- Alessandro Farnese
Member of a noted, wealthy family, and well educated. Led a worldly youth, fathering four illegitimate children, but experienced a complete conversion. Cardinal-deacon in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI. Ordained in 1519. Diplomat. Chosen 220th pope in 1534.
First pope of the Counter-Reformation. Tried to reconcile Lutherans to the Church. Approved the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and supported the new orders of Capuchins, Barnabites, Theatines, and Ursulines. Reformed the Apostolic Camera, the tribunal of the Rota, the Sacred Penitentiaria, and the Chancery. Convoked the Council of Trent in 1545. Patron of Michelangelo and other artists, and built the Pauline chapel. His ambition for the advancement of his children and grandchildren marred his record and led to distrust of his motives, especially by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.