Pope Sixtus V

pope of the Catholic Church from 1585 to 1590

Pope Sixtus V (December 13, 1521 – August 27, 1590), born Felice Piergentile, was the bishop of Rome from 24 April 1585 to his death. As a youth, he joined the Franciscan order, where he displayed talents as a scholar and preacher, and enjoyed the patronage of Pius V, who made him a cardinal. As a cardinal, he was known as Cardinal Montalto.

While I live, every criminal must die.

As Pope, he energetically rooted out corruption and lawlessness across Rome, and launched a far-sighted rebuilding programme that continues to provoke controversy, as it involved the destruction of antiquities. The cost of these works was met by heavy taxation that caused much suffering. His foreign policy was regarded as over-ambitious, and he excommunicated both Queen Elizabeth I of England and King Henry IV of France. He is recognized as a significant figure of the Counter-Reformation.

Quotes edit

  • She certainly is a great queen, and were she only a Catholic she would be our dearly beloved. Just look how well she governs; she is only a woman, only mistress of half an island, and yet she makes herself feared by Spain, by France, by the Empire, by all.
    • On Queen Elizabeth I of England, said to the Venetion ambassador in Rome in the autumn of 1585, reported in Walter Walsh, The Jesuits in Great Britain (1903), p. 111.
  • Nato di casa illustre.
    • Translation: "born of an illustrious (or well-lighted) house", a reference to Sixtus' poor upbringing in a house so poorly thatched that the sun shone through holes in the roof; reported in Will and Ariel Durant, Age of Reason Begins: Volume 7 (1961), p. 240.
  • While I live, every criminal must die.
    • Reported in Will and Ariel Durant, Age of Reason Begins: Volume 7 (1961), p. 240.

Attributed edit

  • What a valiant woman. She braves the two greatest kings by land and sea. If she were not a heretic she would be worth a whole world.
    • On Queen Elizabeth I of England, in 1587; reported in Colin Bingham, Men and Affairs: A Modern Miscellany (1967), p. 48.
  • It is a pity that Elizabeth and I cannot marry each other. Our children would have gained mastery over the whole world.
    • On Queen Elizabeth I of England, in 1587; reported in Emil Reich, Woman Through the Ages: Volume 2 (1908), p. 38. Alternately reported without the phrase "each other" and ending with "would have ruled the whole world".

Untranslated edit

  • I prudenti devono sempre far conto di morir presto, e perciò fare al più tosto quello che devono.
  • Il far tutto il male che si può è uffizio del demonio; il non fare tutto il bene che si deve è azione da bestia.
  • Il fidarsi troppo alle speranze non è da savio, né il trascurarle: il prudente deve considerare i pericoli che per lo più si nascondono sotto la scorza della speranza.
  • Il mondo si regolerebbe da se stesso, se ciascun uomo fosse capace di regolar sé medesimo.
  • Non può dirsi felice uno, se non quando si contenta del proprio stato.
  • Uno scudo in borsa fa più onore di cento scudi buttati inutilmente.

About edit

  • Sisto V, accorso a vedere il miracolo di un Gesù Cristo di legno che inondava sangue dalle ferite, lo ruppe dicendo: – Come Cristo ti venero, ma come legno ti rompo! – E il Cristo rotto mostrò che al suo interno era stata collocata una spugna inzuppata di liquido rosso, per simulare il sangue grondante.
    • Author unknown; reported in Dante Leonardi, Spighe d'oro, Remo Sandron Editore, 1924.

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