Sixtus V

Sixtus V

biographical name

(born Dec. 13, 1520, Grottammare, Ancona, Papal States—died Aug. 27, 1590, Rome) Pope (1585–90). A dedicated Franciscan and two-time inquisitor general of Venice, Sixtus was elected pope at a time when the Papal States were in chaos. He suppressed brigandage and restored order using harsh measures that won him many enemies. He raised vast sums through loans, taxes, and the sale of offices and carried out an extensive building program in Rome. He defined the Sacred College of Cardinals (1586), limiting the number of cardinals to 70, and his reforms of the Roman Curia (1588) lasted until the Second Vatican Council. An energetic supporter of the Council of Trent, whose decisions he implemented, Sixtus is recognized as one of the founders of the Counter-Reformation. His foreign policy was aimed at combatting Protestantism; he excommunicated the Protestant Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV of France) and promised subsidies in return for a Spanish invasion of England. He supported other Catholic rulers in Europe and moderated his position toward Henry when it became apparent the future king would convert to Catholicism.

Variants of SIXTUS V

Sixtus V orig. Felice Peretti

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