Papacy - A Historical Perspective
Paul V : 1605-1621 A.D.
233. Born in Rome. Elected May 29, 1605 -
died January 28, 1621.
He had relations with Michael
Romanoff of Russia
(The first Romanoff of the dynasty which came to an end with the
communist takeover in russia). Paul IV asked for the help of civilised
nations to stop the prosecution of Christians in Japan and China.
He was in favour of astronomy but he let Copernicus be condemned.
He cared about Roman waters and fountains and reactivated the
ancient aqueduct, which brought water from Bracciano lake to
Trastevere, dating back to the period of Emperor Trajan.
He ordered that priests must have a book containing the names
of the baptised, the confirmed, the
married and the state of souls.
Paul V was the first to introduce the agricultural credit, with
"motuproprio" dated October 19th 1611.
He beatified S. Filippo Neri and Ignazio of Loyola and canonized
Francesca Romana and Carlo Borromeo.
He introduced the Office of St. Casimiro into
He established the feast of Sts. Guardian Angels.
He was a great patron of the arts. Among his protected, it is
worth mentioning Guido Reni, who was granted the privilege of keeping
his hat on in presence of the Pope.
He is buried in S. Maria Maggiore. His pontificate lasted about 15
years and 8 months.
Gregory XV : 1621-1623 A.D.
234. Born in Bologna. Elected February
14, 1621 - died July 8, 1623.
During his brief pontificate, he
encouraged Irish people
and favoured the Catholic re-establishment in France.
He cared about missions for which he set up the Congregation of
The famous Heidelberg Library, which is now called the Palatine
Library, was donated to
him by Maximilian of Bavaria.
Gregory is responsible for the definitive legislation of the
conclave, which was used till the election of John Paul I in 1978.
Later Paul VI, adapted it in order to make it more flexible to
current times and with the Bull" Aeterni Patris Filius", he reaffirmed,
among other things, the secrecy of the conclave.
He is buried in the Roman church of San Ignazio. His pontificate
lasted 2 years and 5 months.
Urban VIII : 1623-1644 A.D.
235. Born in Florence. Elected September
29,1623 - died July 29, 1644.
He worked on Holy Texts: Pontifical,
When he was condemned, Galileo said "and yet it moves".
He celebrated the 13th Jubilee Year (1625).
He had his summer residence built in Castel Gandolfo (Rome).
During the Consistory held on June 10th 1630, Urban VIII
ordered that the cardinals had to be addressed using the words "His
Eminence" instead of "distinguished".
He ordered the restoration of the Pantheon and took about 150,000
kilos of bronze from the bronze trussing of its portico to build the
wonderful spiral columns of the baldachin of the papal altar in St.
Peter's, made by Bernini, as well as for the cannons at Castel S.
He is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate was
very long: 20 years and 11 months.
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