Pope Alexander VII
Pope Alexander VII, born Fabio Chigi, was Pope from 7 April 1655 to his death in 1667. He began his career as a vice-papal legate, he held various diplomatic positions in the Holy See, he was ordained as a priest in 1634, he became Bishop of Nardo in 1635. He was transferred in 1652, he became Bishop of Imola. Pope Innocent X made him Secretary of State in 1651, in 1652, he was appointed as a Cardinal. Early in his papacy, seen as an anti-Nepotist at the time of his election, lived simply, his administration worked to support the Jesuits. However, his administration's relations with France were strained due to his frictions with French diplomats. Alexander supported various urban projects in Rome, he wrote poetry and patronized artists who expanded the decoration of churches. His theological writings included discussions of the Immaculate Conception. Born in Siena, a member of the illustrious banking family of Chigi and a great-nephew of Pope Paul V, Fabio Chigi was tutored and received doctorates of philosophy and theology from the University of Siena.
Fabio's elder brother, married Berenice, the daughter of Tiberio della Ciala, producing four children, of whom two survived: Agnes and Flavio. Flavio was created cardinal by his uncle on April 9, 1657, his brother, Augusto Chigi, married Olimpia della Ciaia and continued the family line as the parents of Agostino Chigi, Prince Farnese. Fabio's sister Onorata Mignanelli married Firmano Bichi. Another of his nephews was Giovanni Bichi. In 1627 he began his apprenticeship as vice-papal legate at Ferrara, on recommendations from two cardinals he was appointed Inquisitor of Malta. Chigi was ordained a priest in December 1634, he was appointed Referendarius utriusque signaturae, which made him a prelate and gave him the right to practice before the Roman courts. On 8 January 1635, Chigi was named Bishop of Nardò in southern Italy and consecrated on 1 July 1635 by Miguel Juan Balaguer Camarasa, Bishop of Malta. On 13 May 1652 he was transferred to the Bishopric of Imola. Bishop Chigi was named nuncio in Cologne on 11 June 1639.
There, he supported Urban VIII's condemnation of the heretical book Augustinus by Cornelius Jansen, Bishop of Ypres, in the papal Bull In eminenti of 1642. Though expected to take part in the negotiations which led in 1648 to the Peace of Westphalia, Bishop Chigi declined to deliberate with persons whom the Catholic Church considered heretics. Negotiations therefore took place in two cities, Osnabrück and Münster in Westphalia, with intermediaries travelling back and forth between the Protestant and the Catholic delegates. Chigi, of course, protested on behalf of the Papacy, when the treaties were completed, against the Treaty of Westphalia once the instruments were completed. Pope Innocent himself stated that the Peace "is null, invalid, damnable, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all time." The Peace ended the Thirty Years' War and established the balance of European power that lasted until the wars of the French Revolution. Pope Innocent X recalled Chigi to Rome. In December 1651 Pope Innocent named Cardinal Chigi Secretary of State.
He was created cardinal by Innocent X in the Consistory of 19 February 1652, on 12 March was granted the title of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria del Popolo. When Innocent X died on 1 January 1655, Cardinal Chigi was elected pope after eighty days in the conclave, on 7 April 1655, taking the name of Alexander VII; the conclave believed he was opposed to the nepotism, a feature of previous popes. Indeed, in the first year of his reign, Alexander VII lived and forbade his relations to visit Rome. A contemporary, John Bargrave wrote the following: In the first months of his elevation to the Popedom, he had so taken upon him the profession of an evangelical life that he was wont to season his meat with ashes, to sleep upon a hard couch, to hate riches and pomp, taking a great pleasure to give audience to ambassadors in a chamber full of dead men's sculls, in the sight of his coffin, which stood there to put him in mind of his death. Extraordinary devotion and sanctity of life I found was so much esteemed that the noise of it spread far and near.
