Coronation of Napoleon I

The coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of the French took place on Sunday December 2, 1804 (11 Frimaire, Year XIII according to the French Republican Calendar) at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It marked "the instantiation of modern empire" and was a "transparently masterminded piece of modern propaganda".[1]

This stool was part of a set made for the reception of Napoleon by the corps legislatif after his coronation as emperor. Made in the workshop of Jacob-Desmalter. Designed by Bernard Poyet. 1805 CE. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The stool that was part of a set made for the reception of Napoleon by the corps legislatif after his coronation as emperor. Made in the workshop of Jacob-Desmalter, designed by Bernard Poyet, 1805. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Napoleon wanted to establish the legitimacy of his imperial reign, with its new royal family and new nobility. To this end, he designed a new coronation ceremony unlike that for the kings of France, which had emphasized the king's consecration (sacre) and anointment and was conferred by the archbishop of Reims in Reims Cathedral.[2] Napoleon's was a sacred ceremony held in the great cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in the presence of Pope Pius VII. Napoleon brought together various rites and customs, incorporating ceremonies of Carolingian tradition, the ancien régime and the French Revolution, all presented in sumptuous luxury.[3]

On May 18, 1804, the Sénat conservateur vested the Republican government of the French First Republic in an Emperor, and preparations for a coronation followed. Napoleon's elevation to Emperor was overwhelmingly approved by the French citizens in the French constitutional referendum of 1804. Among Napoleon's motivations for being crowned were to gain prestige in international royalist and Catholic circles and to lay the foundation for a future dynasty.[2]:243

Coronation of Napoleon
Jacques-Louis David - The Coronation of Napoleon (1805-1807)
DateDecember 2, 1804
(11 Frimaire XIII)
LocationNotre Dame Cathedral, Paris


When Pope Pius VII agreed to come to Paris to officiate at Napoleon's coronation, it was initially established that it would follow the coronation liturgy in the Roman Pontifical. However, after the Pope's arrival, Napoleon persuaded the Papal delegation to allow the introdution of several French elements in the rite - such as the singing of the Veni Creator for the monarch's entrance procession, the use of Chrism instead of the Oil of Catechumens for the anointing (although the Roman anointing prayers were used), placing the sacred oil on the head and hands rather than the right arm and back of the neck, and the inclusion of several prayers and formulas from the French Coronation of Kings ceremonial, to bless the regalia as it was delivered. In essence, French and Roman elements were combined into a new rite unique to the occasion[4]. Also, the special rite composed ad hoc allowed Napoleon to remain mostly seated and not kneeling during the delivery of the regalia and during several other ceremonies, and reduced his acceptance of the oath demanded by the Church in the beginning of the liturgy to one word only.

Not wanting to be an Old Regime monarch, Napoleon explained: "To be a king is to inherit old ideas and genealogy. I don't want to descend from anyone."


Médaille célébrant le sacre de Napoléon Ier par Pie VII
Commemorative coin with the image of Pius VII on the obverse and Notre Dame de Paris on the reverse. Note that the date on the reverse is given both according to the Gregorian and French Revolutionary calendars.
Early flight 02561u (6)
The coronation balloon

According to Louis Constant Wairy, Napoleon awoke at 8:00 a.m. to the sound of a cannonade, he left the Tuileries at 11:00 a.m. in a white velvet vest with gold embroidery and diamond buttons, a crimson velvet tunic and a short crimson coat with satin lining, a wreath of laurel on his brow.[5]:54 The number of onlookers, as estimated by Wairy, was between four and five thousand, many of whom had held their places all night through intermittent showers that cleared in the morning.[6]:301

The ceremony started at 9 a.m. when the Papal procession set out from the Tuileries led by a bishop on a mule holding aloft the Papal crucifix.[7] The Pope entered Notre Dame first, to the anthem Tu es Petrus, and took his seat on a throne near the high altar.[5] Napoleon's and Joséphine's carriage was drawn by eight bay horses and escorted by grenadiers à cheval and gendarmes d'élite.[8] The two parts of the ceremony were held at different ends of Notre Dame to contrast its religious and secular facets. An unmanned balloon, ablaze with three thousand lights in an imperial crown pattern, was launched from the front of Notre Dame during the celebration.[7]

