Katarzyna née Sobieski Radziwiłł interest in the affairs of Papal Court and Roman reality between the years 1678-1691
Jarosław Pietrzak

Katarzyna née Sobieski Radziwiłł (1634-1694) traveled through Italy in 1678-1679 by the side of her husband, the Vice-Chancellor and Field Hetman of Lithuania Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł. At that time, she was received in a solemn audience by Pope Innocent X and honored ceremonially as the sister of the king Jan III Sobieski. She has also visited a number of churches, as well as art and curiosities collections at Roman palaces. After the death of her husband in 1680 returning from Roman legation, she made correspondence with the Apostolic Camera regarding the repayment of her spouse's debts. The next trace of the Duchess's interest in Roman affairs was correspondence with Cardinal Carlo Barberini, protector of the Kingdom of Poland to the Roman Curia regarding her sons' stay in the Eternal City and protection for her associates for clerical offices. Subsequent years showed that Italian matters were not foreign to her because of the letters sent to her by unknown correspondent from the circle of the papal court. Correspondence conducted from February 1691 to January 1692 consists of 60 letters covering a diverse range of matters. The reverend father described the daily life of Rome and its inhabitants at the time of pest. The second important problem of correspondence became the day-by-day course of the conclave after the death of Pope Clement VIII and the circumstances of choosing his successor Innocent XI. The work addresses all these issues, trying to show the mental horizon of the Polish magnate and the reception of Italian models transferred through her to Polish ground.

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