17 Facts About Sixtus V


Sixtus V is recognized as a significant figure of the Counter-Reformation.

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Sixtus V is the most recent pope to date to take on the pontifical name "Sixtus".

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Sixtus V's father had taken refuge in Grottammare to escape the oppression of the Duke of Urbino, finding there a job as a gardener.

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Sixtus V had three years earlier already been ordained as a deacon.

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Sixtus V was sent to Venice as inquisitor general of the Venetian Holy Inquisition, but was so severe and conducted matters in such a high-handed manner that he became embroiled in quarrels.

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Sixtus V hurried back to Rome upon the accession of Pius V, who made him apostolic vicar of his order, and, later, cardinal.

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Sixtus V prided himself upon his hoard, but the method by which it had been amassed was financially unsound: some of the taxes proved ruinous, and the withdrawal of so much money from circulation could not fail to cause distress.

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Sixtus V had no appreciation of antiquities, which were employed as raw material to serve his urbanistic and Christianising programs: Trajan's Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius were made to serve as pedestals for the statues of SS Peter and Paul; the Minerva of the Capitol was converted into an emblem of Christian Rome; the Septizodium of Septimius Severus was demolished for its building materials.

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Sixtus V doubled the number of the congregations and enlarged their functions, assigning to them the principal role in the transaction of business.

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Sixtus V mediated radical changes to their constitution, but death prevented the execution of his purpose.

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Sixtus V created 33 cardinals in eight consistories during his reign, which included his grandnephew Alessandro Peretti di Montalto and his future successor Ippolito Aldobrandini who would later become Pope Clement VIII.

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In 1588, Sixtus V published the bull Immensa Aeterni Dei which reorganised the Roman Curia into departments.

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Sixtus V agreed to renew the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and to grant a large subsidy to the Armada of Philip II, but, knowing the slowness of Spain, would give nothing until the expedition actually landed in England.

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Sixtus V had Cardinal William Allen draw up the An Admonition to the Nobility and People of England and Ireland, a proclamation to be published in England if the invasion had been successful.

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Sixtus V excommunicated King Henry III of Navarre, who was the heir presumptive to the throne of France, and contributed to the Catholic League, but he chafed under his forced alliance with King Philip II of Spain, and looked for escape.

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Sixtus V extended the penalty of excommunication relating to the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on contraception and abortion.

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Sixtus V attempted in 1586 to introduce into the secular law in Rome the Old Testament penalty for adultery, which is death.

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