Freedom Fighters? Criminals/Terrorists?
Agents of an Archaic Evil Empire?
In 1605 most of the people of England were Protestant
followers of the state religion.
Often when discussing the Gunpowder Plot supporters of
the position of the plotters and Catholics in general generally describe
them as a persecuted minority. Surely this is an oversimplification.
First of all there were many varieties of Catholic in
England. Many did only want to pursue their own religious practices in
private without converting others or otherwise attacking the state. Others
including the plotters, many members of the Catholic aristocracy, priests
and jesuits on the other hand wanted nothing less that a counter-reformation
which would destroy the state religion if not the state itself and return
them to positions of power and dominance where they would install the pope
as their supreme authority in the place of the monarch. Both violent and
peaceful means were seen as pathways to this end. Unfortunately the state
had no way of knowing which were the good and which the dangerous. None
the less the state did continue to maintain influential Catholics at court
in high positions as well as to include Catholics in the Parliament.
In 1605 Jesuit activity while carried out by exiled English
priests trained abroad was in fact an invasion of England by a foreign
power:The Papacy. It was a persecution of those considered "heretics" that
is members of the State Church by representatives of the Papacy. The mission
was clear: return to England,convert its citizens and destroy the "heretic"
church. The fact that they were instructed to do it politely did not change
matters. The Pope had boldly instructed English citizens not to folow the
leaders of their own nation. The intent was the same as war itself.
Had a significant majority of English citizens wished
to cast off the state religion then one would have to consider the Jesuits
and our conspirators to have been freedom fighters. However, this was not
the case and we must therefore consider them to be foreign invaders. Defense
of one's government, one's nation and homeland against foreign invaders
can not be considered persecution.
Perhaps the example of Mexico might assist in furthering
understanding. In Mexico it was written that the Jesuit missionaries
were persecuted that is captured, and executed. While it was true
that they were attacked and did suffer they were not the casualties of
persecution but of warfare- casualties in a war which they themselves had
brought to the pagan natives.
Despite the many personal and Religious purposes of the
Plotters we must continue to acknowledge and respect their considerable
bravery and courage in the pursuit of their values despite the painful
consequences which they knew would follow from their failure.
In the study of the Gunpowder Plot it is essential to
view efforts toward the conversion of souls from both sides of the theological
divide. But what did the pope and his officials know of the terrorism planned
by the plotters? Could they have stopped the plot before it had a chance
to threaten lives, property and government?
Surely we do know one thing. Keeping information which
could have prevented human suffering and death behind the seal of the confessional
can only be an act inspired by the corrupting forces of power and imperialism.
Surely you do not go to such lenghts to protect the seal in such cases
if you are concerned with human wellbeing.
. Back to the Start
What did the Pope or his Officials know
of the Plot and When?
The reaction of the Pope and his officials to knowledge
of the Gunpowder Plot was the
ultimate and supreme test of their commitment to peaceful
means and to co-existence with
temporal rulers within a pluralistic society. If
this test was set up by the government it very
accurately found its mark. The Pope and his representatives
What did the pope and his officials know about the Gunpowder
Plot before it happened?
The answer is: Quite A bit.
In the Summer of 1604 Father Henry Garnet- Superior of
the Jesuits in England wrote to
Aquaviva (his Superior in Rome)
that he understood from some friends that:
"Mr. Catesby was much missing
from the places where he was wont to resort continually for spiritual help;
and hearing also, that he and other gentlemen of forward humor did keep
much together and had many secret meetings he began to suspect that they
had something in hand"
Later in 1605 Garnet had a revealing
conversation with Mr. Catesby:
""Mr. Catesby asked whether if one intended lawfully
to kill any man he might do it, notwithstanding the hazards of innocents.....I...answered
that oftentimes in wars such things were done, so that they were
such as the victory might countervail the innocent' death"
Garnet so suspected Catesby that when his superior Fr.
Aquaviva General of the Jesuits had heard of plots by English Catholics
Garnet found Catesby at Fremlands in Sussex where he cautioned Catesby
about "rushing headlong into mischief" and notified him that Aquaviva had
conveyed similar "official" warnings from the pope.
At this point Catesby insisted that if the Pope personally
knew the details of what he had planned that he would be supportive. Garnet
should have had no doubt at this time of Catesby's dangerous and ilegal
intent. Garnet rather than finding a way to turn Catesby in to the authorities
suggests that Catesby communicate his plan to the pope by way of a leading
Catholic- Sir Edmund Baynham who was shortly to meet with the Papal Nuncio
In essence then, the pope was asked to judge that which
was an issue for the government and laws of England. Garnet had acted in
the past to betray Catholic Plotters- He and Father George Blackwell (the
archpriest) Had uncovered and informed the government of the Bye plot which
had been orchestrated by Father William Watson. The difference was that
Watson was merely a secular priest and Catesby was a well connected and
powerful member of the Catholic elite with many important Catholic friends.
In July 1665 Father Oswald Tesimond having heard of the
plot via Confessional from
Catesby passed the information on to Father Garnet also
under seal of the Confessional. With permission for Tesimond to pass the
information under seal to Garnet.
While Garnet could not reveal names and details he did
soon thereafter contacted the pope with this request:
"The danger is lest secretly some treason of violence
be shown to the King and so all catholics may be compelled to take arms.
Wherefore in my judgment two things are necessary; first that his Holiness
should prescribe what in any case is to be done, and then that he should
forbid any force of arms to the Catholics under censures" Garnet asked the pope for special powers to allow him
to act against anyone suspected of plotting by excommunicating them. The
pope did not extend these powers but instead in September replying by way
of Father Persons asked for specific details of the specific case- details
which Garnet due to the seal, could not provide. (The seal was eventually
broken by Catesby himself by writing to Garnet on Nov. 6 after the failure
of the plot)
Garnet's loyal and close friend Anne Vaux had told him
that she had seen Catesby and others coming and going from her house and
priest hide White Webs.
The record shows clearly that the pope and his representatives
knew far enough in advance
of the plot to have aided in the apprehension of the
conspirators. Yet nothing was done to physically stop the plotters. Back
to the Start
The Papacy and Nationalism
At the time of the plot England was a nation only recently
united from many different parts by Elizabeth I. The people
were beginning to think of themselves as English rather than as Protestants
or Catholics. This sense of national Identity was to be the solution to
the religious conflicts which had plagued English history. For Elizabeth
this meant that the power and resources of important Catholics could
be harnessed by the nation. This explains the presence of so many English
Catholics at court and the influential positions which they held.
By the time of James I even English Catholics were becoming
more "English" some even wanted to reconcile with the "heretic" state church.
The Elizabethan dream of national identity was however, constantly
threatened by those who wished to set the clock back
to the time prior to Henry VIII when the Catholic Church still exercised
significant, and often tyrannical power over the people
and rulers of England.
