Gabrio (condottiero and general) and Giovan Battista (castellan of Castel Sant'Angelo and later Bishop of Cassano all' Ionio).[1] In 1541 in Milan he received the tonsure and the four minor orders,[2] thus becoming a cleric.

His cousin Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Medici renounced in 1557 to the bishopric of Foligno in his favour. He was so elected bishop of Foligno on 7 May 1557, and consecrated bishop on 25 August of that year by the Cardinal Medici.[3] In preparation to this appointment he was ordained deacon on 28 March and priest on 5 April of that year.[4]

A turning point in the life of Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni was the elevation of his cousin[5] Giovanni Angelo Medici to the papacy as Pope Pius IV in December 1559. As in use in such age, the Pope trusted for the important political affairs only on his own relatives: this on 31 January 1560 the Pope appointed him Cardinal Priest of San Giorgio in Velabro. In the same consistory also Charles Borromeo, nephew of the Pope, was made cardinal.

Living in Rome near the Pope, he was appointed bishop of Novara on 13 March 1560[4] and Legate (i.e. governor) of Camerino in 26 April 1560.[1] On 7 December 1563 he consecrated bishop St. Charles Borromeo.

After the death of Pius IV in 1565, he was appointed governor of Città della Pieve in place of Camerino, an office he held till 1570.[1] He visited his diocese Novara only in 1568, when he held a diocesan synod, remaining for most of the time in Rome.[6] He resigned this diocese in 1574.

In his life he changed many cardinal titles before to be appointed Cardinal bishop: on 17 May 1565 he was appointed Cardinal-priest of Santa Maria degli Angeli, a church he helped to build and where he and Pope Pius IV were buried; on 12 April 1570 he passed to San Pietro in Vincoli, on 9 June 1570 to San Clemente, on 3 July 1570 to Sant'Angelo in Pescheria, on 31 July 1577 to Santa Maria in Trastevere.[4] However he remained always known as Cardinal of San Giorgio, his first cardinal appointment.

In the last years of his life he rose in rank among the Cardinal-bishops: was appointed bishop of Sabina on 3 July 1578, bishop of Palestrina on 5 October 1578, bishop of Frascati on 4 March 1583, bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina on 11 Dec 1587, and finally bishop of Ostia and Dean of the College of Cardinals on 2 March 1589.

Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni died in Rome on 18 March 1591 and was buried in Santa Maria degli Angeli.[4] At his death was found a overnight bag near his bed with inside 100 thousand golden scudi and titles for other 400 thousand.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Weber, Christoph (1994). Legati e governatori dello Stato della Chiesa [1550–1809] (in Italian). Rome: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali. pp. 170, 203, 328, 909.
  2. ^ Menaresi, Cesare (1957). "La famiglia Serbelloni". Studi in onore di Carlo Castiglioni. Milano: Giuffrè. p. 370.
  3. ^ Salvador Miranda. "Serbelloni, Giovanni Antonio". Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d David Cheney. "Giovanni Antonio Cardinal Serbelloni". Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  5. ^ Williams, George (2004). Papal genealogy : the families and descendants of the popes. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland. p. 85. ISBN 9780786420711.
  6. ^ Bescapè, Carlo (1878). Novara sacra. Translated by Ravizza, Giuseppe. Novara: Merati. pp. 427–9.
  7. ^ Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ms. 1059 pt.1, c.164


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Foligno
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Novara
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal-bishop of Sabina
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal-bishop of Palestrina
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal-bishop of Frascati
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal-bishop of Porto
Succeeded by
Preceded by Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Preceded by Dean of the College of Cardinals
Succeeded by