Napoleon in Coronation Robes
Napoleon in coronation robes by François Gérard

Before entering Notre Dame, Napoleon was vested in a long white satin tunic embroidered in gold thread and Josephine similarly wore a white satin empire-style dress embroidered in gold thread. During the coronation he was formally clothed in a heavy coronation mantle of crimson velvet lined with ermine; the velvet was covered with embroidered golden bees, drawn from the golden bees among the regalia that had been discovered in the Merovingian tomb of Childeric I, a symbol that looked beyond the Bourbon past and linked the new dynasty with the ancient Merovingians; the bee replaced the fleur-de-lis on imperial tapestries and garments. The mantle weighed at least eighty pounds and was supported by four dignitaries.[6]:299 Josephine was at the same time formally clothed in a similar crimson velvet mantle embroidered with bees in gold thread and lined with ermine, which was borne by Napoleon's three sisters.[nb 1] There were two orchestras with four choruses, numerous military bands playing heroic marches, and over three hundred musicians.[6]:302 A 400-voice choir performed Paisiello's "Mass" and "Te Deum". Because the traditional royal crown had been destroyed during the French Revolution, the so-called Crown of Napoleon, made to look medieval and called the "crown of Charlemagne" for the occasion,[5]:55 was waiting on the altar. While the crown was new, the sceptre was reputed to have belonged to Charles V and the sword to Philip III.

The coronation proper began with the singing of the hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, followed by the versicle, "Lord, send forth your Spirit" and response, "And renew the face of the earth" and the collect for the Feast of Pentecost, "God, who has taught the hearts of your faithful by sending them the light of your Holy Spirit,..." After this the prayer, "Almighty, everlasting God, the Creator of all..."[nb 2] During the Litany of the Saints, the Emperor and Empress remained seated, only kneeling for special petitions. The Emperor and Empress were both anointed on their heads and on both hands with chrism–the Emperor with the prayers, "God, the Son of God..."[4][nb 3] and "God who established Hazael over Syria...",[4] the Empress with the prayer, "God the Father of eternal glory..."—while the antiphon Unxerunt Salomonem Sadoc Sacerdos... ("Zadok the priest...") was sung. The Mass then began. At Napoleon's request, the collect of the Blessed Virgin (as the patron of the cathedral) was said in place of the proper collect for the day. After the epistle, the articles of the imperial regalia were individually blessed,[nb 4] and delivered[nb 5] to the Emperor and Empress.[nb 6]

The coronation of Napoleon and Josephine also differed in this respect from the pattern observed in other Western coronation rites: usually, in joint coronations of sovereign and consort, the sovereign is first anointed, invested with the regalia, crowned and enthroned, and only then is a similar but simplified rite of anointing, investiture, coronation and enthronement of the consort performed. However, for the Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine, each of those steps was performed jointly, so that Josephine was anointed immediately after Napoleon, and each item of regalia was delivered to her immediately after being given to him, a procedure that found no precedent either in the Roman Pontifical or in the French Ceremonial.

Robe de la comtesse Bérenger au sacre de Napoléon
Last dress of Napoleon's Coronation / Countess Bérenger, wife of Count Jean Bérenger (1767–1850)

For the crowning, as recorded in the official procès-verbal of the Coronation[9] the formula Coronet vos Deus..., a variation to the plural of the traditional French formula Coronet te Deus (God crown you with a crown of glory and righteousness...) - a formula that is also proper to the English Coronation rite - was used exclusively, instead of the Roman formula Accipe coronam... (Receive the crown...). This differed to the usage of the French royal coronations, in which both formulas - the Anglo-French Coronet te Deus... and the Roman Accipe coronam regni... - were recited successively. While the Pope recited the above-mentioned formula,Napoleon turned and removed his laurel wreath and crowned himself and then crowned the kneeling Joséphine with a small crown surmounted by a cross, which he had first placed on his own head.[4] The crowning formula was varied to use a plural form ("Coronet vos..." instead of "Coronet te..."), precisely because the Coronation of Josephine followed immediately after the assumption of the Crown by Napoleon. As for the omitted Roman formula Accipe coronam..., which depicted the monarch as receiving his crown from the Church, its use would have clashed with Napoleon's decision to crown himself. Historian J. David Markham, who also serves as head of the International Napoleonic Society,[10] alleged in his book Napoleon For Dummies "Napoleon's detractors like to say that he snatched the crown from the Pope, or that this was an act of unbelievable arrogance, but neither of those charges holds water. Napoleon was simply symbolizing that he was becoming emperor based on his own merits and the will of the people, not because of some religious consecration. The Pope knew about this move from the beginning and had no objection (not that it would have mattered)."[11] British historian Vincent Cronin wrote in his book Napoleon Bonaparte: An Intimate Biography "Napoleon told Pius that he would be placing the crown on his own head. Pius raised no objection."[12] At Napoleon's enthronement the Pope said, "May God confirm you on this throne and may Christ give you to rule with him in his eternal kingdom".[nb 7] Limited in his actions, Pius VII proclaimed further the Latin formula Vivat imperator in aeternum! ("May the Emperor live forever!"), which was echoed by the full choirs in a Vivat, followed by "Te Deum". After the Mass was finished, the Pope retired to the Sacristy, as he objected to presiding over or witnessing the civil oath that followed, due to its contents. With his hands on the Bible, Napoleon took the oath:

I swear to maintain the integrity of the territory of the Republic, to respect and enforce respect for the Concordat and freedom of religion, equality of rights, political and civil liberty, the irrevocability of the sale of national lands; not to raise any tax except in virtue of the law; to maintain the institution of Legion of Honor and to govern in the sole interest, happiness and glory of the French people.[2]:245

The text was presented to Napoleon by the President of the Senate, the President of Legislature and the most senior President of the Council of State. After the oath the newly appointed herald of arms proclaimed loudly: "The thrice glorious and thrice august Emperor Napoleon is crowned and enthroned. Long live the Emperor!"[13] During the people's acclamations Napoleon, surrounded by dignitaries, left the cathedral while the choir sang "Domine salvum fac imperatorem nostrum Napoleonem"—"God save our Emperor Napoleon".

After the coronation the Emperor presented the imperial standards to each of his regiments. According to government tallies, the entire cost was over 8.5 million francs.

In addition to David's paintings, a commemorative medal was struck with the reverse design by Antoine-Denis Chaudet. In 2005, a digital depiction of the coronation was made by Vaughan Hart, Peter Hicks and Joe Robson for the "Nelson and Napoleon" Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.[14]

See also


  1. ^ There is an anecdotal account that just as Josephine reached the top of the steps of the high altar to be crowned, Napoleon's sisters deliberately gave her mantle a sudden tug which momentarily caused her to lose her balance, but she did not fall as her sisters-in-law had intended.
  2. ^ With the substitution of the word "emperor" for "king" and the addition of the words "and of his consort" to the original prayer from the Roman Rite; a similar, but more elaborate prayer, specifically mentioning the " kingdoms of the Franks, the Burgundians, and of Aquitania" existed in the traditional French royal coronation rite.[4]
  3. ^ A translation of this prayer may be found at Coronation of the Hungarian monarch
  4. ^ The blessings for the sword, rings, gloves, the Hand of Justice and the scepter were taken from the Cérémoniel françois, while the blessing of the orb was special composed for the occasion.[4]
  5. ^ The forms for the delivery of the sword, rings, gloves, Hand of Justice and the scepter were also from the Cérémoniel françois, while that for the delivery of the mantles and the Orb were also specially composed for the occasion.[4]
  6. ^ The forms for the delivery of the rings and the mantles were in the plural, since they were given to the Emperor and Empress simultaneously.[4]
  7. ^ This enthronement formula was a new composition, different from all the variations of the traditional "Sta et retine..." formula usually employed in Western Coronation rites; even the starting words of the formula were different, and in all probability the traditional prayer was abandoned because it specified too clearly that the monarch received the Throne from the bishops and was a mediator between clergy and people. The new formula used for Napoleon's enthronement avoided any mention of this.