By studying the 17th Century Papacy one can
gain an appreciation of the nature of the Catholic Church of the period.
It was truly a power bent upon conquest both of souls and of nations as
well as new frontiers. It was not at all tolerant of the religions
of "heretics" be they Protestant Non-Believers, Members of other Churches,
or, Native Peoples of the new colonies. The church had placed itself
and all of its resources directly in opposition to the pluralistic nation
state which was developing in England and which was eventually to serve
as the foundation for the development of modern democracies.
The church provided its support for all of the enemies
of England- nations like Spain and Terrorists and Criminals like the plotters.
We can only wonder what would have become of the dream of the pluralistic
nation state had the plotters and the pope managed to set the clock
back to more primitive times. Take a moment to read below,of the
major Catholic figures of the age. Make up your own mind and let us know
what you think. (Page editor comments shown in italics)
Among the popes there have been poor men in plenty, but
Clement VIII was the
first bank clerk to obtain the tiara. Ippolito Aldobrandini
was born in 1536 at Fano.
His father was a political exile from Florence. Ippolito,
rescued from the bank by
Cardinal Farnese's kindness, studied law at Padua, Perugia,
and Bologna. He
entered the service of the Church, but his advancement
was slow until the reign of
Sixtus V. That energetic Pope promoted him rapidly. A
cardinal in 1585, Ippolito
made a great reputation as legate to Poland in 1588.
Thereafter he was considered a
possibility for the papacy. Elected on January 30, 1592,
he took the name Clement
Clement was above all a spiritual pope. For years Philip
Neri had been his
confessor, and now every night the great Oratorian Baronius
came to hear the
Pope's confession. As zealous as he was devout, the busy
Clement would often take
a confessional in St. Peter's so that anyone who wished
could go to the Pope
himself. He did much to promote the forty hours' devotion.
He often visited
hospitals, not only to comfort the sick and distribute
alms, but to check on the food.
He was a truly humble man who could accept criticism.
His only defect was
Clement's great achievement was the settlement of the
French problem. Henry of
Navarre was gaining steadily. Now that he had accepted
melted away. French bishops absolved him, but still at
Rome the Spaniards grimly
struggled to prevent the Pope from granting Henry absolution.
spiritual men like St. Philip Neri, the historian Baronius,
the theologian Toledo,
Clement at last on September 17, 1595, solemnly absolved
Henry IV. The way was
open for peace in France and men felt that the danger
of Spanish domination over
the papacy was on the wane.(Note the interference
of the Pope in the internal politics of France and Spain and the reciprocal interference
of these nations with the papacy-it is as if there was no distinction
between papacy and state- a situation that emergent nationalism in England wished
Clement was a great mission pope. Under his vigorous leadership,
Ricci entered China, the Japanese withstood the first
shock of persecution, and
Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits reaped rich harvests
in the Philippines,
Mexico(where as you may know many hundreds were slaughtered
who would not convert under the watchful eyes of the Jesuits-a level
of intolerance that England wished to avoid even if it meant persecution and execution
of those who wished to convert the English and destroy the state-so great
was the threat), and South America.
The Pope sent missionaries to Persia and Abyssinia and
even to the court of the Great Mogul.
He strove to reunite the Copts of Egypt and the schismatics
of Serbia. He succeeded in
bringing some Ukrainians back to the Church by the Union
of Brest in 1598. And at home
in Europe the tide of Catholic reform was winning back
much that had been lost in the bad
days. It was a
great outpouring of zeal, and to channel and control
it Clement set up a congregation
of cardinals. (I would differ with the title "mission"
pope. These were hardly missions for souls alone- they were missions to regain and
obtain political control lost in what the church considers the "bad days"or what much of
the rest of the world considers the reformation and "good days" which saw the development
of nationalism and eventually parliamentary democracy- in contrast with
the further development of oppressive Absolutism in Both France and Spain (the
two major Catholic States))
Two famous executions took place in Clement's reign--that
of the parricide Beatrice
Cenci about whom legend and Shelley have woven an unmerited
spell, and that of
Giordano Bruno. Clement forbade dueling, revised the
breviary, and found time to
encourage the poet Tasso and set on foot many works of
art. To judge the case of
the great Jesuit theologian Luis Molina, whose doctrine
on grace had been assailed
by Dominicans, the Pope set up a special congregation.
Clement took great interest
in this matter, but before it could be settled, he was
struck down by apoplexy,
March 5, 1605.
Leo XI was a member of the famous Medici family and a
grandnephew of Leo X.
But while Leo X was a thoroughgoing Renaissance prince,
his grandnephew was a
true Counterreformation (here one must actually read
"counter nation state" "imperialistic")pope. One typical Medici quality
was shared by both, a
love for literature and art.
Alessandro de' Medici was born in 1555. He was a pious
lad and was so fond of the
Dominican friars of San Marco that it was thought that
this Medici would enter the
family of Savanarola. But he chose to become a secular
priest and worked quietly in
a country parish until 1569, when his relative, Duke
Cosimo, sent him as Tuscan
ambassador to Rome. At Rome he became a disciple and
close friend of St. Philip
Neri. In 1573 Alessandro was made, first, bishop of Pistoia,
then archbishop of
Florence. Though he was forced to remain at Rome, Alessandro
saw to it that the
reform decrees of Trent were carried out in his archdiocese.
Made a cardinal by
Gregory XIII in 1583, he was sent by Clement VIII as
legate to France in the crucial
years 1596-1598. There he became a friend of Henry IV.
Naturally the Spaniards were opposed to him, and his chances
for the papacy were
so lightly esteemed that Cardinal Avila, King Philip's
mouthpiece, did not bother to
publish his monarch's veto until too late.(it is important
to note the close link between Catholic Spain and the Papacy- it was as if they were
one- This is exactly what the English Nation state wished to avoid at all cost.
In England under James I Catholics who would not attempt to convert the people or the
state would be tolerated Catholic political control over the English state was not acceptable)
Baronius, the great historian,
was the favorite at the conclave which began on March
14,1605; but Baronius had told too
much truth too impartially in his history to suit Spanish
susceptibility, and so this
holy and learned man, to his own joy and relief, was
kept from becoming pope. At
last after several weeks the majority swung to Medici.
Too late Cardinal Avila
protested bitterly, but even his own party told him to
quiet down. Alessandro
accepted and chose to be called Leo XI. The French were
jubilant but Leo quickly
showed that he intended to be the tool of no ruler.
Easter Sunday, April 17, the coronation day of Leo, was
a gala occasion for the
Romans, but for Leo himself it was deadly. The old man
caught a chill during the
ceremonies and soon was in bed fighting vainly for his
life. When it became evident
that he was going to die, appeals rained on him to make
a nephew a cardinal.
