Matching family tree profiles for Pope Clement VIII
About Pope Clement VIII
Born at Fano, March, 1536, of a distinguished Florentine family; died at Rome, 5 March, 1605. He was elected pope 30 January, 1592, after a stormy conclave graphically described by Ranke (Geschichte der ršmischen PŠpste, 9th ed., II, 150 sqq.). In his youth he made excellent progress in jurisprudence under the direction of his father, an able jurist. Through the stages of consistorial advocate, auditor of the Rota and the Datary, he was advanced in 1585 to the dignity of Cardinal-Priest of the Title of St. Pancratius and was made grand penitentiary. He won the friendship of the Hapsburgs by his successful efforts, during a legation to Poland, to obtain the release of the imprisoned Archduke Maximilian, the defeated claimant to the Polish throne. During the conclave of 1592 he was the unwilling candidate of the compact minority of cardinals who were determined to deliver the Holy See from the prepotency of Philip II of Spain. His election was greeted with boundless enthusiasm by the Italians and by all who knew his character. He possessed all the qualifications needed in the Vicar of Christ. Blameless in morals from childhood, he had at an early period placed himself under the direction of St. Philip Neri, who for thirty years was his confessor. Upon Clement's elevation to the papacy, the aged saint gave over this important office to Baronius, whom the pope, notwithstanding his reluctance, created a cardinal, and to whom he made his confession every evening. The fervour with which he said his daily Mass filled all present with devotion. His long association with the Apostle of Rome caused him to imbibe the saint's spirit so thoroughly, that in him St. Philip himself might be said to have ascended the papal chair. Though vast political problems clamoured for solution, the pope first turned his attention to the more important spiritual interests of the Church. He made a personal visitation of all the churches and educational and charitable institutions of Rome, everywhere eliminating abuses and enforcing discipline. To him we owe the institution of the Forty Hours' Devotion. He founded at Rome the Collegio Clementino for the education of the sons of the richer classes, and augmented the number of national colleges in Rome by opening the Collegio Scozzese for the training of missionaries to Scotland. The "Bullarium Romanum" contains many important constitutions of Clement, notably one denouncing duelling and one providing for the inviolability of the States of the Church. He issued revised editions of the Vulgate (1598), the Breviary, the Missal, also the "Cæremoniale", and the "Pontificale".