  1. ^ Porterfield, Todd Burke; Siegfried, Susan L. (2006). Staging empire: Napoleon, Ingres, and David. Penn State Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-271-02858-3. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Englund, Steven (2005-04-30). Napoleon: A Political Life. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01803-7. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  3. ^ Dwyer 2015
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Woolley, Reginald Maxwell (1915). Coronation Rites. Cambridge University Press. pp. 106–107.
  5. ^ a b c Junot, Laure, duchesse d'Abrantès (1836). Memoirs of Napoleon, his court and family. 2. R. Bentley. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Wairy, Louis Constant (1895). Recollections of the private life of Napoleon. 1. The Merriam company. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  7. ^ a b Napoleon's Coronation as Emperor of the French Georgian Index
  8. ^ Bernard Picart, "Histoire des religions et des moeurs de tous les peuples du monde, Volume 5", Paris, 1819, p.293 [1]
  9. ^ Procèsverbal de la cérémonie du sacre et du couronnement de LL. MM. l'Empereur Napoléon et l'impératrice Joséphine. de l'imprimerie impériale. 1805.
  10. ^ "J. David Markham Napoleonic History - Welcome to Napoleonic History!".
  11. ^ Markham, J. David, Napoleon for Dummies, 2005, p. 286
  12. ^ Cronin, Vincent, Napoleon, 1971, p. 250
  13. ^ Sloane, William Milligan (1910). The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Century Co. p. 344. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  14. ^ Peter Hicks (10 December 2009). "Coronation and consecration of Napoleon I" – via YouTube.

Further reading

  • Dwyer, Philip. "Citizen Emperor’: Political Ritual, Popular Sovereignty and the Coronation of Napoleon I," History (2015) 100#339 pp 40–57, online
  • Masson, Frederic; Cobb. Frederic (translator). Napoleon and his Coronation. London, 1911

1804 (MDCCCIV)

was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar, the 1804th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 804th year of the 2nd millennium, the 4th year of the 19th century, and the 5th year of the 1800s decade. As of the start of 1804, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

1804 in France

Events from the year 1804 in France

Boniface de Castellane

Esprit Victor Elisabeth Boniface de Castellane, comte de Castellane (March 21, 1788 – September 16, 1862), was a French military officer and ultimately a Marshal of France.

Ferdinando Marescalchi

Ferdinando, comte Marescalchi (26 February 1754, Bologna - 22 June 1816, Milan) was an Italian diplomat and politician.

First French Empire

The First French Empire, officially the French Empire (French: Empire Français),Note 1 was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852-1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.

On 18 May 1804, Napoleon was granted the title Emperor of the French (L'Empereur des Français, pronounced [lɑ̃.pʁœʁ de fʁɑ̃.sɛ]) by the French Sénat and was crowned on 2 December 1804, signifying the end of the French Consulate and of the French First Republic. The French Empire achieved military supremacy in mainland Europe through notable victories in the War of the Third Coalition against Austria, Prussia, Russia, and allied nations, notably at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. French dominance was reaffirmed during the War of the Fourth Coalition, at the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt in 1806 and the Battle of Friedland in 1807.A series of wars, known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars, extended French influence to much of Western Europe and into Poland. At its height in 1812, the French Empire had 130 departments, ruled over 70 million subjects, maintained an extensive military presence in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Duchy of Warsaw, and counted Prussia and Austria as nominal allies. Early French victories exported many ideological features of the French Revolution throughout Europe: the introduction of the Napoleonic Code throughout the continent increased legal equality, established jury systems and legalised divorce, and seigneurial dues and seigneurial justice were abolished, as were aristocratic privileges in all places except Poland. France's defeat in 1814 (and then again in 1815), marked the end of the Empire.

French Crown Jewels

The French Crown Jewels (French: Joyaux de la Couronne de France) comprise the crowns, orb, sceptres, diadems and jewels that were symbols of Royal power between 752 and 1825. These were worn by many Kings and Queens of France. The set was finally broken up, with most of it sold off in 1885 by the Third French Republic. The surviving French Crown Jewels, principally a set of historic crowns, diadems and parures, are mainly on display in the Galerie d'Apollon of the Louvre, France's premier museum and former royal palace, together with the Regent Diamond, the Sancy Diamond and the 105-carat (21.0 g) Côte-de-Bretagne red spinel, carved into the form of a dragon. In addition, some gemstones and jewels (including the Emerald of Saint Louis, the 'Ruspoli' sapphire and the diamond pins of Queen Marie Antoinette) are on display in the Treasury vault of the Mineralogy gallery in the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle.

French Republican calendar

The French Republican calendar (French: calendrier républicain français), also commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar (calendrier révolutionnaire français), was a calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution, and used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, and for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871. The revolutionary system was designed in part to remove all religious and royalist influences from the calendar, and was part of a larger attempt at decimalisation in France (which also included decimal time of day, decimalisation of currency, and metrication). It was used in government records in France and other areas under French rule, including Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Malta, and Italy.