Although the candidate was worthy, Leo had so great a
horror for this rather
common papal failing, that he repeatedly refused. Indeed
when his confessor added
his voice to the general pleading, Leo exchanged his
confessor for another more
prudent or detached.
Leo XI died piously on April 27,1605. Although he had
ruled so short a time, he
managed to lower taxes and send help to the Hungarians
in their struggle against the
Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine were among those considered
as successors of
Leo XI, but finally the cardinals chose Camillo Borghese,
who took the name Paul
V. Camillo Borghese was born at Rome on September 17,
1550. His family,
originally from Siena, claimed relationship with the
great mystic, St. Catherine.
Trained at Perugia and Padua, Camillo became an expert
canon lawyer. In 1596
Clement VIII made him a cardinal and vicar of Rome. No
party man, he was
agreeable to all factions.
Paul V was a vigorous fifty-two(error?55?(1605)) when
elected. Pious and learned, charitable and
hard-working, he made an excellent pastor. Being a canon
lawyer, he believed rules
were made to be kept, and his rigorous enforcement of
Trent reform decrees caused
a deal of rustling in Roman ecclesiastical circles. The
same respect for law made
him a terror to evildoers. Like Sixtus V he was concerned
to put down banditry.
Paul V had a hard time with Venice. The republic's pride
seemed to swell in
proportion as its power decreased. It had defied church
law to forbid the erection of
new church buildings and to arrest two clerics. Paul
tried to bring the republic to
reason, but when the oligarchs stubbornly defied all
threats, the Pope
excommunicated doge and senate and placed Venice under
interdict. The Venetian
government defied the interdict by ordering priests to
go ahead with services, and
when Capuchins, Jesuits, and Theatines refused, the oligarchs
expelled them. This
quarrel almost flamed into a European war. When Paul
tried to raise an army,(Note here the blatant drive of the papacy toward domination
of secular states and their internal affairs. In an age of emergent nationalism
the papacy stood in opposition to the forces which supported "home rule" pluralism
and tolerance) England and Holland threatened to intervene in favor
of Venice. Meanwhile a war
of words was bitterly fought. Paolo Sarpi, a Servite
who combined brilliant
scholarship with a most peculiar notion of Catholic loyalty,
wrote furiously against
the Pope, while Baronius and St. Robert Bellarmine brought
their vast learning into
play to defend him. After a year of struggle, shrewd
King Henry IV of France
mediated to bring peace. Venice gave in as little as
possible but enough to justify the
Pope in releasing the republic from censure.
Wily King James of England also gave trouble to Paul.
He issued a new oath of
allegiance which, cunningly worded, was considered acceptable
by some Catholics.
Paul V had to condemn this oath twice, and even so, it
made for division among the
English Catholics.(note here that English Catholics
now increassingly viewed their identity as English to be more important then
their ties to Rome. The papacy resisted attempts to develop and maintain
the division between church and government)
A great patron of art, Paul V succeeded in having Carlo
Maderna finally bring the
construction of St. Peter's to a grandiose finish. Paul
had one defect, nepotism Too
fond of his relatives, he made the fortune of the Borghese
family. He was, however,
a broad-minded and energetic leader in mission activity.
He did not discourage the
daring innovations of men like Matteo Ricci and Robert
-Superior of Henry Garnet-leader of the English Jesuits
during the time of the plot.
Fifth General of the Society of Jesus, born October,
1543; died 31 January, 1615. He was the son of Prince Giovanni Antonio
Acquaviva, Duke of Atri, in the Abruzzi, and, at twenty-five, when high
in favor at the papal court, renounced his brilliant worldly prospects,
and entered the Society. After being Provincial both of Naples and Rome,
he was elected General of the Society, 19 February,1581. He was the youngest
who ever occupied that post. His election coincided with the first accusation
of ambition ever made against a great official of the Order. Manareus had
been named Vicar by Father Mercurian, and it was alleged that he aspired
to the generalship. His warm defender was Acquaviva, but to dispel the
slightest suspicion, Manareus renounced his right to be elected.
Acquaviva was chosen by a strong majority. His subsequent
career justified the wisdom of the
choice, which was very much doubted at the time by the
Pope himself. During his generalship, the persecution(read resistance
to the Catholic Counter Reformation) in England, wither he had
once asked to go as a missionary, was raging; the Huguenot troubles
in France were at their height; Christianity was being crushed in Japan;
the Society was expelled from Venice, and was oppressed elsewhere;(note
when catholics use the words oppression and persecution they mean
that their efforts to convert and dominate the people of a region or a
nation met with opposition) a schism within the Society was immanent;
the pope, the Inquisition, and Philip II were hostile. Acquaviva was denounced
to the Pope, even by men like Toletus (q.v.), yet such was his prudence,
his skill, his courage, and his success, that he is regarded as the greatest
administrator, after St. Ignatius, the Society ever had. Even those who
jealous of him admitted his merit, when, to satisfy them,
the fifth and sixth Congregations ordered an investigation to be made of
his method of government. The greatest difficulty he had to face was the
schism organized in Spain by Vasquez (q.v.). The King and Pope had been
won over by the dissidents. Open demands for quasi-independence for Spain
had been made in the Congregations of the Society. No Jesuit was allowed
to leave Spain without royal permission. Episcopal visitation of
the houses had been asked for and granted. But finally, through the mediation
of the English Jesuit, Robert Parsons (q.v.), who was highly esteemed by
Philip, the King was persuaded of the impolicy of the measures, while Acquaviva
convinced the Pope that the schism would be disastrous for the Church.
Deprived of these supports the rebellion collapsed. Simultaneously the
Inquisition was doing its best to destroy the Society. It listened to defamatory
accusations, threw the Provincial of Castille into prison, demanded the
surrender of the Constitutions for examination, until Acquaviva succeeded
in inducing the Pope to call the case to his own tribunal,
and revoke the powers which had been given to the Inquisition, or which
it claimed. Finally, Pope Sixtus V, who had always been unfriendly to the
Society, determined to change it completely. The Emperor Ferdinand implored
him not to act; the College of Cardinals resisted; but the Pope was obstinate.
The bull was prepared, and Acquaviva himself was compelled to send in a
personal request to have even the name changed, when the death of the pontiff
saved the situation--a coincidence which gave rise to accusations against
His successor, Gregory XIV, hastened to renew all the
former privileges of the Order, and to confirm its previous approbations.