But so soon as he had called his relations about him he changed his nature. Instead of humility succeeded vanity; the prose may be grossly exaggerated, as the view of a Protestant clergyman and nephew of the Dean of Canterbury, indeed, it is at least true that in the consistory of 24 April 1656 Pope Alexander announced that his brother and nephews would be coming to assist him in Rome. His nephew, Cardinal Flavio Chigi assumed the position of cardinal-nephew; the administration was given into the hands of his relatives, nepotism became as luxuriously entrenched as it had been in the Baroque Papacy: he gave them the best-paid civil and ecclesiastical offices
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X, born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was Pope from 9 March 1513 to his death in 1521. Born into the prominent political and banking Medici family of Florence, Giovanni was the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ruler of the Florentine Republic, he was elevated to the cardinalate in 1489. Following the death of Pope Julius II, Giovanni was elected pope after securing the backing of the younger members of the Sacred College. Early on in his rule he oversaw the closing sessions of the Fifth Council of the Lateran, but struggled to implement the reforms agreed. In 1517 he led a costly war that succeeded in securing his nephew as Duke of Urbino, but which reduced papal finances. In Protestant circles, Leo is associated with granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica, a practice, soon challenged by Martin Luther's 95 Theses, he refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the demands of what would become the Protestant Reformation, his Papal Bull of 1520, Exsurge Domine, condemned Martin Luther's condemnatory stance, rendering ongoing communication difficult.
Notwithstanding these divisions, he granted establishment to the Oratory of Divine Love. He spent money without circumspection. A significant patron of the arts, upon election Leo is alleged to have said, "Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it." Under his reign, progress was made on the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and artists such as Raphael decorated the Vatican rooms. Leo reorganised the Roman University, promoted the study of literature and antiquities, he is buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. He was the last pope not to have been in priestly orders at the time of his election to the papacy. Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici was born on December 11, 1475 in the Republic of Florence, the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, head of the Florentine Republic. From an early age he was destined for an ecclesiastical career, he was soon granted rich benefices and preferments. His father prevailed on his relative Innocent VIII to name him cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica on 8 March 1488 when he was age 13, although he was not allowed to wear the insignia or share in the deliberations of the college until three years later.
Meanwhile, he received an education at Lorenzo's humanistic court under such men as Angelo Poliziano, Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino and Bernardo Dovizio Bibbiena. From 1489 to 1491 he studied canon law at Pisa. On 23 March 1492, he was formally admitted into the Sacred College of Cardinals and took up his residence at Rome, receiving a letter of advice from his father; the death of Lorenzo on the following 8 April, temporarily recalled the 16-year-old Giovanni to Florence. He returned to Rome to participate in the conclave of 1492 which followed the death of Innocent VIII, unsuccessfully opposed the election of Cardinal Borgia, he subsequently made his home with his elder brother Piero in Florence throughout the agitation of Savonarola and the invasion of Charles VIII of France, until the uprising of the Florentines and the expulsion of the Medici in November 1494. While Piero found refuge at Venice and Urbino, Giovanni traveled in Germany, in the Netherlands, in France. In May 1500, he returned to Rome, where he was received with outward cordiality by Pope Alexander VI, where he lived for several years immersed in art and literature.
In 1503 he welcomed the accession of Pope Julius II to the pontificate. On 1 October 1511 he was appointed papal legate of Bologna and the Romagna, when the Florentine republic declared in favour of the schismatic Pisans, Julius II sent Giovanni with the papal army venturing against the French; the French captured Giovanni. This and other attempts to regain political control of Florence were frustrated until a bloodless revolution permitted the return of the Medici. Giovanni's younger brother Giuliano was placed at the head of the republic, but Giovanni managed the government. Giovanni was elected Pope on 9 March 1513, this was proclaimed two days later; the absence of the French cardinals reduced the election to a contest between Giovanni and Raffaele Riario. On 15 March 1513, he was ordained priest, consecrated as bishop on 17 March, he was crowned Pope on 19 March 1513 at the age of 37. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. Leo had intended his nephew Lorenzo for brilliant secular careers.
He had named them Roman patricians. The death of Giuliano in March 1516, caused the pope to transfer his ambitions to Lorenzo. At the time that peace between France, Spain and the Empire seemed to give some promise of a Christendom united against the Turks, Leo obtained 150,000 ducats towards the expenses of the expedition from Henry VIII of England, in return for which he entered the imperial league of Spain and England against France; the war lasted from February to September 1517 and ended with the expulsion of the duke and the triumph of Lorenzo. Francesco Guicciardini reckoned the cost of th