Richelieu died on the 5th of December 1642; on the following day Louis XIII. announced that he had chosen Mazarin to be First Minister. Giulio Mazarini, or Jules Mazarin, as the French call him, was born on July 14, 1602, at Piscina, a small village in the Abruzzi. His father was a certain Sicilian, by name Pietro Mazarini, his mother was Hortensia Buffalini, who was renowned for her beauty. To the latter the young Giulio owed much of his future success, for it was due to her efforts that he first studied under the Jesuits at the Roman College, and later at the University of Alcalá in Spain. He had early shown signs of uncommon talents, and he was at the age of sixteen remarkable for his handsome face and natural brightness.