During Acquaviva's administration, the protracted controversy
on Grace, between the Dominicans and the Jesuits, took place, and was carried
on with some interruptions for nearly nine years, without either party
drawing any decision from the Church, the contestants being ultimately
ordered to discontinue the discussion. It was Acquaviva who ordered the
scheme of Jesuit studies, known as the "Ratio Studiorum" (q.v.), to be
drawn up which, with some modifications, has been followed to the present
day. Six of the most learned and experienced scholars of the Society were
summoned toRome, who laid out the entire plan of studies, beginning with
theology, philosophy and their cognate branches, and going down to the
smallest details of grammar. When finished, it was sent to the different
Provinces for suggestions, but was not imposed until 1592, and then with
the proviso that
the Society would determine what charge was to be to
made, which was done in the General
Congregation of 1593.
The period of his generalship was the most notable in
the history of the Society for the men it
produced, and the work it accomplished. The names of
Suarez, Toletus, Bellarmine, Maldontus, Clavius, Lessius, Ripalda, Ricci,
Parsons, Southwell, Campion, Aloysius Gonzaga, and a host of others are
identified with it. Royal and pontifical missions (note here that such
missions while called religious were essentially political in view of their
goals and objectives- that is In England the goal was to modify and convert
the state not to develop tolerance but to reclaim the political entitiy
as a catholic province subject to Rome) to France, Russia, Poland,
Constantinople,and Japan were entrusted to men like Possevin, and Bellarmine,
and Vallignani. Houses were multiplied all over the world with an astonishing
rapidity. The colleges were educating some of the most brilliant statesmen,
princes, and warriors of Europe. The Reductions of Paraguay were organized;
the heroic work of the missions of Canada were begun; South America was
being traversed in all directions; China had been penetrated, and the Jesuits
were the emperor's official astronomers; martyrs in great numbers were
sacrificing their lives in England, America, India, Japan, and elsewhere;(notice
that there is no mention here of the countless thousands who were sacrificed
at the hands of the Catholic States with the blessing of the Jesuits- this
is exactly what England was forced to confront with strict punishments
and sanctions) and the great struggle organized by Canisius and Nadal
to check the Reformation in Germany had been brought to a successful conclusion.
The guiding spirit of all these great achievements, and many more besides,
was Claudius Acquaviva. He died at the age of seventy-one,31 January, 1615.
Jouvency says the longer he lived the more glorious the Society became;
andCordarius speaks of his election as an inspiration. Besides the "Ratio
Studiorum," of which he is substantially the author, as it was under his
initiative and supervision that the plan was conceived and carried out,
we have also the "Directorium Exercitiorum Spiritualium S.P.N. Ignatii,"
or "Guide to the Spiritual Exercises" which was also suggested and revised
by him. This work has been inserted in the "Corpus Instituti S.J." More
directly his are the "Industriae ad Curandos Aninme Morbos." As General,
he wrote many encyclical letters, and he is author of nearly all the "Ordinationes
Generalium" which were printed in 1595, with the Approbation of the Fifth
General Congregation. Many other documents and letters, relating chiefly
to matters of government. are still extant.
Jouvency, Epitome Hist. Soc. Jesu, IV; Crétineau-Joly, Historie
de la Comp de Jesus III; Varones Ilustres, V, 79;
Menologium S. J., 31 January. Back to the table
St. Philip Romolo Neri
APOSTLE OF ROME, b. at Florence, Italy, 22 July, 1515;
d. 27 May, 1595. Philip's family
originally came from Castelfranco but had lived for many
generations in Florence, where not a few of its members had practised the
learned professions, and therefore took rank with the Tuscan nobility.
Among these was Philip's own father, Francesco Neri, who eked out an insufficient
private fortune with what he earned as a notary. A circumstance which had
no small influence on the life of the saint was Francesco's friendship
with the Dominicans; for it was from the friars of S. Marco, amid the memories
of Savonarola, that Philip received many of his early religious impressions.
Besides a younger brother, who died in early childhood, Philip had two
younger sisters, Caterina and Elisabetta. It was with them that "the good
Pippo", as he soon began to be called, committed his only known fault.
He gave a slight push to Caterina, because she kept interrupting him and
Elisabetta, while they were reciting psalms together, a practice of which,
as a boy, he was remakably fond. One incident of his childhood is dear
to his early biographers as the first visible intervention of Providence
on his behalf, and perhaps dearer still to his modern disciples, because
it reveals the human characteristics of a boy amid the supernatural graces
of a saint. When about eight years old he was
left alone in a courtyard to amuse himself; seeing a
donkey laden with fruit, he jumped on its back; the beast bolted, and both
tumbled into a deep cellar. His parents hastened to the spot and extricated
the child, not dead, as they feared, but entirely uninjured.
From the first it was evident that Philip's career would
run on no conventional lines; when shown his family pedigree he tore it
up, and the burning of his father's house left him unconcerned. Having
studied the humanities under the best scholars of a scholarly generation,
at the age of sixteen he was sent to help his father's cousin in business
at S. Germano, near Monte Cassino. He applied himself with diligence, and
his kinsman soon determined to make him his heir. But he would often withdraw
for prayer to a little mountain chapel belonging to the Benedictines of
Monte Cassino, built above the harbour of Gaeta in a cleft of rock which
tradition says was among those rent at the hour of Our Lord's death. It
was here that his vocation became definite: he was called to be the Apostle
In 1533 he arrived in Rome without any money. He had
not informed his father of the step he was taking, and he had deliberately
cut himself off from his kinsman's patronage. He was, however, at once
befriended by Galeotto Caccia, a Florentine resident, who gave him a room
in his house and an allowance of flour, in return for which he undertook
the education of his two sons. For seventeen years Philip lived as a layman
in Rome, probably without thinking of becoming a priest. It was perhaps
while tutor to the boys, that he wrote most of the poetry which he composed
both in Latin and in Italian. Before his death he burned all his writings,
and only a few of his sonnets have come down to us. He spent some three
years, beginning about 1535, in the study of philosophy at the Sapienza,
and of theology in the school of the Augustinians. When he considered that
he had learnt enough, he sold his books, and gave the price to the poor.
Though he never again made study his regular occupation, whenever he was
called upon to cast aside his habitual reticence, he would surprise the
most learned with the depth and clearness of his theological knowledge.
He now devoted himself entirely to the sanctification
of his own soul and the good of his neighbour.
His active apostolate began with solitary and unobtrusive
visits to the hospitals. Next he induced others to accompany him. Then
he began to frequent the shops, warehouses, banks, and publicplaces of
Rome, melting the hearts of those whom he chanced to meet, and exhorting
them to serve God. In 1544, or later, he became the friend of St. Ignatius.
Many of his disciples tried and found their vocations in the infant Society
of Jesus; but the majority remained in the world, and formed the nucleus
of what afterwards became the Brotherhood of the Little Oratory. Though
he "appeared not fasting to men", his private life was that of a hermit.
