Pope Gregory XIV

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Pope

Gregory XIV
Bishop of Rome
GregorioPPXVI.jpg
Papacy began5 December 1590
Papacy ended16 October 1591
Predecessor Urban VII
Successor Innocent IX
Orders
Ordination1551
Consecration13 March 1564
by  St. Charles Borromeo
Created cardinal12 December 1583
by Gregory XIII
Personal details
Birth nameNiccolò Sfondrato
Born11 February 1535
Somma Lombardo, Duchy of Milan
Died16 October 1591(1591-10-16) (aged 56)
Rome, Papal State
Previous post
  • Abbot of Civate (1551–1560)
  • Bishop of Cremona (1560–1590)
  • Cardinal-Priest of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere (1585–1590)
Coat of arms C o a Gregorio XIV.svg
Other popes named Gregory

Pope Gregory XIV (Latin : Gregorius XIV; 11 February 1535 – 16 October 1591), born Niccolò Sfondrato [1] or Sfondrati, [2] was Pope from 5 December 1590 to his death in 1591.

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Contents

Early career

Niccolò Sfondrati was born at Somma Lombardo, then part of the Duchy of Milan, in the highest stratum of Milanese society. His mother, of the house of Visconti, died in childbirth. His father Francesco Sfondrati, a senator of the ancient comune of Milan, was created Cardinal-Priest by Pope Paul III in 1544. [3]

Somma Lombardo Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Somma Lombardo is a town in the province of Varese, Lombardy, Italy. It received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree on June 16, 1959.

Duchy of Milan former duchy in Italy (1395–1447; 1450–1535)

The Duchy of Milan was a state of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Italy. It was created in 1395, when it included twenty-six towns and the wide rural area of the middle Padan Plain east of the hills of Montferrat. During much of its existence, it was wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to Habsburg Austria with the Treaty of Baden (1714), concluding the War of the Spanish Succession. The Duchy remained an Austrian possession until 1796, when a French army under Napoleon Bonaparte conquered it, and it ceased to exist a year later as a result of the Treaty of Campo Formio, when Austria ceded it to the new Cisalpine Republic.

Francesco Sfondrati Italian cardinal

Francesco Sfondrati (1493–1550) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal and the father of Pope Gregory XIV.

In his youth he was known for his modest lifestyle and stringent piety. He studied law at Perugia and Padua, was ordained a priest and swiftly appointed Bishop of Cremona, in 1560, in time to participate in the sessions of the Council of Trent from 1561 to 1563. Pope Gregory XIII made him a Cardinal-Priest of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere on 12 December 1583. Sfondrati was a close follower of Carlo Cardinal Borromeo, and when the cardinal died, he celebrated the Requiem Mass for Borromeo on 7 November 1584. [4] Sfondrati was an intimate friend and a great admirer of Philip Neri, an Italian priest who died in 1595 and was canonised in 1622.

Perugia Comune in Umbria, Italy

Perugia is the capital city of both the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber, and of the province of Perugia. The city is located about 164 kilometres north of Rome and 148 km southeast of Florence. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area. The region of Umbria is bordered by Tuscany, Lazio, and Marche.

Padua Comune in Veneto, Italy

Padua is a city and comune in Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 214,000. The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) which has a population of c. 2,600,000.

Council of Trent Synod

The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

Papal election

After the death of Pope Urban VII on 27 September 1590, the Spanish ambassador Olivares presented the conclave a list of the seven cardinals who would be acceptable to his master Philip II of Spain. On 5 December 1590, after two months of deadlock, Sfondrati, one of Philip II's seven candidates but who had not aspired to the office, was elected pope. Alessandro Cardinal Montalto came to Sfondrati's cell to inform him that the Sacred College had agreed on his election and found him kneeling in prayer before a crucifix. [5]

Pope Urban VII 16th-century Catholic pope

Pope Urban VII, born Giovanni Battista Castagna, was Pope from 15 to 27 September 1590. His twelve-day papacy was the shortest in history.

Enrique de Guzmán, 2nd Count of Olivares Spanish noble

Enrique de Guzmán y Ribera, 2nd Count of Olivares was a Spanish nobleman and statesman.

Papal conclave Roman Catholic papal election

A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, also known as the pope. The pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church.

