- Raynold Conti
- Rinaldo Conti
Approved the order of the Servants of Mary (Servites) in 1256. Ordered that bishops should be consecrated within six months of their election. His crusade against the tyrant Ezzelino was successful, but his expedition against the Tatars was a failure. He tried, but failed to reconcile the Greek and Latin churches.
Political turmoil overwhelmed Alexander’s pontificate. Civil unrest forced him to retreat to Viterbo and then Anagni, Italy, and he lost control of much of the lands formerly under papal rule. The year 1259 saw the bizarre public mania of the Flagellants, thousands of whom, young and old, would whip each other bloody in the streets in penance for the religious shortcomings of Italy. Alexander tried to reconcile the waring republics of Genoa and Venice, but failed, dying during a council he called to work on the matter.