LORENZO DE’ MEDICI: GOOD ADVICE TO HIS SON, THE CARDINAL
|Leo X by Botero|
What can you say to a sixteen-year old, who has just been appointed cardinal?This is what Lorenzo de’ Medici had to say to his son Giovanni:
- Lead a saintly, exemplary, and honest life. So far you are doing alright, son. I notice you’ve been to confession and to communion without anyone reminding you.
- If all the cardinals were good, there would always be a good pope. Hint: why not aim for the top yourself?
- Persevere in studies suitable to your profession.
- Of course temptations will be great once you take up residence in Rome, that sink of all iniquities.
- See what you can do for the family. Assist our House.
- Use jewels and silken stuff sparingly.
- Eat plain food and do much exercise.
- Get up early and draw up the agenda for the day.
- In the evening, reflect on what you have to do the next day, so that events may not come upon you unawares.Don’t bother the Pope. He is a busy man and grateful if people don’t break his ears. If you see him, talk about amusing things.
It worked! Giovanni became Pope (Leo X) in 1513.
(Source: Jon Thiem, Lorenzo de Medici: Selected Poems and Prose. Image: www.1.bp.blogspot.com)