His single daily meal was of bread and water, to which a few herbs were
sometimes added, the furniture of his room consisted of a bed, to which
he usually preferred the floor, a table, a few chairs, and a rope to hang
his clothes on; and he disciplined
himself frequently with small chains. Tried by fierce
temptations, diabolical as well as human, he
passed through them all unscathed, and the purity of
his soul manifested itself in certain striking
physical traits. He prayed at first mostly in the church
of S. Eustachio, hard by Caccia's house. Next he took to visiting the Seven
Churches. But it was in the catacomb of S. Sebastiano -- confounded by
early biographers with that of S. Callisto -- that he kept the longest
vigils and received the most abundant consolations. In this catacomb, a
few days before Pentecost in 1544, the well-known miracle of his heart
took place. Bacci describes it thus: "While he was with the greatest earnestness
asking of the Holy Ghost His gifts, there appeared to him a globe of fire,
which entered into his mouth and lodged in his breast; and thereupon he
was suddenly surprised with such a fire of love, that, unable to bear it,
he threw himself on the ground, and, like one trying to cool himself, bared
his breast to temper in some measure the flame which he felt. When he had
remained so for some time, and was a little recovered, he rose up full
of unwonted joy, and immediately all his body began to shake with a violent
tremour; and putting his hand to his bosom, he felt by the side of his
heart, a swelling about as big as a man's fist, but neither then nor afterwards
was it attended with the slightest pain or wound." The cause of this swelling
was discovered by the doctors who examined his body after death. The saint's
heart had been dilated under the sudden impulse of love, and in order that
have sufficient room to move, two ribs had been broken,
and curved in the form of an arch. From the time of the miracle till his
death, his heart would palpitate violently whenever he performed any spiritual
During his last years as a layman, Philip's apostolate
spread rapidly. In 1548, together with his
confessor, Persiano Rosa, he founded the Confraternity
of the Most Holy Trinity for looking after pilgrims and convalescents.
Its members met for Communion, prayer, and other spiritual exercises in
the church of S. Salvatore, and the saint himself introduced exposition
of the Blessed Sacrament once a month (see FORTY HOURS' DEVOTION). At these
devotions Philip preached, though still a layman, and we learn that on
one occasion alone he converted no less than thirty dissolute youths. In
1550 a doubt occurred to him as to whether he should not discontinue his
active work and retire into absolute solitude. His perplexity was set at
rest by a vision of St. John the Baptist, and by another vision of two
souls in glory, one of whom was eating a roll of bread, signifying God's
will that he should live in Rome for the good of souls as though he were
in a desert, abstaining as far as possible
from the use of meat.
In 1551, however, he received a true vocation from God.
At the bidding of his confessor -- nothing short of this would overcome
his humility -- he entered the priesthood, and went to live at S. Girolamo,
where a staff of chaplains was supported by the Confraternity of Charity.
Each priest had two rooms assigned to him, in which he lived, slept, and
ate, under no rule save that of living in charity with his brethren. Among
Philip's new companions, besides Persiano Rosa, was Buonsignore Cacciaguerra
(see "A Precursor of St. Philip" by Lady Amabel Kerr, London), a remarkable
penitent, who was at that time carrying on a vigorous propaganda in favour
of frequent Communion.
Philip, who as a layman had been quietly encouraging
the frequent reception of the sacraments,
expended the whole of his priestly energy in promoting
the same cause; but unlike his precursor, he recommended the young especially
to confess more often than they communicated. The church of S.Girolamo
was much frequented even before the coming of Philip, and his confessional
there soon became the centre of a mighty apostolate. He stayed in church,
hearing confessions or ready to hear them, from daybreak till nearly midday,
and not content with this, he usually confessed some forty persons in his
room before dawn. Thus he laboured untiringly throughout his long priesthood.
As a physician of souls he received marvellous gifts from God. He would
sometimes tell a penitent his most
secret sins without his confessing them; and once he
converted a young nobleman by showing him a vision of hell. Shortly before
noon he would leave his confessional to say Mass. His devotion to the
Blessed Sacrament, like the miracle of his heart, is one of those manifestations
of sanctity which are peculiarly his own. So great was the fervour of his
charity, that, instead of recollecting himself before Mass, he had to use
deliberate means of distraction in order to attend to the external rite.
During the last five years of his life he had permission to celebrate privately
in a little chapel close to his room. At the "Agnus Dei" the server went
out, locked the doors, and hung up a notice: "Silence, the Father is saying
Mass". When he returned in two hours or more, the saint was so absorbed
in God that heseemed to be at the point of death.
Philip devoted his afternoons to men and boys, inviting
them to informal meetings in his room, taking them to visit churches, interesting
himself in their amusements, hallowing with his sweet influence every department
of their lives. At one time he had a longing desire to follow the example
of St.Francis Xavier, and go to India. With this end in view, he hastened
the ordination of some of his companions. But in 1557 he sought the counsel
of a Cistercian at Tre Fontane; and as on a former occasion he had been
told to make Rome his desert, so now the monk communicated to him arevelation
he had had from St. John the Evangelist, that Rome was to be his India.
Philip at once abandoned the idea of going abroad, and in the following
year the informal meetings in his room developed into regular spiritual
exercises in an oratory, which he built over the church. At these exercises
laymen preached and the excellence of the discourses, the high quality
of the music, and the charm of Philip's personality attracted not
only the humble and lowly, but men of the highest rank and distinction
in Church and State. Of these, in 1590, Cardinal Nicolo Sfondrato, became
Pope Gregory XIV, and the extreme reluctance of the saint alone prevented
the pontiff from forcing him to accept the cardinalate. In 1559, Philip
began to organize regular visits to the Seven Churches, in company with
crowds of men, priests and religious, and laymen of every rank and condition.
visits were the occasion of a short but sharp persecution
on the part of a certain malicious faction,who denounced him as "a setter-up
of new sects". The cardinal vicar himself summoned him, and without listening
to his defence, rebuked him in the harshest terms. For a fortnight the
saint was suspended from hearing confessions; but at the end of that time
he made his defence, and cleared himself before the ecclesiastical authorities.
In 1562, the Florentines in Rome begged him to accept the office of rector
of their church, S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini, but he was reluctant to leave
S.Girolamo. At length the matter was brought before Pius IV, and a compromise
was arrived at (1564). While remaining himself at S. Girolamo, Philip became
rector of S. Giovanni, and sent five priests, one of whom was Baronius,
to represent him there. They lived in community under Philip astheir superior,
taking their meals together, and regularly attending the exercises at S.
Girolamo. In 1574, however, the exercises began to be held in an oratory
at S. Giovanni. Meanwhile thecommunity was increasing in size, and in 1575
it was formally recognised by Gregory XIII as the Congregation of the Oratory,
and given the church of S. Maria in Vallicella. (See ORATORY.) The fathers
came to live there in 1577, in which year they opened the Chiesa Nuova,
built on the site of the old S. Maria, and transferred the exercises to
a new oratory. Philip himself remained at S.Girolamo till 1583, and it
was only in obedience to Gregory XIII that he then left his old home and
came to live at the Vallicella.