On the day after he was elected Pope, Gregory XIV burst into tears and said to the cardinals: "God forgive you! What have you done?" [5] In his bull of 21 March 1591, Cogit nos, he forbade under pain of excommunication all betting concerning the election of a Pope, the duration of a pontificate, or the creation of new cardinals.

Papal bull type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church

A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it.

Excommunication censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community

Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it, in particular receiving of the sacraments. The term is often historically used to refer specifically to excommunications from the Catholic Church, but it is also used more generally to refer to similar types of institutional religious exclusionary practices and shunning among other religious groups. For instance, many Protestant denominations, such as the Lutheran Churches, have similar practices of excusing congregants from church communities, while Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as the Churches of Christ, use the term "disfellowship" to refer to their form of excommunication. The Amish have also been known to excommunicate members that were either seen or known for breaking rules, or questioning the church.

Papacy

Papal styles of
Pope Gregory XIV
C o a Gregorio XIV.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone

Gregory XIV's brief pontificate was marked by vigorous intervention in favour of the Catholic party in the French Wars of Religion. Instigated by the king of Spain and the duke of Mayenne, he excommunicated Henry IV of France on 1 March 1591, reiterating the 1585 declaration of Pope Sixtus V that as a heretic (Protestant) Henry of Navarre was ineligible to succeed to the throne of Catholic France and ordered the clergy, nobles, judicial functionaries, and the Third Estate of France to renounce him. [5]

French Wars of Religion civil infighting from 1562–98

The French Wars of Religion were a prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Roman Catholics and Huguenots in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598. It is estimated that three million people perished in this period from violence, famine, or disease in what is considered the second deadliest religious war in European history.

Henry IV of France first French monarch of the House of Bourbon

Henry IV, also known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.

Pope Sixtus V pope

Pope Sixtus V or Xystus V, born Felice Piergentile, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 24 April 1585 to his death in 1590. As a youth, he joined the Franciscan order, where he displayed talents as a scholar and preacher, and enjoyed the patronage of Pius V, who made him a cardinal.

Gregory XIV levied an army for the invasion of France, and dispatched his nephew Ercole Sfondrati to France at its head. He also sent a monthly subsidy of 15,000 scudi to Paris to reinforce the Catholic League. By coming down solidly on the side of Spanish interests, in part because Gregory XIV was elected due to the influence of the Spanish cardinals, the recent papal policy of trying to maintain a balance between Spain and France was abandoned.

A medal depicting Gregory XIV. Gregory XIV.PNG
A medal depicting Gregory XIV.

Gregory XIV created five cardinals, among whom was his nephew Paolo Emilio Sfondrati, his Secretary of State. He attempted to convince Philip Neri, a long-time friend, to accept the post of Cardinal, but Neri refused, saying that there were many more deserving of the honour than him.

In a decree dated 18 April 1591 (Bulla Cum Sicuti), Gregory XIV ordered reparations to be made by Catholics in the Philippines to the natives, who had been forced into slavery by Europeans, and he commanded under pain of excommunication of the owners that all native slaves in the islands be set free.

Also in 1591, Gregory XIV modified the Apostolic Constitution Effraenatam of Pope Sixtus V (1588) so that the penalty for abortion did not apply until the foetus became animated.

The biographers mention that Pope Gregory XIV had a nervous tendency to laughter, which occasionally became irresistible and even manifested itself at his coronation. Gregory XIV, who was in poor health before his election to the papacy, died due to a large gallstone and was succeeded by Innocent IX.

See also

Notes

  1. "Wikisource-logo.svg Baynes, T.S.; Smith, W.R., eds. (1880). "Gregory XIV.". Encyclopædia Britannica . 11 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  2. Francesco Patrizi's Hermetic Philosophy, Cees Leijenhorst, Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times, ed. R. van den Broek, Wouter J. Hanegraaff, (State University of New York Press, 1998), 125.
  3. Terence Scully, The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570), (University of Toronto Press, 2008), vi.
  4. Miranda, "Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church"
  5. 1 2 3 Ott, Michael. "Pope Gregory XIV." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 21 December 2018PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

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References

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Federico Cesi
Bishop of Cremona
1560 – 1590
Succeeded by
Cesare Speciano
Preceded by
Urban VII
Pope
5 December 1590 – 16 October 1591
Succeeded by
Innocent IX