Des gardes corses pour le Vatican

Nul n’ignore la présence des gardes suisses au Vatican, ceux-ci ont pour mission historique de protéger le Saint Père ; mais combien savent que cette protection n’a pas toujours été assurée par cette garde helvétique ?

En effet, la garde du Vatican a été pendant une longue période assurée par corses. Cette présence corse au lieu même le plus saint de la chrétienté prouvant, entre autres, la relation étroite entre la Corse et cette religion.

La Corse et les papes :


La Corse entretient de longue date des relations avec la papauté, cela remonte même au premier millénaire après Jésus Christ alors que la Corse était placée sous la domination des papes.

La Corse : terra vaticana.

Au cours du VIIIe siècle après JC, l’île de beauté a fait les frais d’une lutte de pouvoir entre les francs et les lombards, la victoire des premiers conduira a ce que la Corse soit "donnée" au Saint-Siège.

Ce don fait par Pépin le bref en l’an 754, sera réitéré 20 ans plus tard par son fils, Charlemagne.

Cette propriété sera toutefois plus légale que factuelle puisque par la suite se seront Pise et Gênes qui présideront aux destinées de la corse et de ses habitants.

Nous reviendrons par ailleurs sur cette période.

Les gardes corses du Pape :


Il y a très peu de sources sur l’origine de la présence d’une garde corse pour assurer la sécurité du pape, ce qui est plus connu est la raison de son départ (puisque celui ci aura lieu durant une période de prééminence de l’écrit sur la transmission orale) nous pouvons toutefois avancer que c’est en 1378 lors de l’installation définitive du Saint-Siège à Rome que le Pape choisira la garde (sélectionnant ses membres parmi la population des territoires dont il était le propriétaire, et donc des corses).

La fin de la garde corse :


La disparition de ce corps chargé de la protection du Pape sera entérinée à la moitié du XVIIe siècle consécutivement à un désaccord entre le Pape Alexandre VII et le Roi de France Louis XIV, désaccord qui avait failli dégénérer en conflit armé.

L’affaire remonte si l’on en croit certains historiens à l’arrestation d’un malfrat par les gardes corses (sur ordre du Nonce Fabio Chigi, neveu du pape) dans les domaines du cardinal d’Este. Ce dernier courroucé fit appel a des ministres étrangers aux fins d’arbitrage.

Louis XIV qui s’opposait alors au pape sur la question des quartiers d’ambassade, et donc désireux d’affermir sa position, y répondit prestement. Il dépêcha Charles III, duc de Créquy, en tant qu’ambassadeur extraordinaire à Rome accompagné de plusieurs soldats.

La situation dégénéra alors que les soldats du duc passèrent à tabac et injurièrent deux gardes corses dans un cabaret romain, bien sur une sanction fut prononcée à l’encontre des auteurs de l’outrage mais elle ne fut pas du goût de Fabio Chigi, et encore moins à celui des gardes corses.

Ces derniers se rendirent sous les fenêtres de l’ambassadeur de France, place Farnèse quartier du Corso, afin de manifester leur mécontentement et aux échanges de noms d’oiseaux entre les parties succédèrent bientôt les coups de feu.

Malencontreusement les gardes corses dirigèrent le feu de leurs armes en direction du carrosse du Duc de Créquy et atteignirent mortellement un de ses pages.

Louis XIV ne manqua pas d’exploiter ce malheur et exigea immédiatement des sanctions exemplaires et une réparation. Alexandre VII refusa et en appela à l’arbitrage espagnol.

Pour peser sur les négociations, Louis XIV décida de réunifier les états d’Avignon (qui étaient alors sous domination papale, avignon était l’ancien siège de la papauté) à sa couronne et le pape dû céder.

Il envoya donc à la cour du roi de France le Cardinal Chigi présenter excuses et compliments, il accepta de dissoudre la garde corse et d’envoyer une partie de ses membres en galère et enfin de régler une somme d’argent pour dédommager le décès du page.

Louis XIV obtint également l’édification, en 1664 dans la grande cour du Vatican, d’une pyramide d’infamie dédiée au peuple corse qualifié de nation toujours infâme, odieuse aux peuples et désormais indigne de servir les rois.

Cette Pyramide de marbre noir ne fut détruite que 4 ans plus tard sur ordre du pape Clément IX qui la considérait comme une infamie inacceptable faite à l’égard des corses.

Du souvenir de cette histoire ne subsiste plus qu’une tapisserie exposée au château de Fontainebleau et une plaque de bronze au musée du Louvre.

Sur le même thème :

sumeru a écrit le 19-06-2009 à 17-26 :
me semble-t-il, le vatican et le pape n'ont pas, et n'ont jamais eu d'armée, a part peut-ètre JULES II.
C'est logiquement pour cela que les papes ont délégué à Pise puis( une guerre après) à gènes
l'administration de l'ile.
cela ne les rend pas plus sympathiques et il serait intéressant d'avoir la position des papes
durant la domination gènoise( d'accord ou pas avec les exactions commises durant des siècles)
et surtout pendant la guerre d 'indépendance Paoline.
JE n'en ai pour ma part jamais entendu parler.

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