Pope Innocent IX

Pope Innocent IX (Latin: Innocentius IX; 20 July 1519 – 30 December 1591), born Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti,[1] was Pope from 29 October to 30 December 1591.

Prior to his short papacy, he had been a canon lawyer, diplomat, and chief administrator during the reign of Pope Gregory XIV (r. 1590–1591).


Innocent IX
Bishop of Rome
Innocent IX 2
Papacy began29 October 1591
Papacy ended30 December 1591
PredecessorGregory XIV
SuccessorClement VIII
Ordination11 March 1544
Created cardinal12 December 1583
by Pope Gregory XIII
Personal details
Birth nameGiovanni Antonio Facchinetti
Born20 July 1519
Bologna, Papal States
Died30 December 1591 (aged 72)
Rome, Papal States
Previous post
Coat of armsInnocent IX's coat of arms
Other popes named Innocent


Early life and priesthood

Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti, whose family came from Crodo, in the diocese of Novara, northern Italy, was born in Bologna on 20 July 1519. He was the son of Antonio Facchinetti and Francesca Cini.

He studied at the University of Bologna - which was pre-eminent in jurisprudence — where he obtained a doctorate in both civil and canon law in 1544. He was later ordained to the priesthood on 11 March 1544 and was appointed a canon of the church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio of Domodossola in 1547.[2]

He travelled to Rome and he became the secretary to Cardinal Nicolò Ardinghelli before entering the service of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, brother of the Duke of Parma and grandson of Pope Paul III (1534–1549), one of the great patrons of the time. The cardinal, who was the Archbishop of Avignon, sent Facchinetti there as his ecclesiastical representative and subsequently recalled him to the management of his affairs at Parma, where he was acting governor of the city, from 1556 to 1558. He was also made the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura in 1559 and held that post for a year.

Tomb of pope Innocent IX
The tomb of Innocent IX.

Episcopate and cardinalate

In 1560, Facchinetti was named as the Bishop of Nicastro, in Calabria,[3] and in 1562 was present at the Council of Trent. He was the first bishop to actually reside in the diocese in three decades. Pope Pius V (1566–1572) sent him as papal nuncio to Venice in 1566[4] to further the papal alliance with Spain and Venice against the Turks, which ultimately resulted in the victory of Lepanto in 1571. He was recalled from Venice in 1572 and was made the Prior Commendatario of S. Andrea di Carmignano in the diocese of Padua from 1576 to 1587.[5]

Relinquishing his see to pursue his career in Rome in 1575 and also because of health reasons, he was named the Titular Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1572. He occupied that post until he was made a cardinal.

Pope Gregory XIII made him a cardinal on 12 December 1583 as the Cardinal-Priest of Santi Quattro Coronati and he was to receive the red hat and title on 9 January 1584. Pope Gregory XIV made him the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in 1591.


Papal styles of
Pope Innocent IX
C o a Innocenzo IX
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone

Even before Pope Gregory XIV died, Spanish and anti-Spanish factions were electioneering for the next pope. Philip II of Spain's (r. 1556–1598) high-handed interference at the previous conclave was not forgotten: he had barred all but seven cardinals. This time the Spanish party in the College of Cardinals did not go so far, but they still controlled a majority, and after a quick conclave they raised Facchinetti to the papal chair as Pope Innocent IX. It took three ballots to elect him as pope. Facchinetti received 24 votes on 28 October but was not successful in that ballot to be elected as pope. He received 28 votes on 29 October in the second ballot while the third saw him prevail.[6]

The cardinal protodeacon Andreas von Austria crowned Innocent IX as pontiff on 3 November 1591. He elevated two cardinals to the cardinalate in the only papal consistory of his papacy on 18 December 1591.

Mindful of the origin of his success, Innocent IX supported, during his two months' pontificate, the cause of Philip II and the Catholic League against Henry IV of France (r. 1589–1610) in the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598), where a papal army was in the field.[7] His death, however, prevented the realisation of Innocent IX's schemes.

His grandnephew Giovanni Antonio Cardinal Facchinetti de Nuce, Jr., was one of two cardinals appointed during the weeks of Innocent IX's pontificate. A later member of the Cardinalate was his great-grandnephew Cesare Facchinetti (made a Cardinal in 1643).


Innocent IX died in the early morning of 30 December 1591. He was buried in the Vatican grottoes in a simple tomb.

On 18 December, the pope made a pilgrimage of Rome's seven pilgrimage churches, despite being ill, and caught a cold as a result. This became a heavy cough combined with a fever that led to his death.[8]

See also


  1. ^ John Jeffries Martin, Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City, (University of California Press, 1993), 183.
  2. ^ John Jeffries Martin, Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City, 183.
  3. ^ John Jeffries Martin, Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City, 183.
  4. ^ John Jeffries Martin, Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City, 183.
  5. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2000), 295.
  6. ^ "Sede Vacante 1591". 24 July 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  7. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 296.
  8. ^ "SEDE VACANTE 1591". 24 July 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2019.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Titular Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Succeeded by
Scipione Gonzaga
Preceded by
Gregory XIV
29 October – 30 December 1591
Succeeded by
Clement VIII

1591 (MDXCI)

was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar, the 1591st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 591st year of the 2nd millennium, the 91st year of the 16th century, and the 2nd year of the 1590s decade. As of the start of 1591, the Gregorian calendar was

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

1591 papal conclave

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.

