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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1591-1605 A.D.


Innocent IX
: 1591 A.D.

230. Born in Bologna. Elected November 3,1591- died suddenly on December 30, 1591.

He helplessly witnessed a terrible epidemic of pestilence but fought successfully against brigandage and various internal factions.

He favoured Philip II of Spain and the Alliance against Henry IV, encouraging Alexander Farnese to go to France to free the city of Rouen.

Innocent died only two months after his election. He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.


Clement VIII : 1592-1605 A.D.

231.Born in Florence. Elected February 9, 1592 - died March 3, 1605.

He succeeded in restoring peace between France and Spain.

He celebrated the 12th Jubilee Year (1600) and defined the "Forty hours".

Maderno sculpted St. Cecily, the patron of Music, according to the image he had of her when he visited her sepulchre for the first time.

He was the first Pope who left from the Quirinale, instead of the Vatican, to reach the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.

The custom of sending blessed swaddling clothes to new born sovereigns dates back to this period.

He died suddenly while he was participating in a session of the Court of the Inquisition.

In order to pay his respects to the Council of Trent, he ordered that the book "Pontificale Romanum", which deals with the celebration of Sacraments, Consecrations and blessings, become the official text of the Church.

He was buried in S. Maria Maggiore. His pontificate lasted 13 years and 1 month.


Leo XI : 1605 A.D.

232. Born in Florence. Elected April 10, 1605 . died April 27, of the same year.

He devoted himself to an ascetic life and was very popular for his generosity.

While riding to the Lateran, to take possession of the Episcopal Seat, he did not feel well and died.

Immediately afterwards people said he died from poisoning after having smelled a rose.

Today, the bushes of roses sculpted by Algardi on the funeral urn of Pope Leo XI continue to remind us of this suspect.

He died after only 26 days of pontificate. He is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.


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