The last years of his life were marked by alternate sickness
and recovery. In 1593, he showed the true greatness of one who knows the
limits of his own endurance, and resigned the office of superior
which had been conferred on him for life. In 1594, when he was in an agony
of pain, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and cured him. At the end
of March, 1595, he had a severe attack of fever, which lasted
throughout April; but in answer to his special prayer God gave him strength
to y Mass on 1 May in honour of SS. Philip and James. On the following
12 May he was seized with a violent haemorrhage, and Cardinal Baronius,
who had succeeded him as superior, gave him Extreme Unction. After that
he seemed to revive a little and his friend Cardinal Frederick Borromeo
brought him the Viaticum, which he received with loud protestations
of his own unworthiness. On the next day he was
perfectly well, and till the actual day of his death went about his usual
duties, even reciting the Divine Office, from which he
was dispensed. But on 15 May he predicted that he had only ten more
days to live. On 25 May, the feast of Corpus Christi, he went to say Mass
in his little chapel, two hours earlier than usual. "At the
beginning of his Mass", writes Bacci, "he remained for some time looking
fixedly at the hill of S. Onofrio, which was visible from the chapel, just
as if he saw some
great vision. On coming to the Gloria in Excelsis he
began to sing, which was an unusual thing for him, and sang the whole of
it with the greatest joy and devotion, and all the rest of the Mass he
said with extraordinary exultation, and as if singing." He was in perfect
health for the rest of that day, and made his usual night prayer;
but when in bed, he predicted the hour of the night at which he would die.
About an hour after midnight Father Antonio Gallonio, who slept under him,
heard him walking up and down, and went to his room. He found him
lying on the bed, suffering from another haemorrhage. "Antonio, I am going",
he said; Gallonio thereupon fetched the medical men and the fathers of
the congregation. Cardinal Baronius made the commendation of his soul,
and asked him to give the fathers his final blessing. The saint raised
his hand slightly, and looked up to heaven. Then inclining his head towards
the fathers, he breathed his last. Philip was beatified by Paul V in 1615,
and canonized by Gregory XV in 1622.
It is perhaps by the method of contrast that the distinctive
characteristics of St. Philip and his work are brought home to us
most forcibly (see Newman, "Sermons on Various Occasions", n. xii;"Historical
Sketches", III, end of ch. vii). We hail him as the patient reformer, who
leaves outwardthings alone and works from within, depending rather on the
hidden might of sacrament and prayer than on drastic policies of external
improvement; the director of souls who attaches more value to mortification
of the reason than to bodily austerities, protests that men may become
saints in the world no less than in the cloister, dwells on the importance
of serving God in a cheerful spirit, and gives a quaintly humorous turn
to the maxims of ascetical theology; the silent watcher of the times, who
takes no active part in ecclesiastical controversies and is yet a motive
force in their development, now encouraging the use of ecclesiastical
history as a bulwark against Protestantism, now insisting on the
absolution of a monarch, whom other counsellors would fain exclude from
the sacraments (see BARONIUS), now praying that God may avert a threatened
condemnation (see SAVONAROLA) and receiving a miraculous assurance
that his prayer is heard (see Letter of Ercolani referred to by
Capecelatro); the founder of a Congregation, which relies more on personal
influence than on
disciplinary organization, and prefers the spontaneous practice of counsels
of perfection to their enforcement by means of vows; above all, the
saint of God, who is so irresistibly attractive, so eminently lovable
in himself, as to win the title of the "Amabile santo".
C. SEBASTIAN RITCHIE
Transcribed by Herman F. Holbrook
For the Reverend David Martin, Priest, of the London Oratory Back
to the table
The Crusades were
military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High
Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. In 1095 Pope Urban II proclaimed the First
Crusade with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to holy places in
and near Jerusalem. Many historians and some of those involved at the time,
like Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, give equal precedence to other
papal-sanctioned military campaigns undertaken for a variety of religious,
economic, and political reasons, such as the Albigensian Crusade, the Aragonese
Crusade, the Reconquista, and the Northern Crusades. Following the First
Crusade there was an intermittent 200-year struggle for control of the Holy
Land, with six more major crusades and numerous minor ones. In 1291, the
conflict ended in failure with the fall of the last Christian stronghold in the
Holy Land at Acre, after which Roman Catholic Europe mounted no further
coherent response in the east.
German Attack on Rome (1081-1082)
Part of the German Civil War of
German Attack on Rome (1090-1092)
Part of the German Civil War of
Norman-Papal War of 1053
Battle of Civitella--Pope Leo IX
captured by the Normans, led by Humphrey Guiscard.
Holy Roman Empire-Papacy War
Holy Roman Empire-Papacy War
Holy Roman Empire-Papacy War
The Ferrara War (1482-1484)
Venice and the Papal States vs. Ferrara,
Genoa, Siena, Florence, Milan, and Naples
Florentine-Papal War (1485-1486)
Neopolitan War of 1494-1495
Franco-Aragonese War (1499-1504)
War of the League of Cambrai (1508-1509)
War of the Holy League (1510-1516)
Ferrara-Papal War of 1512 (part of the
War of the Holy League)
Sack of Rome (1527)
Carafa War (1556-1557)
Naval Battle of Lepanto (as part of a
coalition dealing with the Ottomans) (1571)
War over Parma (1641-1644)
Franco-Papal War (1660-1664)
Austro-Papal War (War of Spanish
French occupation of Avignon and the
First War of the Coalition, parts of
Papal State occupied by the French Revolutionaries (1792-1797)
Revolution and French Occupation
Invasion of the Papal State by Naples
Second War of the Coalition (Napoleonic
Franco-Italian annexation of the Papal
State (Napoleonic Wars) (1808-1809)
Liberal Revolution (Papal States aided
by Austrian troops) (1831)
Austrian Occupation of Bologna, French
Occupation of Ancona (1832-1839)
Rebellion of Savigno/Imola (1843)
Revolt of Rimini (1845)
Garibaldi’s Expedition against Sicily
Invasion of Italian patriots (1867)
Armand Jean du
Plessis, Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu and of Fronsac (English pronunciation: /ˈrɪʃəluː/;
French pronunciation: [ʁiʃəljø]; 9 September 1585 – 4 December 1642) was
a French clergyman, noble and statesman. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1607
and was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1616. Richelieu
soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government, becoming a Cardinal
in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624. He remained in office
until his death in 1642; he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, whose career he
The Cardinal de Richelieu was often known by the title of
the King's "Chief Minister" or "First Minister". He sought
to consolidate royal power and crush domestic factions. By restraining the
power of the nobility, he transformed France into a strong, centralized state. His chief foreign
policy objective was to check the power of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg
dynasty, and to ensure French dominance in the Thirty Years' War that engulfed Europe. Although he was a
cardinal, he did not hesitate to make alliances with Protestant rulers in attempting to achieve his goals. While a
powerful political figure, events like the Day of the Dupes show that in fact he very much depended on the
King's confidence to keep this power.
