Rodolfo Pio da Carpi was born in Carpi on February 22, 1500. His Father was Leonello Pio da Carpi, and his Mother was Maria Martinengo.
His Uncle was Prince Alberto Pio da Carpi, a great Diplomat for the Vatican. He was the last Lord of Carpi because he lost the principality of Carpi after the French defeat of the battle of Pavia, Italy, in 1525.
His Grandfather was Leonello Pio da Carpi. In 1514 he commissioned Raffaello the painting on canvas of the Sacred Family. which Rodolfo inherited, and it was in his collection until he died in 1564. (See Vasari story)
Like his father and his Uncle, Rodolfo received the highest education at that time. He had excellent court teachers who affirmed humanism and the Renaissance in all the literary and figurative arts splendor.
He was nominated Bishop when he was only 28 years old.
Soon after, Pope Clement VII sent him on a delicate mission in Florence to understand the Republic and the Medici Family insurmountable disputes. The Pope had great confidence in Rodolfo, and he gave him responsibility for many more missions.
On January 8, 1535, Pope Clement died. Alessandro Farnese was elected Pope Paul III in 1536 (Farnese also had in his collection a painting on wood of The Sacred Family from 1518, similar to the one on canvas painted in 1514 for Leonello Pio da Carpi). (See the story from 1544 by Vasari ).
Pope Paul III gave Rodolfo many critical diplomatic positions as Bishop of Faenza and sent him on missions to France. When he was there, he received the Nunziatura (nomination) to be a Cardinal.
Following will be the Rodolfo Pio da Carpi story of his long and distinguished career after his Nunziatua to be a Cardinal.