1592 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1592 (January 10–30), elected Pope Clement VIII in succession to Pope Innocent IX.

Alfonso López de Avila

Alfonso López de Avila (died December 30, 1591) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Archbishop of Santafé en Nueva Granada (1591)

and Archbishop of Santo Domingo (1580–1591).

Cardinals created by Innocent IX

Pope Innocent IX (r. 1591) created two cardinals in one consistory on 18 December 1591:

1. Filippo Sega, bishop of Piacenza – cardinal-priest of S. Onofrio (received the title on 5 December 1594), † 29 May 1596

2. Giovanni Antonio Facchinetti de Nuce, grand-nephew of the Pope – cardinal-deacon without the title, then cardinal-priest of SS. IV Coronati (4 March 1592), † 18 May 1606

Cesare Facchinetti

Cesare Facchinetti (17 September 1608 – 30 January 1683) was an Italian Catholic Cardinal.

Claudio de Curtis

Claudio de Curtis (died 1595) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Crotone (1591–1595).

Domingo de Ulloa

Domingo de Ulloa, O.P. (died 1601) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Michoacán (1598–1601),Bishop of Popayán (1591–1598),

and Bishop of Nicaragua (1585–1591).


Facchinetti is an Italian surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alessandra Facchinetti (born 1972), Italian fashion designer

Cesare Facchinetti (1608–1683), Italian Catholic cardinal

Cipriano Facchinetti (1889-1952), Italian politician and Minister of Defence (1947-1948)

Francesco Facchinetti (born 1980), Italian DJ, producer, singer, musician and TV presenter

Giovanni Facchinetti, birth name of Pope Innocent IX (1519-1591)

Mickaël Facchinetti (born 1991), Swiss footballer

Paolo Facchinetti (born 1984), Italian footballer

Roby Facchinetti (born 1944), a member of the Italian pop band Pooh

Francesco Sforza (cardinal)

Francesco Sforza (1562–1624) was an Italian cardinal and bishop.

Giovanni Antonio Onorati

Giovanni Antonio Onorati (died 1606) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Terni (1591–1606).

Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga

Giovanni Vincenzo Gonzaga (1540–1591) was an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal.

Girolamo Mattei

Girolamo Mattei (8 February 1547 - 8 December 1603) was an Italian Cardinal from the House of Mattei.

Lorenzo Asensio Otaduy Avendaño

Lorenzo Asensio Otaduy Avendaño (1539 – 4 December 1611) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Ávila (1599–1611) and Bishop of Lugo (1591–1599).

Marcello Crescenzi (bishop)

Marcello Crescenzi (died 13 August 1630) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Assisi (1591–1630).

Pope Innocent

Pope Innocent may refer to:

Pope Innocent I, saint (401–417)

Pope Innocent II (1130–1143)

Antipope Innocent III (1179-1180)

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216)

Pope Innocent IV (1243–1254)

Pope Innocent V (1276)

Pope Innocent VI (1352–1362)

Pope Innocent VII (1404–1406)

Pope Innocent VIII (1484–1492)

Pope Innocent IX (1591)

Pope Innocent X (1644–1655)

Pope Innocent XI (1676–1689)

Pope Innocent XII (1691–1700)

Pope Innocent XIII (1721–1724)

Pope Innocent X

Pope Innocent X (Latin: Innocentius X; 6 May 1574 – 7 January 1655), born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj (or Pamphili), was Pope from 15 September 1644 to his death in 1655.Born in Rome of a family from Gubbio in Umbria who had come to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Innocent IX, Pamphili was trained as a lawyer and graduated from the Collegio Romano. He followed a conventional cursus honorum, following his uncle Girolamo Pamphili as auditor of the Rota, and like him, attaining the position of Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Eusebio, in 1629. Before becoming Pope, Pamphili served as a papal diplomat to Naples, France, and Spain.

Pamphili succeeded Pope Urban VIII (1623–44) on 15 September 1644 as Pope Innocent X, after a contentious papal conclave that featured a rivalry between French and Spanish factions.

Innocent X was one of the most politically shrewd pontiffs of the era, greatly increasing the temporal power of the Holy See. Major political events in which he was involved included the English Civil War, conflicts with French church officials over financial fraud issues, and hostilities with the Duchy of Parma related to the First War of Castro. In terms of theological events, Innocent X issued a papal bull condemning the beliefs of Jansenism.

Settimio Borsari

Settimio Borsari (died 29 April 1594) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Casale Monferrato (1592–1594) and Bishop of Alessano (1591–1592).

Simeone Tagliavia d'Aragonia

Simeone Tagliavia d'Aragonia (1550–1604) was a Sicilian cardinal and bishop.

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