(French: [ʒyl mazaʁɛ̃]; July 14, 1602 – March 9, 1661), born Giulio
Raimondo Mazzarino [ˈdʒuljo raiˈmondo maddzaˈrino] or Mazarini, was an Italian cardinal,
diplomat, and politician, who served as the chief minister of France from 1642
until his death. Mazarin succeeded his mentor, Cardinal Richelieu. He was a
noted collector of art and jewels, particularly diamonds, and he bequeathed the
"Mazarin diamonds" to Louis XIV in 1661, some of which remain in the
collection of the Louvre museum in Paris. His personal library was the origin
of the Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris.
War of the Eight Saints
concluded at Tivoli
The War of the Eight
Saints (1375–1378) was a war between Pope Gregory XI and a coalition of Italian
city-states led by Florence, which contributed to the end of the Avignon Papacy.
Skanderbeg's Italian expedition
ResultFerdinand regains most of his lost territories
Skanderbeg's Italian expedition (1460–1462) was undertaken
to aid his ally Ferdinand I of Naples,
whose rulership was threatened by the Angevin
Dynasty. George Kastrioti
Skanderbeg was the ruler of Albania (Latin: dominus Albaniae) who had been leading a rebellion
against the Ottoman Empire since
1443 and allied himself with several Western European monarchs in order to
consolidate his domains. In 1458, Alfonso
V of Aragon, ruler of Sicily and
Naples and Skanderbeg's most important ally, died, leaving his
illegitimate son, Ferdinand, on the Neapolitan throne; René d'Anjou, the French Duke
of Anjou, laid claim to the throne. The conflict between René's and Ferdinand's
supporters soon erupted into a civil war. Pope
Calixtus III, of Spanish background himself, could do little to secure
Ferdinand, so he turned to Skanderbeg for aid.
Ottoman–Venetian War (1463–79)
ResultAlbanian defense victory until 1478 Ottoman
victory , Treaty of Constantinople (1479)
The Eastern Mediterranean in 1450, just before the Fall of
Constantinople. Venetian possessions are in green and red. By 1463, the Ottoman
dominions would have expanded to include the Byzantine Empire (purple), and
most of the smaller Balkan states.
Ottoman–Venetian War was fought between the Republic of Venice and her allies
and the Ottoman Empire from 1463 to 1479. Fought shortly after the capture of Constantinople
and the remnants of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottomans, it resulted in the
loss of several Venetian holdings in Albania and Greece, most importantly the
island of Negroponte (Euboea), which had been a Venetian protectorate for
centuries. The war also saw the rapid expansion of the Ottoman navy, which
became able to challenge the Venetians and the Knights Hospitaller for
supremacy in the Aegean Sea. In the closing years of the war however, the
Republic managed to recoup its losses by the de facto acquisition of the
Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus.
War of Ferrara
The War of Ferrara
(also known as the Salt War, Italian: Guerra del Sale) was fought in 1482–1484
between Ercole I d'Este, duke of Ferrara, and the Papal forces mustered by
Ercole's personal nemesis, Pope Sixtus IV and his Venetian allies. Hostilities
ended with the Treaty of Bagnolo, signed on 7 August 1484
Italian War of 1494–98
First Italian War
The First Italian War, sometimes referred to as the Italian
War of 1494 or Charles VIII's Italian War, was the opening phase of the Italian Wars. The war pitted Charles VIII of France, who had
initial Milanese aid, against
the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and an alliance of Italian powers led by Pope Alexander VI.
Pope Innocent VIII,
in conflict with King Ferdinand I of Naples over Ferdinand's refusal to pay
feudal dues to the papacy, excommunicated and deposed Ferdinand by a bull of 11
September 1489. Innocent then offered the Kingdom of Naples to Charles VIII of
France, who had a remote claim to its throne because his grandfather, Charles
VII, King of France, had married Marie of Anjou of the Angevin dynasty, the
ruling family of Naples. Innocent later settled his quarrel with Ferdinand and
revoked the bans before dying in 1492, but the offer to Charles remained an apple
of discord in Italian politics. Ferdinand died on January 25, 1494, and was
succeeded by his son Alfonso II..
War of the League of Cambrai
and Venetian victory
The War of the League of Cambrai, sometimes known as the War
of the Holy League and by several other names, was a major conflict in the Italian Wars. The principal
participants of the war, which was fought from 1508 to 1516, were France, the Papal States and the Republic
of Venice; they were joined, at various times, by nearly every
significant power in Western Europe,
including Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, England, Scotland, the Duchy of
Milan, Florence, the Duchy of Ferrara, and Swiss mercenaries.
Pope Julius II,
intending to curb Venetian influence in northern Italy, had created the League
of Cambrai, an anti-Venetian alliance that included, besides himself, Louis XII
of France, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Although
the League was initially successful, friction between Julius and Louis caused
it to collapse by 1510; Julius then allied himself with Venice against France.
The Veneto–Papal alliance eventually expanded into the Holy
League, which drove the French from Italy in 1512; disagreements about the
division of the spoils, however, led Venice to abandon the alliance in favor of
one with France. Under the leadership of Francis
I, who had succeeded Louis to the throne, the French and Venetians
would, through their victory at Marignano
in 1515, regain the territory they had lost; the treaties of Noyon and Brussels, which ended the war the next year, would essentially
return the map of Italy to the status quo of 1508.
War of Urbino
The War of Urbino
(1517) was a secondary episode of the Italian Wars.
The conflict ensued
after the end of the War of the League of Cambrai (1508–16), when Francesco
Maria I della Rovere decided to take advantage of the situation to recover the Duchy
of Urbino, from which he had been ousted in the previous year.
In the early 1517 he presented himself under the walls of Verona to hire the troops which had
besieged the city, now to be returned to the Republic of Venice. Della Rovere set off with an army of some
5,000 infantry and 1,000 horses which he entrusted to Federico Gonzaga, lord of Bozzolo, reaching the walls of Urbino on January 23, 1517.
He defeated the Papal
condottiero Francesco del Monte and entered the city hailed by the population.
Pope Leo X reacted
by hastily hiring an army of 10,000 troops under Lorenzo II de' Medici, Renzo
di Ceri, Giulio Vitelli and Guido Rangoni and sending it against Urbino.
