Jean de Lorraine was the younger brother of Claude de Lorraine. He was born in 1498, and he died on May 18, 1550. He was the second son of Rene II and Philippa de Guelders.

He became the first cardinal of Lorraine at the young age of twenty. His practice was mainly based in France, he helped Claude de Lorraine to strengthen the climb of his family to power.

In 1536 he was sent to Charles V serving as an ambassador of Francis I to reconcile the two powerful rulers differences. He warned Francis I of the Emperor's warlike intentions on his return.

Even before Claude de Guise had offended Francis I, Jean de Lorraine was regarded with suspicion with his rapid rise to power. He fell into disgrace with Francis I in 1542, but he still retained great influence. He owed his influence to the bounties which he made with his immense revenues, for he had acquired the bishop positions of Metz, Toul, Verdun, Thérouanne, Luçon, and Valence, he also acquired the Archbishop positions of Lyon, Reims, and Narbonne, and a number of abbeys.

"Thou art either Christ or the Cardinal of Lorraine", exclaimed a Roman beggar on whom Jean had bestowed large alms.

Sources: Catholic Encyclopedia
World Book Encyclopedia

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