Pope Alexander VIII (22 April 1610 – 1 February 1691), born Pietro Vito Ottoboni, was Pope from 6 October 1689 to his death in 1691. He is to date the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Alexander" upon his election to the papacy.
|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||6 October 1689|
|Papacy ended||1 February 1691|
|Consecration||27 December 1654|
by Marcantonio Bragadin
|Created cardinal||19 February 1652|
by Innocent X
|Birth name||Pietro Vito Ottoboni|
|Born||22 April 1610|
Venice, Republic of Venice
|Died||1 February 1691 (aged 80)|
Rome, Papal States
|Other popes named Alexander|
His early studies were made with marked brilliance at the University of Padua where, in 1627, he earned a doctorate in canon and civil law. Ottoboni went to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII and served as the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura, and later served as the governor of the cities Terni, Rieti, Citta di Castello and Spoleto. He also served as the auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota.
Pope Innocent X appointed him to the cardinalate and in 1652 at the request of the Venetian government and he was made the Cardinal-Priest of San Salvatore in Lauro. He was appointed as Bishop of Brescia in 1654 and later received episcopal consecration in the church of San Marco in Rome. He would spend a quiet decade in his diocese. He opted to be Cardinal-Priest of San Marco in 1660 and resigned as Bishop of Brescia in 1664. Ottoboni also opted to become Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere in 1677 and later as Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede in 1680. He later became the Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina in 1681 and then to Frascati in 1683. His last swap was that of Porto e Santa Rufina in 1687.
Ottoboni was also the Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals from 1687 to his pontifical election.
|Papal styles of|
Pope Alexander VIII
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
The ambassador of King Louis XIV of France (1643–1715) succeeded in procuring his election on 6 October 1689, as the successor to Pope Innocent XI (1676–89); nevertheless, after months of negotiation Alexander VIII finally condemned the declaration made in 1682 by the French clergy concerning the liberties of the Gallican church.
He chose the pontifical name of "Alexander VIII" in gratitude to Cardinal Flavio Chigi, the nephew of Pope Alexander VII, who also had helped support his candidacy. Ottoboni was crowned as pontiff on 16 October 1689 by the protodeacon Cardinal Francesco Maidalchini and took possession of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran on 28 October 1689.
Old but of a strong constitution, Alexander VIII was said to be an able diplomat. During his brief pontificate he managed to destroy most of his predecessor's good work. All the money saved by Innocent XI was spent on enriching the Ottoboni family and to a cardinal he said: "I have no time to lose; for me the day is almost done!"
Alexander VIII was almost an octogenarian when elected to the papacy, which lasted only sixteen months, during which time little of importance was done. Louis XIV, whose political situation was now critical, profited by the peaceful dispositions of the new pope, restored Avignon to him, and renounced the long-abused right of asylum for the French Embassy.
Charities on a large scale and unbounded nepotism exhausted the papal treasury, reversing the policies of his predecessor. Among the various nominations, his 22-year-old grandnephew Pietro was made cardinal and vice-chancellor of the Church, nephew Marco, son of his brother Agostino, was made inspector of naval fortifications and Duke of Fiano, and nephew Antonio, another of Agostino's children, was made general of the church. His nephew Giovanni Rubin was made secretary of state and bishop of Vicenza. Out of compassion for the poor of the impoverished Papal States, he sought to help them by reducing taxes. But this same generous nature led him to bestow on his relations the riches they were eager to accumulate; on their behalf, and to the discredit of his pontificate, he revived sinecure offices which had been suppressed by Innocent XI. He bought the books and manuscripts of Queen Christina of Sweden for the Vatican Library. Alexander VIII assisted his native Venice by generous subsidies in the war against the Turks, as well as sending seven galleys and 2,000 infantry for the campaign in Albania.
Alexander VIII confirmed the cultus of Kinga of Poland on 11 June 1690 which served as the beatification. On 16 October 1690, he canonized several saints: Ss. Pascal Baylon, Lorenzo Giustiniani, John of Sahagun, John of God and John of Capistrano.
The pope created 14 cardinals in three consistories and elevated individuals such as his grandnephew Pietro Ottoboni in a restoration of nepotism that had not been seen in his predecessor's reign.
Alexander VIII died on 1 February 1691. His grandiose tomb in St. Peter's was commissioned by his grandnephew, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, and designed by Count Arrigo di San Martino. The bas-relief at the base and the flanking figures (1704) were sculpted by Angelo de' Rossi, while the bronze statue of the pope was cast by Giuseppe Bertosi.
|Catholic Church titles|
6 October 1689 – 1 February 1691
The papal conclave of 1689 was convened after the death of Pope Innocent XI. It led to the election of Pietro Vito Ottoboni as Pope Alexander VIII. The conclave saw previous factions join together because they lacked numerical strength, and saw the rise of the zelanti as a political force in the election of the next pope. Ottoboni was eventually unanimously elected with the consent of the secular monarchs, becoming the first Venetian in over 200 years to be elected pope.Angelo de Rossi
Angelo de Rossi (1671 – June 12, 1715) was an Italian sculptor. Born in Genoa, he was apprenticed to Filippo Parodi in 1680; Parodi's influence is clear in his first pre-1689 work, a Small Satyr in marble. Nearly unavoidably, he was also influenced by the work of Pierre Puget. He went to Rome in 1688, remaining there until his death; a 1692 relief of Three Men in the Fiery Furnace won first prize in all three sculpture classes at the Accademia di San Luca.
