Pope Pius VIII

[Pope Pius VIII commemorative coin]
Also known as
Francesco Xaverio Castiglione
Profile
Italian nobility. Attended the Jesuit school at Osimo, Italy. Studied canon law at Bologna and Rome. Assisted his teacher Devoti in the compilation of his "Institutiones" in 1792, and served as vicar-general when Devoti became bishop of Anagni. A mild and amiable man, Francesco was noted for his knowledge of canon law, Biblical literature, and numismatics. Vicar-general under Bishop Severoli at Cingoli. Cathedral provost at Cingoli. Bishop of Montalto in 1800. Bishop of Cesena. Arrested for refusing to take the oath of allegience to the King of Italy. Created cardinal in 1816. Bishop of Frascati in 1822. Considered papabile in the conclave of 1823, he was elected 253rd pope in 1829. Upon his accession to the throne, he ordered all his relatives to resign positions they held in the Church in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

In Litteris altero abhinc he declared that marriage could be blessed by the Church only when the proper promises were made regarding the Catholic education of the children, a decision that would later cause conflict in Prussia between the bishops and the Government. The Revolution of July, 1830 broke out in France; King Charles X fled, succeeded by Louis-Phillipe whom Pius recognized, and whom he encouraged French priests to support. Concern with matters such as this and the infiltration of the Carbonari, problems for which Pius was not tempermentally suited, broke his health, hastened his death, and shortened his pontificate.
Born
20 November 1761 at Cingoli, Papal States as Francesco Xaverio Castiglione
Papal Ascension
31 March 1829; crowned on 5 April 1829
Died
1 December 1830 at Rome, Italy
Additional Information
Encyclopedia Brittanica
Catholic Encyclopedia
Images
Gallery of images of [2 images, 33 kb]
Writings
Traditi Humilitati: On His Program for the Pontificate, 24 May 1829
Litteris altero abhinc, 25 March 1830
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