|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||5 December 1590|
|Papacy ended||16 October 1591|
|Consecration||13 March 1564|
by St. Charles Borromeo
|Created cardinal||12 December 1583|
by Gregory XIII
|Birth name||Niccolò Sfondrato|
|Born||11 February 1535|
Somma Lombardo, Duchy of Milan
|Died||16 October 1591 (aged 56)|
Rome, Papal State
|Coat of arms|
|Other popes named Gregory|
Niccolò Sfondrati was born at Somma Lombardo, then part of the Duchy of Milan, in the highest stratum of Milanese society. His mother, of the house of Visconti, died in childbirth. His father Francesco Sfondrati, a senator of the ancient comune of Milan, was created Cardinal-Priest by Pope Paul III in 1544.
In his youth he was known for his modest lifestyle and stringent piety. He studied law at Perugia and Padua, was ordained a priest and swiftly appointed Bishop of Cremona, in 1560, in time to participate in the sessions of the Council of Trent from 1561 to 1563. Pope Gregory XIII made him a Cardinal-Priest of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere on 12 December 1583. Sfondrati was a close follower of Carlo Cardinal Borromeo, and when the cardinal died, he celebrated the Requiem Mass for Borromeo on 7 November 1584. Sfondrati was an intimate friend and a great admirer of Philip Neri, an Italian priest who died in 1595 and was canonised in 1622.
After the death of Pope Urban VII on 27 September 1590, the Spanish ambassador Olivares presented the conclave a list of the seven cardinals who would be acceptable to his master Philip II of Spain. On 5 December 1590, after two months of deadlock, Sfondrati, one of Philip II's seven candidates but who had not aspired to the office, was elected pope. Alessandro Cardinal Montalto came to Sfondrati's cell to inform him that the Sacred College had agreed on his election and found him kneeling in prayer before a crucifix.
On the day after he was elected Pope, Gregory XIV burst into tears and said to the cardinals: "God forgive you! What have you done?" In his bull of 21 March 1591, Cogit nos, he forbade under pain of excommunication all betting concerning the election of a Pope, the duration of a pontificate, or the creation of new cardinals.
|Papal styles of|
Pope Gregory XIV
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Gregory XIV's brief pontificate was marked by vigorous intervention in favour of the Catholic party in the French Wars of Religion. Instigated by the king of Spain and the duke of Mayenne, he excommunicated Henry IV of France on 1 March 1591, reiterating the 1585 declaration of Pope Sixtus V that as a heretic (Protestant) Henry of Navarre was ineligible to succeed to the throne of Catholic France and ordered the clergy, nobles, judicial functionaries, and the Third Estate of France to renounce him.
Gregory XIV levied an army for the invasion of France, and dispatched his nephew Ercole Sfondrati to France at its head. He also sent a monthly subsidy of 15,000 scudi to Paris to reinforce the Catholic League. By coming down solidly on the side of Spanish interests, in part because Gregory XIV was elected due to the influence of the Spanish cardinals, the recent papal policy of trying to maintain a balance between Spain and France was abandoned.
Gregory XIV created five cardinals, among whom was his nephew Paolo Emilio Sfondrati, his Secretary of State. He attempted to convince Philip Neri, a long-time friend, to accept the post of Cardinal, but Neri refused, saying that there were many more deserving of the honour than him.
In a decree dated 18 April 1591 (Bulla Cum Sicuti), Gregory XIV ordered reparations to be made by Catholics in the Philippines to the natives, who had been forced into slavery by Europeans, and he commanded under pain of excommunication of the owners that all native slaves in the islands be set free.
Also in 1591, Gregory XIV modified the Apostolic Constitution Effraenatam of Pope Sixtus V (1588) so that the penalty for abortion did not apply until the foetus became animated.
The biographers mention that Pope Gregory XIV had a nervous tendency to laughter, which occasionally became irresistible and even manifested itself at his coronation. Gregory XIV, who was in poor health before his election to the papacy, died due to a large gallstone and was succeeded by Innocent IX.
|Catholic Church titles|
| Bishop of Cremona
1560 – 1590
5 December 1590 – 16 October 1591
The papal conclave of 1591 (27–29 October) was held after the death of Pope Gregory XIV on 16 October that year, after less than a year as pope. This left the Holy See vacant for the third time in fourteen months. The conclave lasted only three days and elected Pope Innocent IX.Ascanio Libertano
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Pietro Ridolfi (died 18 May 1601) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Senigallia (1591–1601) and Bishop of Venosa (1587–1591).Pope Gregory
Gregory has been the name of sixteen Roman Catholic Popes and two Antipopes. The Latin name is Gregorius.
Pope Gregory I "the Great" (590–604), after whom the Gregorian chant is named
Pope Gregory II (715–731)
Pope Gregory III (731–741)
Pope Gregory IV (827–844)
Pope Gregory V (996–999)
Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046)
Antipope Gregory VI
Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085), after whom the Gregorian Reform is named
Pope Gregory VIII (1187)
Antipope Gregory VIII
Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241)
Pope Gregory X (1271–1276)
Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378)
Pope Gregory XII (1406–1415)
Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585), after whom the Gregorian calendar is named
Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591)
Pope Gregory XV (1621–1623)
Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846)Scipione Spina
Scipione Spina (died 6 March, 1639) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Lecce (1591–1639).
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
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Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
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Western Schism (1378–1417)
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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|