Pope Pius IV

Pope Pius IV (31 March 1499 – 9 December 1565), born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was Pope from 25 December 1559 to his death in 1565.[1]

He is known for presiding over the final session of the Council of Trent.


Pius IV
Bishop of Rome
Ritratto di Pio IV
Papacy began25 December 1559
Papacy ended9 December 1565
PredecessorPaul IV
SuccessorPius V
Consecration20 April 1546
by Filippo Archinto
Created cardinal8 April 1549
by Pope Paul III
Personal details
Birth nameGiovanni Angelo Medici
Born31 March 1499
Milan, Duchy of Milan
Died9 December 1565 (aged 66)
Rome, Papal States
Previous post
Coat of armsPius IV's coat of arms
Other popes named Pius
Papal styles of
Pope Pius IV
Pius IV Coat of Arms
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone


Early life

Giovanni Angelo Medici was born in Milan on 31 March 1499 as the second of eleven children to Bernardino de' Medici and Clelia Serbelloni. He was not closely related to the Medicis of Florence.[2]

Giovanni Medici was the younger brother of condottiero Gian Giacomo Medici, and the maternal uncle of Charles Borromeo.[3] Medici studied philosophy and medicine in Pavia.

After studying at Bologna and acquiring a reputation as a jurist he obtained his doctorate in both canon and civil law on 11 May 1525. Medici went in 1527 to Rome, and as a favourite of Pope Paul III was rapidly promoted to the governorship of several towns, the archbishopric of Ragusa (1545–1553),[4] and the vice-legateship of Bologna.


In April 1549, Pope Paul III made Medici a cardinal.[2] Under Papal authority, he was sent on diplomatic missions to Germany and also to Hungary.



On the death of Pope Paul IV, he was elected pope on 25 December 1559, taking the name Pius IV,[2] and installed on 6 January 1560. His first public acts of importance were to grant a general pardon to the participants in the riot after the death of his predecessor, and to bring to trial the nephews of his predecessor. One, Cardinal Carlo Carafa, was strangled, and Duke Giovanni Carafa of Paliano, with his nearest associates, was beheaded.

Council of Trent

Pius iv
Pope Pius IV

On 18 January 1562 the Council of Trent, which had been suspended by Pope Julius III, was convened by Pius IV for the third and final time.[5] Great skill and caution were necessary to effect a settlement of the questions before it, inasmuch as the three principal nations taking part in it, though at issue with regard to their own special demands, were prepared to unite their forces against the demands of Rome. Pius IV, however, aided by Cardinal Morone and Charles Borromeo, proved himself equal to the emergency, and by judicious management – and concession – brought the council to a termination satisfactory to the disputants and favourable to the pontifical authority. Its definitions and decrees were confirmed by a papal bull ("Benedictus Deus") dated 26 January 1564; and, though they were received with certain limitations by France and Spain, the famous Creed of Pius IV, or Tridentine Creed, became an authoritative expression of the Catholic faith.[6] The more marked manifestations of stringency during his pontificate appear to have been prompted rather than spontaneous, his personal character inclining him to moderation and ease.

Thus, a warning, issued in 1564, summoning Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, before the Inquisition on a charge of Calvinism, was withdrawn by him in deference to the indignant protest of Charles IX of France. In the same year he published a bull granting the use of the cup to the laity of Austria and Bohemia. One of his strongest passions appears to have been that of building, which somewhat strained his resources in contributing to the adornment of Rome (including the new Porta Pia and Via Pia, named after him, and the northern extension (Addizione) of the rione of Borgo), and in carrying on the work of restoration, erection, and fortification in various parts of the ecclesiastical states.

On the other hand, others bemoaned the austere Roman culture during his papacy; Giorgio Vasari in 1567 spoke of a time when "the grandeurs of this place reduced by stinginess of living, dullness of dress, and simplicity in so many things; Rome is fallen into much misery, and if it is true that Christ loved poverty and the City wishes to follow in his steps she will quickly become beggarly...".[7]


Pius IV created 46 cardinals in four consistories during his pontificate, and elevated three nephews to the cardinalate, including Carlo Borromeo. The pope also made Ugo Boncompagni, who would later be elected Pope Gregory XIII, a cardinal.


A conspiracy against Pius IV, headed by Benedetto Accolti the Younger (who died in 1549), the son of a cardinal, was discovered and crushed in 1565.[8]

Architectural achievements

During the reign of Pius IV, Michelangelo rebuilt the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (in Diocletian's Baths) and the eponymous Villa Pia, now known as Casina Pio IV. in the Vatican Gardens designed by Pirro Ligorio. It is now the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Pius IV also ordered public construction to improve the water supply of Rome.[9]


Pius IV died on 9 December 1565. He was buried in Santa Maria degli Angeli. His successor was Pius V.