French coup d'état of 1851

The French coup d'état of 2 December 1851 was a self-coup staged by Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (at the time President of the French Second Republic). It ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly and the subsequent re-establishment of the French Empire the next year. When he faced the prospect of having to leave office in 1852, Louis-Napoléon (nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte) staged the coup in order to stay in office and implement his reform programs; these included the restoration of universal male suffrage (previously abolished by the legislature). His political measures, and the extension of his mandate for 10 years, were popularly endorsed by constitutional referendum. A mere year later, the Prince-President reclaimed his uncle's throne as Emperor of the French under the regnal name Napoleon III.

Giovanni Paisiello

Giovanni Paisiello (or Paesiello; 9 May 1740 – 5 June 1816) was an Italian composer of the Classical era, and was the most popular opera composer of the late 1700s.

Honoré Joseph Antoine Ganteaume

Count Honoré Joseph Antoine Ganteaume (13 April 1755 in La Ciotat – 28 July 1818 in Aubagne) was a French Navy officer and Vice-admiral.

Ganteaume started sailing on Indiamen, before serving during the American War of Independence in the fleets of Admiral d'Estaing and Suffren. At the French Revolution, he was promoted to command the 74-gun Trente-et-un Mai, taking part in the Glorious First of June and the Croisière du Grand Hiver.

Ganteaume took part in the Expedition to Egypt, narrowly escaping death during the Battle of the Nile. There, he formed a personal relationship with General Bonaparte, who supported his promotion. He was made a Rear-Admiral and given command of a squadron to supply the Army of Egypt, but in Ganteaume's expeditions of 1801, he engaged in months of complicated maneuvers to elude the Royal Navy and eventually failed his mission.

He supplied the French forces of the Saint-Domingue expedition. During the Trafalgar Campaign, Ganteaume was to lead his squadron to the Caribbean to reinforce Villeneuve and Missiessy, but he was blockaded by British squadrons. Ganteaume held various offices during the late First French Empire, and gave his loyalty to Louis XVIII at the Bourbon Restoration.

Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)

The Kingdom of Italy (Italian: Regno d'Italia; French: Royaume d'Italie) was a kingdom in Northern Italy (formerly the Italian Republic) in personal union with France under Napoleon I. It was fully influenced by revolutionary France and ended with his defeat and fall. Its governance was conducted by Napoleon and his step-son and viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais.

Napoleon Tiara

The Napoleon Tiara was a papal tiara given to Pope Pius VII in June 1805 a few months after he presided at the coronation of Napoleon I and Joséphine de Beauharnais. While lavishly decorated with jewels, it was deliberately too small and heavy to be worn and meant as an insult to the pope.[citation needed] In the painting of The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David, the tiara is held behind the pope by one of his aides.

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris (; French: [nɔtʁə dam də paʁi] (listen); meaning "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.The cathedral was begun in 1160 and largely completed by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. Soon after the publication of Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831, popular interest in the building revived. A major restoration project supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845 and continued for twenty-five years. Beginning in 1963, the facade of the Cathedral was cleaned of centuries of soot and grime, returning it to its original color. Another campaign of cleaning and restoration was carried out from 1991-2000.As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Michel Aupetit. 12 million people visit Notre-Dame yearly, which makes it the most visited monument in Paris.

Orders, decorations, and medals of the Holy See

The orders, decorations, and medals of the Holy See include titles, chivalric orders, distinctions and medals honoured by the Holy See, with the Pope as the fount of honour, for deeds and merits of their recipients to the benefit of the Holy See, the Catholic Church, or their respective communities, societies, nations and the world at large.

Some of these honours are defunct or currently dormant, while some are still actively conferred.

Papal travel

Papal travel outside Rome has been historically rare, and voluntary travel was non-existent for the first 500 years. Pope John Paul II (1978–2005) undertook more pastoral trips than all his predecessors combined. Pope Francis (2013-), Pope Paul VI (1963–1978) and Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) also travelled globally, the latter to a lesser extent due to his advanced age.

