Pope Julius III

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POPE JULIUS III
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POPE JULIUS III STATS
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Name: Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte
Born: 10 September 1487
Home town: Rome
Died: 23 March 1555
Position: Held Papacy from 8 February 1550 until 23 March 1555
House of: Del Monte
Nickname:
Personality type: Loved the life of luxury. Weak and ineffective.
Hobbies: Theatre, hunting.
Strength(s):
Weakness(es): Pleasure loving pontiff. Loved banquets, hunting, the theatre.
Quirks: He created scandal by his infatuation with a fifteen-year old youth, Innocenzo, picked up in the streets of Parma.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"


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POPE JULIUS III BIO
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As a result of irreconcilable divisions between the pro-French and pro-imperial factions the conclave following Pope Paul III
's death was a difficult one lasting ten weeks. The English Reginald Pole (1500-1558) missed election by a single vote. Eventually a compromise between French and Farnese cardinals secured a majority, in spite of Emperor Charles V's (1519-1556) hostility, for Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte. Born in Rome on !0 September 1487, son of a well-known jurist, he studied law at Perugia and Siena and became chamberlain to Julius II (whose name he adopted). In 1511 he succeeded his uncle as archbishop of Siponto, became bishop of Pavia in 1520, and under Clement VII served twice as governor of Rome. In 1534 Paul III made him vice-legate of Bologna, creating him cardinal priest in December 1536 and cardinal bishop of Palestrina in October 1543. As one of its co-presidents he opened he Council of Trent on 13 December 1545. It was as co-president that he exasperated Charles V by his responsibility for transferring the council to Bologna in 1547.

Although an outstanding canonist, Julius was a typical Renaissance pontiff, generous to relatives, pleasure-loving, devoted to banquets, the theatre, hunting. Essentially weak, he created scandal by his infatuation with a fifteen-year old youth, Innocenzo, picked up in the streets of Parma, whom he made his brother adopt and named cardinal. Yet he was aware of his universal pastoral role, and also of the church's need for reform and for the resumption of the suspended council; he had bound himself to the last in the pre-election oath sworn by fourteen cardinals. After strenuous negotiations, therefore, with with the emperor's gratified agreement, he called on it (c*m ad tollenda: 14 November 1550) to reassemble at Trent on 1 May 1551. It duly met and held several sessions (nos. 11-16), with theologians representing German Protestant estates attending some. Henry II of France (1547-59), however, disregarding threats of Julius and of the council, refused French participation, and the council fell victim to the Habsburg-Valois war which resulted from the pope's attempt to eject Ottavio Farnese, Pope Paul's grandson, from Parma, with which, in deference to his predecessor's dying wish and his own pre-election compact, he had originally enfeoffed him as a vassal of the Holy See but which Charles claimed as belonging to the empire. When to combined papal and imperial armies failed to defeat the French, and the revolt of German princes against Charles in Spring 1552 forced him to leave his base at Innsbruck, Julius was obliged on 28 April at its 16th session, to suspend the council indefinitely, and next day to make a disadvantageous truce with France which restored Parma to Ottavio.

Discouraged by the breakdown of his policies, Julius now spent most of his time at the luxurious Villa di Papa Giulio which he erected just outside of the Porta del Popolo. Naturally indolent, he devoted himself here to pleasurable pursuits, with occasional bouts of more serious activity. Politically he endeavoured, though without success, to mediate peace between Henry II and Charles V; his neutrality inspired mistrust on all sides. With the help of a committee of cardinals he carried through piecemeal reforms, controlling pluralism, restoring monastic discipline, and modifying curial administration. He encouraged the recently (1534) founded Society of Jesus, confirming its constitution on 21 July 1550, and, prompted by Ignatius Loyola (1491-155), established (31 August 1552) the Collegium Germanicum for the training of German secular priests who would work to restore Catholicism in their native land. He was concerned for the extension of the faith in the Indies, the Far East, and the Americas. But the most striking success of his reign was the return, short-lived though it was to be, of England to obedience to the Holy See. The accession of the Catholic Queen Mary I (6 July 1553) was hailed with great joy in Rome, and Julius appointed Reginald Pole, a relative of the Queen as legate with far-reaching powers; on 30 November, Pole solemnly absolved the English nation from schism and presided over a synod of both convocations.

A generous patron of the arts and humanism, Julius appointed the scholar-bibliophile Marcello Cervini (later Pope Marcellus II) librarian to the Vatican Library, Michelangelo chief architect of St Peter's and the composer Palestrina choirmaster of the Cappella Giulia. He built San Andrea della Flaminia to commemorate his escape from death when held a hostage by the emperor after the Sack of Rome (6 May 1527). For years a victim of gout, he died shortly after sending Cardinal Morone, at the request of Charles V, to the Diet of Augsburg (1555) in the vain hope of bringing Germany back to papal allegiance on the model of England.




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CONTEMPORARY VOICES
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POPE JULIUS III QUOTES
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  • "Do you know my son, with what little understanding the world is ruled?"
  • "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".



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POPE JULIUS III TRIVIA
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  • Gossip called the boy Innocenzo, Julius's "Ganymede," and the Venetian ambassador reported that Innocenzo shared the pope's bedroom and bed. The relationship became a staple of anti-papal polemics for over a century: it was said that Julius, awaiting Innocenzo's arrival in Rome to receive his cardinal's hat, showed the impatience of a lover awaiting a mistress, and that he boasted of the boy's prowess.
  • Originally buried in St Peter's Basilica sans monument in a red stone sarcophagus in the chapel of San Andrea; reinterred in an ancient sarcophagus in 1608, which was reopened two years later during the demolition; sometimes cited as buried in the Del Monte chapel of San Pietro in Montorio along with his adopted cardinal-nephew, Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte.




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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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