Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV (Latin: Benedictus PP. XV), (Italian: Benedetto XV), (born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa; 21 November 1854 - 22 January 1922), was head of the Catholic Church from 1914 until his death in 1922. His pontificate was largely overshadowed by World War I and its political, social, and humanitarian consequences in Europe.
In 1914, the College of Cardinals chose della Chiesa at the relatively young age of 59 at the outbreak of World War I, which he labeled "the suicide of civilized Europe". The war and its consequences were the main focus of Benedict XV. He immediately declared the neutrality of the Holy See and attempted from that perspective to mediate peace in 1916 and 1917. Both sides rejected his initiatives.
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