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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1455-1471 A.D.


Callistus III
: 1455-1458 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

209. Born in Jativa (Spain). Elected August 20, 1455 - died August 6,1458.

He ordered to ring the bells every day at noon.

He made Christianity flourish again in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

He introduced the Transfiguration Feast celebrated on August 6th.

During his pontificate a big comet appeared in the sky, the famous "Haley" that reappeared again in 1910 and in 1996.

He can be considered the founder of the Pontifical Navy (abolished on September 20th 1870).

He armed a fleet at his expenses, with the contribution of cardinals, which crossed the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, causing many problems to Turkish ships.

He rehabilitated the memory of Joan of Arc, who died on the stake and was considered an heretic and a witch, reaffirming her innocence.

His mortal remains were transferred to the Spanish church of S. Maria di Monserrato in Rome. His pontificate lasted about 3 years and 4 months.

Pius II : 1458-1464 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

210. Born in Siena. Elected September 13,1458 - died August 15, 1464.

In order to support the provinces oppressed by the Turks, he confirmed the alliance between the Kings of France, Burgundy, Hungary and Venice.

He died while leaving for a holy war.

He is considered founder of the Office of Fine Arts because he issued provisions for the protection and conservation of Roman and countryside monuments.

He was a patron of the arts.

He dreamt about the "perfect city", that is to say a city built following humanistic principles.

He rebuilt Corsignano, his village of origin, nowadays called Pienza, according to Renaissance principles of Alberti and of the Vitruvius treaty "De Architettura", re-discovered in 1414: this is the rebuilding of the "ideal city" by Francesco ill Giorgio Martini preserved in Urbino.

He canonized St. Catherine of Siena.

He founded the College of Abbreviators, made up of scholars whose task was to collect, catalogue and correct all ecclesiastic documents.

His body was transferred to the church of San Andrea della Valle. His pontificate lasted about 6 years.

Paul II : 1464-1471 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

211. Born in Venice. Elected September 16, 1464 - died July 26,1471.

He decided that only cardinals could wear the red biretta.

In order to ensure that each generation could benefit from forgiveness, he shortened the interval between Holy Years to 25 years; he also began to call them "Jubilee".

He opposed the death penalty and did not allow its use during his pontificate.

He provided his aid to the Albanian Giorgio Castrota, called Scanderberg, who committed himself in a terrible struggle against the Turks in order to free Albania; as you may know, Scanderberg is considered the national hero of Albania.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 7 years.

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