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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1644-1669 A.D.


Innocent X : 1644-1655 A.D.

236. Born in Rome. Elected October 4,1644 - died January 1st 1655.

He recommended the enfranchisement of serfs to Alex I, Czar of Russia.

He disapproved of the Treaty of Westfalen since many cities were then governed by Protestants.

He celebrated the 14th Jubilee Year (1650).

On his election day, the cupola of St. Peter's was lit up for the first time.

He ordered Bernini to build the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona, which later became extremely popular.

He ordered that the Cardinals had to be called only Eminence and that their emblem was to be the cardinal cap.

He was buried in the church of S. Agnese. His pontificate lasted about 10 years and 4 months.


Alexander VII
: 1655-1667 A.D.

237. Born in Siena. Elected April 18, 1655 - died May 22, 1667.

He tried to stem the dissemination of Protestantism in Italy and in England.

He completed the restoration works for St. Peter's square, with the Colonnade by Bernini and the two fountains.

He cordially received Queen Christine of Sweden, hosting her in the Vatican and, on Christmas night, he confirmed her.

He added valuable collections to the Vatican Library and set up a secret archive. In order to remind himself that he would have to die one day, he kept a coffin under his bed and drank from a silver cup with an image of death on the bottom.

Convinced about his doctrinal positions, he condemned once again the Five Propositions by Jansen.

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate lasted 12 years and 1 month.


Clement IX
: 1667-1669 A.D.

238. Born in Pistoia. Elected June 26, 1667 - died December 9,1669.

He acted as a mediator in the succession wars that took place in France, Spain, England and Holland and ended with the Peace of Aachen, caned Clementina.

The colonnade of St. Peter's was decorated with the statues of 140 saints.

At the request of Pope Clement IX, Bernini did the decorations of Ponte Elio (S. Angelo) with the magnificent angels, soaring over the "blond river".

He established a new relationship with the faithful, which recalls the one recently adopted by John XXIII; he personally confessed the penitents.

He was buried in Santa Maria Maggiore. His pontificate lasted about 2 years and 5 months.


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