See also


  1. ^ "The List of Popes." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 4 Sept. 2014
  2. ^ a b c Loughlin, James. "Pope Pius IV." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 4 Sept. 2014
  3. ^ John, Eric. The Popes, Hawthorne Books, New York
  4. ^ Bartolomeo Scappi, The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570): L'Arte Et Prudenza D'Un Maestro Cuoco, Transl. Terence Scully, (University of Toronto Press, 2008), 688.
  5. ^ Bard Thompson, Humanists and Reformers: A History of the Renaissance and Reformation, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 520.
  6. ^ Imma Penn, Dogma Evolution and Papal Fallacies, (AuthorHouse, 2007), 195.
  7. ^ Freedberg SJ, p. 429.
  8. ^ Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages: A Study in Joachimism, (Oxford University Press, 1969), 368.
  9. ^ Katherine Rinne, Waters of Rome

Further reading

  • Artaud de Montor, Alexis Francois (1911). The Lives and Times of the Popes. Vol. V. New York: Catholic Publication Society of America.
  • Bonora, Elena (2014). Roma 1564: La congiura contro il papa (in Italian). Rome: Gius. Laterza & Figli Spa. ISBN 978-88-581-1379-0.
  • Freedberg, Sydney J. (1993). Pelican History of Art (ed.). Painting in Italy, 1500–1600. Penguin Books Ltd. p. 429.
  • Hinojosa, R. de (1889), Felipe II y el conclave de 1559, según los documentos originales, muchos inéditos. Madrid 1889.
  • Pastor, Ludwig, Freiherr von (1928). The History of the Popes from the close of the Middle Ages. Volume XV, Volume XVI (1928). London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.
  • Pattenden, Miles (2013). Pius IV and the Fall of The Carafa: Nepotism and Papal Authority in Counter-Reformation Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2013.
  • Rendina, Claudio (1984). I papi. Storia e segreti. Rome: Newton Compton.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Paul IV
25 December 1559 – 9 December 1565
Succeeded by
Pius V
Annibale Saraceni

Annibale Saraceni was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Lecce (1560–1591).

Antonio Avendaño y Paz

Antonio Avendaño y Paz, O.F.M. or Bishop Antonio de San Miguel Avendaño y Paz (1520 – 7 November 1590) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Quito (1588–1590) and Bishop of La Imperial (1564–1588).

Antonio Giustiniani (archbishop of Lipari)

Antonio Giustiniani, O.P (died 1571) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop (Personal Title) of Lipari (1564–1571) and Archbishop of Naxos (1562–1564).

Archangelo de' Bianchi

Archangelo de' Bianchi (October 4, 1516 – January 18, 1580) was an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal and bishop.

Benedictus Deus (Pius IV)

Benedictus Deus is a papal bull written by Pius IV in 1564 which ratified all decrees and definitions of the Council of Trent. It maintains that the decrees of the Council of Trent can be interpreted solely by the Papal office itself; and enjoins strict obedience upon all Catholics, forbidding, under pain of excommunication, all unauthorized interpretation. This was seen by Church contemporaries of Pius IV as an attempt to strengthen the influence of the Papacy against the rise of Conciliarism exemplified by the Council of Trent itself.

There is a more minor bull of the same title written by Benedict XII in 1336.

Bernardo Salviati

Bernardo Salviati (17 February 1508 – 6 May 1568) was an Italian condottiero and Roman Catholic Cardinal.

Salviati was born in Florence, the son of Jacopo Salviati and Lucrezia di Lorenzo de' Medici, the sister of Giovanni de' Medici. The year of his birth is given as 1492 and also 1470. From an early age he was a knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. In his military career he fought against the Ottomans, obtaining the grade of admiral in the Military Order of Malta, which he represented as ambassador before Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, at Barcelona. He also fought against the Republic of Siena during the Italian Wars.

He became Grand Almoner to Catherine de' Medici (she was his maternal cousin's daughter), who had convinced him to set aside his fighting career for an ecclesiastical one. He followed his brother as bishop of Saint-Papoul. He was named Cardinal by Pope Pius IV on 26 February 1561.

His brother Giovanni and his nephew Anton Maria were also cardinals. Salviati was also uncle of the future pope Leo XI and of the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici.

