Papacy - A Historical Perspective
Innocent X :
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
He ordered Bernini to build the Fountain of the Four Rivers in
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
At the request of Pope Clement IX, Bernini did the decorations of
Ponte Elio (S. Angelo) with the magnificent angels, soaring over the
He established a new relationship with the faithful, which recalls
the one recently adopted by John XXIII; he personally confessed the
He was buried in Santa Maria Maggiore. His pontificate lasted
about 2 years and 5 months.
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