Pope Clement IX
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|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||20 June 1667|
|Papacy ended||9 December 1669|
|Consecration||29 March 1644|
by Antonio Marcello Barberini
|Created cardinal||9 April 1657|
by Pope Alexander VII
|Birth name||Giulio Rospigliosi|
|Born||28 January 1600|
Pistoia, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
|Died||9 December 1669 (aged 69)|
Rome, Papal States
|Motto||Aliis non sibi Clemens ("Clement to others, not to himself")|
|Coat of arms|
|Other popes named Clement|
Early life and education
Giulio Rospigliosi was born in 1600 to the Rospigliosi family, a noble family of Pistoia in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to Giacomo and Caterina Rospigliosi. He studied at the Seminario Romano and later at the University of Pisa as a pupil of the Jesuits, receiving doctorates in theology, philosophy and both canon and civil law in 1623. After receiving his doctorates, he taught theology there as a professor from 1623 to 1625.
Episcopate and cardinalate
Later Rospigliosi worked closely with Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644) where he worked in the diplomatic corps as the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura. He was appointed as the Titular Archbishop of Tarsus in 1644 and later received episcopal consecration in the Vatican. Rospigliosi also served as the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain from 1644 until 1653 when he decided to retire from that post. He lived in retirement throughout the pontificate of Pope Innocent X who disliked and distanced himself from those associated with his predecessor. He was also made vicar of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
Rospigliosi was an accomplished man of letters who wrote poetry, dramas and libretti, as well as what may be the first comic opera, namely his 1637 libretto Chi soffre, speri. He was also a patron of Nicolas Poussin, commissioning A Dance to the Music of Time from him and dictating its iconography.
|Papal styles of|
Pope Clement IX
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Alexander VII died in 1667 and a conclave to choose his successor was called. King Louis XIV of France instructed the French faction to turn their support to Rospigliosi and believed also that he would appease the Spanish faction of Charles II due to the fact that he had once been the Apostolic Nuncio to Spain. On 20 June 1667, he was elected as pontiff and took the pontifical name of "Clement IX".
Nothing remarkable occurred under Clement IX's short administration beyond the temporary adjustment of the disputes between the Holy See and those prelates of the Gallican Church who had refused to join in condemning the writings of Jansen. He was mediator during the 1668 peace of Aachen, in the wars of succession between France, Spain, England and the Netherlands.
He was popular with the people of Rome, not so much for his erudition and application to business, as for his extreme charity and his affability towards great and small. He increased the goodwill of his subjects by buying off the monopolist who had secured the "macinato", or privilege of selling grain, and as his predecessor had collected the money for the purpose, Clement IX had the decree published in the name of Alexander VII. Two days each week he occupied a confessional in St. Peter's church and heard any one who wished to confess to him. He frequently visited the hospitals, and was lavish in his alms to the poor. In an age of nepotism, he did little or nothing to advance or enrich his family. In his aversion to notoriety, he refused to permit his name to be placed on the buildings erected during his reign.
He elevated 12 new cardinals in three consistories; this included Emilio Bonaventura Altieri who would succeed him as Pope Clement X.
As pope, Clement IX continued his interest in the arts. He embellished the city of Rome with famous works commissioned to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, including the angels of Ponte Sant'Angelo and the colonnade of Saint Peter's Basilica. Somewhat unusually for Popes of the era, Clement IX did not have his name displayed on monuments he built. He also opened the first public opera house in Rome, and for the Carnival celebrations of 1668, commissioned Antonio Maria Abbatini of the Sistine Chapel Choir to set to music his free Italian translation of a Spanish religious drama La Baltasara. The production had sets designed by Bernini.
Defence against the Turks
Clement IX worked to strengthen Venetian defences against the Turks on the island of Crete. However, he was unable to get wider support for this cause. At the end of October 1669, Clement IX fell ill after receiving news that the Venetian fortress of Candia in Crete had surrendered to the Turks.
Death and burial
- for Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger: I Pastori di Betlemme (1630)
- for Stefano Landi: Il Sant'Alessio (1631/2, 1634)
- for Michele Angelo Rossi: Erminia sul Giordano (1633)
- for (composer unknown): I Santi Didimo e Teodora (1635, 1636)
- for Marco Marazzoli and Virgilio Mazzocchi: Chi Soffre, Speri (1637, 1639)
- for Aurelio Aureli: La Sincerità Trionfante (1638, 1639)
- for Virgilio Mazzocchi: Il San Bonifazio (1638, 1639)
- for Virgilio Mazzocchi: La Genoinda (1641)
- for Luigi Rossi: Il Palazzo Incantato (1642)
- for Virgilio Mazzocchi: Il Sant'Eustachio (1643)
- for Antonio Maria Abbatini and Marco Marazzoli: Dal Male Il Bene (1654, 1656)
- for Marco Marazzoli: Le Armi e Gli Amori (1656)
- for Antonio Maria Abbatini: La Comica del Cielo (1668)
- Loughlin, James. "Pope Clement IX". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 9 Sept. 2014
- Roger Parker (ed.): The Oxford illustrated history of opera. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1994, p. 18 f.
- Wolfgang Witzenmann: Article “Mazzocchi, Virgilio.” In: Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed July 6, 2016.
- Rendina, Claudio (1993). I papi. Storia e segreti. Rome: Newton & Compton.
- Murata, Margaret (1981). Operas for the Papal Court, 1631–1668. UMI Research Press.
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