He died in his residence in Trastevere, Rome, on 6 May 1568 and is entombed at Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

Council of Trent

The Council of Trent (Latin: Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent (or Trento, in northern Italy), was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.The Council issued condemnations of what it defined to be heresies committed by proponents of Protestantism, and also issued key statements and clarifications of the Church's doctrine and teachings, including scripture, the Biblical canon, sacred tradition, original sin, justification, salvation, the sacraments, the Mass, and the veneration of saints. The Council met for twenty-five sessions between 13 December 1545 and 4 December 1563. Pope Paul III, who convoked the Council, oversaw the first eight sessions (1545–47), while the twelfth to sixteenth sessions (1551–52) were overseen by Pope Julius III and the seventeenth to twenty-fifth sessions (1562–63) by Pope Pius IV.

The consequences of the Council were also significant in regards to the Church's liturgy and practices. During its deliberations, the Council made the Vulgate the official example of the Biblical canon and commissioned the creation of a standard version, although this was not achieved until the 1590s. In 1565, a year after the Council finished its work, Pius IV issued the Tridentine Creed (after Tridentum, Trent's Latin name) and his successor Pius V then issued the Roman Catechism and revisions of the Breviary and Missal in, respectively, 1566, 1568 and 1570. These, in turn, led to the codification of the Tridentine Mass, which remained the Church's primary form of the Mass for the next four hundred years.

More than three hundred years passed until the next ecumenical council, the First Vatican Council, was convened in 1869.

Daniele Barboli

Daniele Barboli, O.P. (died 25 February, 1570) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Pedena (1563–1570).

Flavio Orsini

Flavio Orsini (1532 – 16 May 1581) was a cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was a member of the Orsini family.

Born in Rome, he became bishop of Muro Lucano, and later moved to bishop of Spoleto. He took part in the Roman Curia.

He was made a cardinal on 12 March 1565 by Pope Pius IV.

Flavio Orsini died in Pozzuoli, near Naples.

Francisco Delgado López (bishop)

Francisco Delgado López (1514 – 2 October 1576) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Jaén (1566–1576) and Bishop of Lugo (1561–1566).

Giovanni D'Amato

Giovanni D'Amato was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Minori (1565–1567).

Jerónimo Clavijo

Jerónimo Clavijo was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Nisyros and Auxiliary Bishop of Cádiz.

Juan de los Barrios

Juan de los Barrios y Toledo, OFM (1498 – April 16, 1563) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as the first Archbishop of Santafé en Nueva Granada, (1564–1569),Bishop of Santa Marta (1552–1564),

and the first Bishop of Paraguay (1547–1552).

Luigi Suppa

Luigi Suppa (died 29 September 1569) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Agrigento (1565–1569).

Mateo Pinello

Mateo Pinello (died 1569) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Cuzco (1565–1569).

Order of Pope Pius IX

The Order of Pope Pius IX (Italian: Ordine di Pio IX), also referred as the Pian Order (Italian: Ordine Piano), is a papal order of knighthood originally founded by Pope Pius IV in 1560. The awarding of the order fell into disuse and was re-instituted by Pope Pius IX as a continuation on 17 June 1847. Since November 1993, it has been granted to women.

The highest rank awarded by the Pope is the gold Collar of the Order, awarded to heads of state on the occasion of official visits to the Holy See. The Grand Cross is the highest Papal award given to lay men and women, often given to Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See after two years in post as well as exceptional Catholics in the wider world for particular services, mainly in the international field and for outstanding deeds for Church and society.

The next rank is that of Knight (and now Dame) Commander, to whom the Star (the same as worn by the Grand Crosses) may be given as a higher distinction. The lowest rank is that of Knight or Dame. It is awarded to Catholics and non-Catholics and, on occasion, to non-Christians.

Palazzo Venezia

The Palazzo Venezia (Italian: [paˈlattso veˈnɛttsja]), formerly Palace of St. Mark, is a palazzo (palace) in central Rome, Italy, just north of the Capitoline Hill. The original structure of this great architectural complex consisted of a modest medieval house intended as the residence of the cardinals appointed to the church of San Marco. In 1469 it became a residential papal palace, having undergone a massive extension, and in 1564, Pope Pius IV, to win the sympathies of the Republic of Venice, gave the mansion to the Venetian embassy to Rome on the terms that part of the building would be kept as a residence for the cardinals, the Apartment Cibo, and that the republic would provide for the building's maintenance and future restoration. The palace faces Piazza Venezia and Via del Plebiscito. It currently houses the National Museum of the Palazzo Venezia.

Pedro de la Peña

Pedro de la Peña, O.P. (died 7 March 1583) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as the second Bishop of Quito (1565–1583) and the second Bishop of Verapaz (1564–1565).

Vincenzo Ferrari

Vincenzo Ferrari (died 1579) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Umbriatico (1578–1579)

and Bishop of Montepeloso (1564–1578 and 1550–1561).

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
Bible and
By country
of the faithful
Early Church
Late antiquity
Early Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
19th century
20th century
21st century

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.