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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1724-1758 A.D.

Benedict XIII : 1724-1730 A.D.

245. Born at Gravina in Puglia. Elected May 4,1724 - died March 2, 1730.

He concentrated, above all, on spiritual teachings.

On the occasion of the 17th Jubilee Year he inaugurated the wonderful staircase at Trinita dei Monti in Rome.

He canonized St. Louis Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus, patron of Poland.

He forbade churchmen to wear wigs and this decision was reluctantly accepted by Cardinal Bentivoglio and Cardinal Alberoni, since they used to wear it for reasons regarding their health.

He renewed the announcements already issued by Innocent XII in 1696 for the lotto game to all Roman citizens and its province.

He was buried in S. Maria sopra Minerva. His pontificate lasted about 5 years and 9 months.

Clement XII :
1730-1740 A.D.

246. Born in Florence. Elected July 16, 1730 - died February 2,1740.

He did not interfere in the numerous wars that broke out in that period.

He abolished the ban regarding the lotto, because of the adverse balance of the Pontifical State.

The drawing used to take place in the loggias of the Carnpidoglio and the first numbers were: 56-11-54-18-6.

He founded an institute for Chinese youth in Naples.

He excommunicated the Masonic institutions.

Clement XII was the author of the current system of pavingstones, which are typical of Roman streets.

He had the streets of Rome paved with squared stones and enlarged, levelled and straightened out part of Via del Corso.

He opened the Capitoline Museums to the public, and enriched them with new works.

He is buried in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. His pontificate lasted about 9 years and 6 months.

Benedict XIV
: 1740-1758 A.D.

247. Born in Bologna. Elected August 22,1740 - died May 3,1758.

He was the most learned Pope of his century. Together with St. Leonard, he spread the word about the devotion of the "Via Crucis" and celebrated the 18th Jubilee Year (1750).

He ordered the continuation of the Papal portraits in the Basilica of San Paolo in Rome.

On the occasion of a solemn religious service, he defined the Coliseum as a public church.

He defended marriage and prohibited duels.

He also abolished the Select Knights corps, which was responsible for the pope's safety.

He published a magnificent work on the beatification and canonisation of saints.

The current Canonical Code was based, to a large extent, upon the so-called Bollarium Benedicti XIV.

He founded the Holy or Christian Museum in the Vatican and the Capitoline picture gallery.

He is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate lasted about 17 years and 9 months.

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Index of Roman Pontiffs

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