Popes resided outside Rome—primarily in Viterbo, Orvieto, and Perugia—during the 13th century, and then absconded to France during the Avignon Papacy (1309–1378). Pope Vigilius (537-555) in 547, Pope Agatho (678-681) in 680, and Pope Constantine in 710 visited Constantinople, whereas Pope Martin I (649-653) was abducted there for trial in 653. Pope Stephen II (752-757) became the first pope to cross the Alps in 752 to crown Pepin the Short; Pope Pius VII repeated the feat over a millennium later to crown Napoleon.

Pope Pius VII

Pope Pius VII (14 August 1742 – 20 August 1823), born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 14 March 1800 to his death in 1823. Chiaramonti was also a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict in addition to being a well-known theologian and bishop throughout his life.

Chiaramonti was made Bishop of Tivoli in 1782, and resigned that position upon his appointment as Bishop of Imola in 1785. That same year, he was made a cardinal. In 1789, the French Revolution took place, and as a result a series of anti-clerical governments came into power in the country. In 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars, French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Rome and took as prisoner Pope Pius VI. He was taken as prisoner to France, where he died in 1799. The following year, after a sede vacante period lasting approximately six months, Chiaramonti was elected to the papacy, taking the name Pius VII.

Pius at first attempted to take a cautious approach in dealing with Napoleon. With him he signed the Concordat of 1801, through which he succeeded in guaranteeing religious freedom for Catholics living in France, and was present at his coronation as Emperor of the French in 1804. In 1809, however, during the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon once again invaded the Papal States, resulting in his excommunication. Pius VII was taken prisoner and transported to France. He remained there until 1814 when, after the French were defeated, he was permitted to return to Rome, where he was greeted warmly as a hero and defender of the faith.

Pius lived the remainder of his life in relative peace. His papacy saw a significant growth of the Catholic Church in the United States, where Pius established several new dioceses. Pius VII died in 1823 at age 81.

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI began the process towards canonizing him as a saint, and he was granted the title Servant of God.

Portrait of Pope Pius VII

The Portrait of Pope Pius VII is an 1805 portrait of Pope Pius VII by the French painter Jacques-Louis David to thank the pope for assisting at the coronation of Napoleon I of France. Pope Pius appears in David's The Coronation of Napoleon, depicted as blessing the emperor, when in fact he was merely a spectator, assisting at the ceremony with a resigned expression throughout.

Raphaël de Monachis

Rufa'il Zakhûr known in France as Raphaël de Monachis (1759 - 1831) was an Egyptian-born monk of Syriac ancestry, known for his orientalist studies and for being one of Jean-François Champollion's language teachers. He was born in Cairo to a Syriac-Melkite family. He studied at the Greek seminary in Rome and took his vows at the Basilian Monastery of the Saviour in Sidon where he remained from 1789 to 1794 when he returned to Egypt. During Napoleon's campaign in Egypt he served as Napoleon's personal interpreter. In 1803 he traveled to France where after visiting Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, he traveled to Paris to give important documents to the French government. He was appointed as adjunct professor of Arabic language at the Ècole des Langues Orientales. Among his students there was Champollion, to whom he taught colloquial Arabic and Coptic. He was also the single Arab member of the French Institut d'Égypte. His colleague there, Silvestre de Sacy, who taught literary Arabic was strongly opposed to having a second professor of Arabic at the School of Oriental languages, considering it a personal offense. In 1803 he participated in the Coronation of Napoleon I and was depicted in Jacques-Louis David's famous painting.Among his unpublished manuscripts was a treatise in Arabic called Marj al-azhar wa bustan al hawadith al Akhbar ("The Hubbub of Al Azhar and the Garden of New Events"), in which he subtly critiqued the pedagogical methods of the Al-Azhar University by contrasting them to the more organized teaching of the French Academy.In 1816 after the fall of Napoleon at Waterloo, he returned to Egypt where he entered the service of Muhammad 'Ali Pasha. He worked as a translator and poet, translating many works from Italian to Arabic.

The Coronation of Napoleon

The Coronation of Napoleon (French: Le Sacre de Napoléon) is a painting completed in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David, the official painter of Napoleon, depicting the coronation of Napoleon I at Notre-Dame de Paris. The painting has imposing dimensions, as it is almost 10 metres (33 ft) wide by a little over 6 metres (20 ft) tall. The work is held in the Louvre in Paris.

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