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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1550-1559 A.D.


Julius III
: 1550-1555 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

221.Born in Rome. Elected February 22, 1550 - died March 23, 1555.

By reopening the Council of Trent he continued to oppose Lutheran theories.

When Mary Tudor came to the throne of England, he sent a legate for the reintroduction of the catholic cult. He celebrated the 10th Jubilee Year (1550).

In a Bull he established that two blood brothers could not be cardinals at the same time.

The Protestant Reformation was increasingly counting on followers : it reached Scotland and vast areas of France;in this country, the Protestants were called Huguenots.

Thanks to special faculties granted by Julius III, the first real university of Catholic studies was set up: it had already been founded by St. Ignatio of Loyola and St. Francis Borgia; enriched with donations and new buildings by Gregory XIII, it then took his name.

He was buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 5 years and 1 month.

Marcellus II : 1555 A.D.

222. Born in Montepulciano. Elected April 10, 1555 - died May 1st 1555.

He was the last to maintain his Christian name.

He endowed the curia with austerity and justice.

He worried about the Russian and Mongolian peoples.

Pierluigi of Palestrina composed the famous "Mass of Pope Marcellus".

In this regard, it must be said that Marcellus II wanted to eliminate music from religious services, but Palestrina made him change his mind thanks to the composition of this Mass.

The Pope, listening to the gravity of singing and the sweetness of music, did not allow for music, but also had this genre of music played in his Chapel.

His pontificate lasted only 22 days. He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

Paul IV : 1555-1559 A.D.

223. Born in Naples. Elected May 26, 1555 - died August 18, 1559.

He promoted the reformation of customs.

He fought against the Inquisition and Lutheran heresy.

He forced the Jews to live in the "Ghetto".

Paul IV brought to light the idea of a Vatican Typography, the "Printing-office of the Roman people".

He was the first Pope to use the palanquin from the Vatican to San Giovanni.

He wrote a Bull in which he threatened with the death penalty every man that depended economically on a woman as well as any woman who accepted this situation.

He was buried in S. Maria sopra Minerva. His pontificate lasted 4 years and 3 months.

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