- Pope Leo XI
Infobox pope|English name=Leo XI|Latin name=Leone PP. XI
birth_name=Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici
April 1, 1605|term_end= April 27, 1605
predecessor=Clement VIII|successor=Paul V
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1605|4|27|1535|6|2|mf=y|deathplace=
Pope Leo XI (
June 2, 1535– April 27, 1605), born Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici, was Popefrom April 1, 1605to April 27of the same year.
He was born in
Florence: his mother, Francesca Salviati, was a daughter of Giacomo Salviati and Lucrezia de' Medici, a sister of Leo X, while his father, Ottaviano, was a more distant scion of the Medici family. After a late start, he was ordained priest, and Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, sent him as an appropriate ambassadorto Pope Pius V, a position which he held for fifteen years. Gregory XIII made him bishop of Pistoiain 1573, archbishop of Florencein 1574, and cardinal in 1583.
In 1596, Clement VIII sent him as legate to
Francewhere Maria de' Mediciwas queen. Alessandro was a friend and disciple of St. Philip Neri.On March 14, 1605, eleven days after the death of Clement VIII, 62 cardinals entered the conclave. Prominent among the candidates for the papacy were the great historian Baroniusand the famous Jesuit controversialist Robert Bellarmine. But Aldobrandini, the leader of the Italian party among the cardinals, allied with the French cardinals and brought about the election of Alessandro against the express wish of King Philip III of Spain. King Henry IV of Franceis said to have spent 300,000 écus in the promotion of Alessandro's candidacy. On April 1, 1605, Alessandro ascended the papal throne with the Medici name Leo XI, being then almost seventy years of age, but was taken ill immediately after his coronation and died within the month.
He was nicknamed "Papa Lampo" ("Lightning Pope") for the brevity of his pontificate.
*original text from the 9th edition (1882) of a famous encyclopedia.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09166a.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia":] Pope Leo XI
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