Portal:Pope/Selected biography

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Selected biographies

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Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII; Italian: Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City, from March 2, 1939 until his death. Before election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio and cardinal secretary of state, in which roles he worked to conclude treaties with European nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Germany. His leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II and The Holocaust remains the subject of continued historical controversy. After the war, Pius XII contributed to the rebuilding of Europe, and advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies toward vanquished nations and the unification of Europe. The Church, flourishing in the West, experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in Eastern Europe and China.
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Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II) born About this sound Karol Józef Wojtyła  [ˈkaɾɔl ˈjuzεf vɔi̯ˈtɨwa]; 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) reigned as the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from 16 October 1978, until his death, almost 27 years later, making his the second-longest pontificate in modern times after Pius IX's 31-year reign. He is the only Polish pope, and was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Adrian VI in the 1520s. He is one of only four people to have been named to the Time 100 for both the 20th century and for a year in the 21st. He was made the patron of World Youth Day for 2008 in Sydney, Australia. He started those days for youth in 1986. He was formally canonized last April 27, 2014 by Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.



Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) was the 265th Pope, the spiritual head of the Catholic Church, and as such, Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. On 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294.[13][14][15] As pope emeritus, Benedict retains the style of His Holiness, and the title of Pope, and will continue to dress in the papal colour of white. Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded Pope John Paul II, who died on 2 April 2005 (and with whom he had worked before the interregnum). Benedict XVI was also the Bishop of Rome, a position traditionally attached to the papacy.



The Apostle Peter, also known as Saint Peter, Shimon "Keipha" Ben-Yonah/Bar-Yonah, Simon Peter, Cephas and Keipha—original name Shimon or Simeon (Hebrew: שמעון‎) ( (Acts 15:14)—was one of the Twelve Apostles whom Jesus chose as his original disciples. His life is prominently featured in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Peter was a Galilean fisherman assigned a leadership role by Jesus (Matthew 16:18; John 21:15–16).According to the Gospel of John, Peter was born in Bethsaida (John 1:44). His father's name is given as 'Jonah' (John 1:42, Matthew 16:17)—although some manuscripts of John give his father's name as John. The synoptic gospels all recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum (Matthew 8:14–17); Mark 1:29–31; Luke 4:38)—implying that Peter was married.



Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.Michelangelo's output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and the David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential works in fresco in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Later in life he designed the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in the same city and revolutionised classical architecture with his invention of the giant order of pilasters.



Angelo Sodano (born 23 November 1927) is the Dean of the College of Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church. He was the Cardinal Secretary of State in the Roman Curia from 1991 to 2006, now holding the title of Cardinal Secretary Emeritus of State. Sodano was first appointed Secretary of State by Pope John Paul II and then reappointed by Pope Benedict XVI. In April 2005 he succeeded Benedict as Dean of the College of Cardinals. He was the first person to serve simultaneously as Dean and Secretary of State since 1828.



Pope Pius IX (May 13, 1792 – February 7, 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from his election on June 16, 1846, until his death more than 31 years later in 1878. Pius IX was elected as the candidate of the liberal and moderate wings on the College of Cardinals, following the pontificate of arch-conservative Pope Gregory XVI. Initially sympathetic to democratic and modernizing reforms in Italy and in the Church, Pius became increasingly conservative after he was deposed as the temporal ruler of the Papal States in the events that followed the Revolutions of 1848. He formally defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and organized the First Vatican Council, which defined the dogma of papal infallibility.



Pope John Paul I (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. I, Italian: Giovanni Paolo I), born Albino Luciani, (October 17, 1912—September 28, 1978), reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and as Sovereign of Vatican City from August 26, 1978 until his death. His 33-day papacy was one of the shortest reigns in papal history, resulting in the most recent Year of Three Popes. John Paul I was the first Pope to have been born in the 20th century.Having died before he could make a legacy as a pope, he is best remembered for his friendliness and humility, making him known as "the smiling Pope", drawing comparisons with "Good Pope John", the widely popular Pope John XXIII.