In 1699, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni appointed de' Rossi court sculptor in the Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome, and put him in charge of making the Tomb of Pope Alexander VIII, Ottoboni's granduncle, in St. Peter's Basilica (in parts finished after de' Rossi's death). Another important work is the apostle Saint James the Less in St. John Lateran, Rome (1705–11). The commemorative Bust of Arcangelo Corelli (died 1713) in the Protomoteca Capitolina of the Palazzo del Senatore of the Campidoglio, Rome, is also attributed to de' Rossi.
De' Rossi was said to be close friends with Pierre Le Gros.
With a promising career ahead, Angelo de' Rossi died prematurely in Rome.Antonio Giustiniani (archbishop of Naxos)
Antonio Giustiniani" (17 June 1663 – March 1730) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Roman Catholic Archbishop of Naxos (1701–1730), Bishop of Syros and Milos (1694–1701), and Vicar Apostolic of Izmir (1690–1694).Cardinals created by Alexander VIII
Pope Alexander VIII (r. 1689–1691) created 14 cardinals in three consistories.Charles Montecatini
Charles Montecatini (1615–1699) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Titular Archbishop of Chalcedon (1690–1699).Eleonoro Pacello
Eleonoro Pacello (9 January 1643 – May 1695) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Pula (1689–1695).Francesco Picarelli
Francesco Picarelli (3 March 1631 – December 1708) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Narni (1690–1708).García Felipe de Legazpi y Velasco Altamirano y Albornoz
García Felipe de Legazpi y Velasco Altamirano y Albornoz (February 15, 1643 – March 6, 1706) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of Tlaxcala (1704–1706), Bishop of Michoacán (1701–1704), and Bishop of Durango (1691–1701).Georgius Parchich
Georgius Parchich (Latin: Georgius Parchich, Italian: Giorgio Parchich, Croatian: Juraj Parčić; 1658–1703) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Nona (1690–1703).Leone Strozzi (archbishop)
Leone Strozzi, O.S.B. (1638–1703) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Florence (1700–1703) and Bishop of Pistoia e Prato (1690–1700).Michelangelo Mattei
Michelangelo Mattei or Michael Angelus Matthaeius (8 May 1628 – 22 December 1699) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Titular Patriarch of Antioch (1693–1699) and Titular Archbishop of Hadrianopolis in Haemimonto (1689–1693).Michele de Bologna
Michele de Bologna, C.R. (1647–1731) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Amalfi (1701–1731) and Bishop of Isernia (1690–1698).Miguel Bayot
Miguel Bayot (July 10, 1644 – August 28, 1700) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Bishop of Cebu (1697–1700).Odoardo Cibo
Odoardo Cibo or Odoardo Cybo (6 December 1619 – 6 April 1705) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Titular Patriarch of Constantinople (1689–1705), Apostolic Nuncio to Switzerland (1670–1679), and Titular Archbishop of Seleucia in Isauria (1670–1689).Petrus Draghi Bartoli
Petrus Draghi Bartoli (23 July 1646 – 13 April 1695) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Titular Patriarch of Alexandria (1690–1695).Pietro Ottoboni (cardinal)
Pietro Ottoboni (2 July 1667 – 29 February 1740) was an Italian cardinal and grandnephew of Pope Alexander VIII, who was also born Pietro Ottoboni. He is remembered especially as a great patron of music and art. Ottoboni was the last person to hold the curial office of Cardinal-nephew, which was abolished by Alexander's successor, Pope Innocent XII, in 1692. Ottoboni '"loved pomp, prodigality and sensual pleasure, but was in the same time kind, ready to serve and charitable".Pietro Vecchia (bishop)
Pietro Vecchia, O.S.B. (8 January 1628 – July 1695) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Molfetta (1691–1695) and Bishop of Andria (1690–1691).Raimondo Ferretti
Raimondo Ferretti (1650–1719) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Ravenna (1692–1719) and Bishop of Recanati e Loreto (1690–1692).Stefan Antonin Mdzewski
Stefan Antonin Mdzewski, O.P. (1653–1718) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Auxiliary Bishop of Gniezno (1699–1718) and Auxiliary Bishop of Lutsk (1690-1699).
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
|History of the papacy|
of the faithful
|Early Middle Ages|
|High Middle Ages|
|Late Middle Ages|