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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1471-1503 A.D.


Sixtus IV
: 1471-1484 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

212. Born in Savona. Elected August 25,1471. died August 12, 1484.

He was a politician and a patron of the arts.

He celebrated the 7th Jubilee in 1475, which lasted till Easter of 1476.

He introduced the feast of St. Joseph celebrated on March 19th.

He built the Sistine Chapel where Michelangelo painted his frescoes.

The Swiss Guards, who still protect the Pope to this day, were set up during his pontificate.

In 1471 some coins bearing the inscription "Urbe Restituta" were minted.

Sixtus ordered the rebuilding of the so called Ponte Rotto, built by Marcus Aurelius in 161 A.C. and collapsed in 792, who was therefore called "Ponte Sisto".

Sixtus V put his personal collection of classical statues in his Roman palaces.

This was the first museum of the world and the core of the current Capitoline Museums, originally opened to the public by Clement XII (1730.1740).

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate lasted 13 years and 3 days.

Innocent VIII : 1484-1492 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

213. Born in Genoa. Elected September 12, 1484 - died July 25, 1492.

He restored peace between the Catholic states.

He fought against the trade of slaves and helped Christopher Columbus in his attempt to discover the Americas.

Since he was suffering from stomach cancer, obviously the diagnosis is uncertain, he was very weak: his doctors thought about the possibility of injecting young blood in his veins, which were supposed to be rich in vital force: this was the first known attempt of making a transfusion.

However, Innocent died soon afterwards on July 25th 1492, on the eve of the discovery of the Americas, for his doctors did not know anything about blood groups and RH factors.

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate lasted 7 years and 10 months.

Alexander VI : 1492-1503 A.D. [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

214. Born in Jativa (Spain). Elected August 26. 1492 - died August 18, 1503.

By splitting up the new lands of the Americas on the maps, he marked the fate of the new continent, with Spain, naturally, getting the Lion's Share of the New World.

He celebrated the 8th Jubilee (1500).

He opened for the first time a Holy Door in St. Peter's, S. Paolo's and S. Maria Maggiore.

The most beautiful work ordered by Alexander is the apartment Borgia in the Vatican, which was frescoed by Pinturicchio.

He is buried in the Spanish church of Rome, S. Maria del Monserrato. His pontificate lasted 11 years


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