Monthly Archives: October 2014

Pope Alexander VI and the French

With a devout personality, encouraged by his friend, St. Francis of Paola, King Charles VIII was just the man to bring about needed reforms. He was quirky, but responsible, and he was a little naive, but full of ideas. There

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Pope Alexander VI and the Italians

Once his installment was settled, the pope set about making many changes. Alexander was a reformer. He despised the corruption prevalent in some ranks of clergy, and so he proclaimed, “We are well aware that morals have notably fallen back.

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The Election of Pope Alexander VI

The conclave of 1492 was an awesome, if typical, affair. After the death of Pope Innocent VIII, the primary contenders to succeed him quickly became obvious: Rodrigo Borgia, Ascanio Sforza, and Giuliano della Rovere (who later became Pope Julius II).

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The Cardinalate of Rodrigo Borgia

Rodrigo Borgia was given the red hat by his uncle, Pope Callixtus III, when he was 25 years old. While some have criticized Callixtus for this, it is important to remember that the established families of Italy were very hostile

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The Borgia Family

Vannozza dei Cattanei was Rodrigo Borgia’s mistress and the mother of his children. She “doubtless was of great beauty and ardent passions; for if not, how could she have inflamed a Rodrigo Borgia? Her intellect too, although uncultivated, must have

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The Personality of Pope Alexander VI

Rodrigo Borgia was born on 1 January 1431, in Xativa, Spain. Thus, he was most likely baptized at the site of St. Mary’s Basilica there, like his uncle. Both he and his uncle are now honored by statues outside of

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