- Giovanni Pietro Caraffa
Part of a noble Neapolitan family. When he was of age, Giovanni sought admission to the Dominican and Camaldolese, appreciating their ascetic lifestyles. He was well educated, with a background in Greek and Hebrew. Bishop of Chieti, Italy. Papal nuncio to England and then Spain for Pope Leo X. In 1524 he resigned all positions to join the Theatines. Following the sack of Rome, Italy in 1527, the Theatines retreated to Venice, Italy, but they were recalled to Rome by Pope Paul III where Giovanni worked on reform of the papal court. Created cardinal on 22 December 1536 Paul III. Archbishop of Naples, Italy. Reorganized and reformed the Inquisition in Italy. Being ascetic and incorruptible by nature, he was greatly distrusted by Emperor Charles. He became a surprise choice as 223rd pope in 1555, reluctantly accepted in order to reduce the influence of the emperor over the papacy. He allied with France, alienated England, rejected Elizabeth’s claim to the throne, strengthened the Inquisition, and charged ahead with reforms. To his shame he issued the order creating the Roman Ghetto for all the city’s Jews, and became very free with appointments for relatives.
- 18 August 1559 of natural causes
- buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica
- remains later transferred to Santa Maria sopra Minerva church