Pope Pius III

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POPE PIUS III
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POPE PIUS III STATS
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Name: Francesco Nanni Todeschini Piccolomini
Born: 29 May 1439
Home town: Siena
Died: 18 October 1503
Position: Held Papacy from 22 September 1503 until 18 October 1503 (26 days).
House of: Piccolomini
Nickname:
Personality type: Studious and effective, honest, intelligent, scholarly, genuinely religious.
Hobbies: Collecting books.
Strength(s): Integrity - refused to be bribed to vote for Rodrigo Borgia to be elected Pope. Piety; humility; probity; administrative flair; the ability to gain the respect of his contemporaries.
Weakness(es): His fragile health.
Quirks: He was so abstemious in food and drink that he only had an evening meal every other day.



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POPE PIUS III BIO
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Born at Siena in 1439, Francesco Todeschini was, through his mother, a nephew of Pius II, who allowed him to assume his family name (Piccolomini) and arms, took into his household, and arranged for his legal studies at Perugia. After he had obtained his doctorate, his uncle made him archbishop of Siena (he was only twenty-one, and a deacon), and a few weeks later (5 March 1460) cardinal deacon of St Eustachio. Pius II then sent him as legate to the March of Ancona, and in 1464 left him in charge of Rome and papal state when he himself went to Ancona to lead the crusade. For many years cardinal protector of England and Germany, he became the trusted friend of both nations. Paul II appointed him legate in Germany, where his fluency in German helped him to defend the interests of the church with the emperor and before the diet of Regensburg (1471). Although he continued influential under Alexander VI, who sent him on an abortive mission to Charles VIII of France in November 1494, he kept his distance from him; he had angrily refused to be bribed to vote for him at the conclave of August 1492 and in June 1497 he protested, alone of the sacred college, against his proposed transfer of substantial papal territories to his son Juan, Duke of Gandia. A man of culture as his as integrity he founded the Libreria Piccolomini in Siena to house his uncle's library, entrusting the decoration to Pinturicchio (1502).

Francesco owed his election at the conclave (16 - 22 September 1503) following Alexander VI's death less to his intrinsic merits (he had been considered seriously more than once before) than to the need to find a neutral candidate to break the deadlock caused by competing national interests and the threat of interference by Cesare Borgia. His fragile health (he was racked with gout) and premature old age also stood in his favour, for a short pontificate which would provide a breathing-space was desired. In the event is reign proved even briefer than expected. His health was so weak that several of the customary ceremonies had to be omitted at his coronation on 8 October 1503, and ten days later he died of an ulcer in his leg. His death was regarded by contemporaries as a misfortune for their were signs that, had he lived, he would have summoned a general council within two years and promoted the serious reforms measures that were desperately needed.




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CONTEMPORARY VOICES
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POPE PIUS III QUOTES
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POPE PIUS III TRIVIA
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  • It was alleged that he died of poison administered at the instigation of Pandolfo Petrucci, Governor of Siena.
  • His papacy lasted 26 days.



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    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
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    BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS WEBSITES & MEDIA
    • The Oxford Dictionary of Popes by JND Kelly
    • The Popes by John Julius Norwich
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