Lorenzo was wounded by a bullet from an arquebus on April 4 during the siege of
the Mondolfo castle, and returned to Tuscany. He was replaced by Cardinal Bibbiena.
The latter was however unable to control the troops, and, defeated with
relevant losses at Monte Imperiale, was forced to retreat to Pesaro.
Italian War of 1521–26
The Italian War of
1521–26, sometimes known as the Four Years' War, was a part of the Italian Wars.
The war pitted Francis I of France and the Republic of Venice against the Holy
Roman Emperor Charles V, Henry VIII of England, and the Papal States. The
conflict arose from animosity over the election of Charles as Emperor in
1519–20 and from Pope Leo X's need to ally with Charles against Martin Luther.
The war broke out
across Western Europe late in 1521, when a French–Navarrese expedition
attempted to reconquer Navarre while a French army invaded the Low Countries. A
Spanish army drove the Navarrese forces back into the Pyrenees, and other
Imperial forces attacked northern France, where they were stopped in turn.
The Pope, the Emperor, and Henry VIII then signed a formal
alliance against France, and hostilities resumed on the Italian Peninsula; but, with the attention of both Francis and
Charles focused on the battleground in northeast France, the conflict in Italy
became something of a sideshow. At the Battle
of Bicocca on 27 April 1522, Imperial and Papal forces defeated the
French, driving them from Lombardy.
Following the battle, fighting again spilled onto French soil, while Venice
made a separate peace. The
English invaded France in 1523, while Charles
de Bourbon, alienated by Francis's attempts to seize his inheritance,
betrayed Francis and allied himself with the Emperor. A French attempt to
regain Lombardy in 1524 failed and provided Bourbon with an opportunity to
invade Provence at the head of a
War of the League of Cognac
The War of the
League of Cognac (1526–30) was fought between the Habsburg dominions of Charles
V—primarily Spain and the Holy Roman Empire—and the League of Cognac, an
alliance including France, Pope Clement VII, the Republic of Venice, England,
the Duchy of Milan and Republic of Florence.
Shocked by the
defeat of the French in the Italian War of 1521, Pope Clement VII, together
with the Republic of Venice, began to organize an alliance to drive Charles V
from Italy. Francis, having signed the Treaty of Madrid, was released and
returned to France, where he quickly announced his intention to assist Clement.
Thus, in 1526, the League of Cognac was signed by Francis, Clement, Venice,
Florence, and the Sforza of Milan, who desired to throw off the Imperial
hegemony over them. Henry VIII of England, thwarted in his desire to have the
treaty signed in England, refused to join.
Salt War (1540)
The Salt War of 1540
was a result of an insurrection by the city of Perugia against the Papal States
during the pontificate of Pope Paul III (Alessandro Farnese). The principal
result was the city of Perugia's definitive subordination to papal control.
Pope, Julius III
gave the Perugians back a semblance of local rule in 1559, the city became part
of the Papal States and remained so until Italian
unification in 1860.
One curious note about the war is that Perugian legend holds
that as part of a popular protest against the new papal tax in 1540, citizens
stopped putting salt in their bread (unsalted bread is the norm to this day).
Recent research suggests that this is an urban
legend developed after 1860.
Ottoman–Venetian War (1570–73)
The Fourth Ottoman–Venetian War, also known as the War of
Cyprus (Italian: Guerra di
Cipro) was fought between 1570–1573. It was waged between the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice, the latter joined
by the Holy League, a coalition
of Christian states formed under the auspices of the Pope, which included Spain
(with Naples and Sicily), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy
of Savoy, the Knights
Hospitaller, the Grand Duchy of
Tuscany, and other Italian states.
The war, the
preeminent episode of Sultan Selim II's reign, began with the Ottoman invasion
of the Venetian-held island of Cyprus. The capital Nicosia and several other towns
fell quickly to the considerably superior Ottoman army, leaving only Famagusta
in Venetian hands. Christian reinforcements were delayed, and Famagusta
eventually fell in August 1571 after a siege of 11 months. Two months later, at
the Battle of Lepanto, the united Christian fleet destroyed the Ottoman fleet,
but was unable to take advantage of this victory. The Ottomans quickly rebuilt
their naval forces, and Venice was forced to negotiate a separate peace, ceding
Cyprus to the Ottomans and paying a tribute of 300,000 ducats.
18 July 1579 – 11 November 1583
Second Desmond Rebellion
Result- English victory
Famine throughout Munster
Plantation of Munster
The Second Desmond
rebellion (1579–1583) was the more widespread and bloody of the two Desmond
Rebellions launched by the FitzGerald dynasty of Desmond in Munster, Ireland,
against English rule in Ireland. The second rebellion began in July 1579 when James
FitzMaurice FitzGerald, landed in Ireland with a force of Papal troops,
triggering an insurrection across the south of Ireland on the part of the
Desmond dynasty, their allies and others who were dissatisfied for various
reasons with English government of the country. The rebellion ended with the
1583 death of Gerald FitzGerald, 15th Earl of Desmond and the defeat of the
The rebellion was in equal part a protest by feudal lords against the intrusion of
central government into their domains, a conservative Irish reaction to English
policies that were altering traditional Gaelic
society; and a religious conflict, in which the rebels claimed that they were
upholding Catholicism against a Protestant queen who had been
pronounced a heretic in 1570 by
the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis.
The result of the
rebellions was the destruction of the Desmond dynasty and the subsequent Munster
Plantations – the colonisation of Munster with English settlers. In addition
the fighting laid waste to a large part of the south of Ireland. War-related
famine and disease are thought to have killed up to a third of Munster's
Wars of Castro
Farnese defeat and
the destruction of Castro
The Wars of Castro were a series of conflicts during the
mid-17th century revolving around the ancient city of Castro (located in
present-day Lazio, Italy), which eventually resulted in the city's destruction
on 2 September 1649. The conflict was a result of a power struggle between the
papacy – represented by members of two deeply entrenched Roman families and
their popes, the Barberini and Pope Urban VIII and the Pamphili and Pope Innocent X – and the Farnese
dukes of Parma, who controlled Castro and its surrounding territories as
the Duchy of Castro.
Part of the War of
the Holy League
and the Ottoman–Venetian Wars
The Morean War (Italian:
La guerra di Morea, Turkish: Mora Savaşı) is the better-known name for the
Sixth Ottoman–Venetian War. The war was fought between 1684–1699, as part of
the wider conflict known as the "Great Turkish War", between the Republic
of Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Military operations ranged from Dalmatia to
the Aegean Sea, but the war's major campaign was the Venetian conquest of the Morea
(Peloponnese) peninsula in southern Greece. On the Venetian side, the war was
fought to avenge the loss of Crete in the Cretan War (1645–1669), while the
Ottomans were entangled in their northern frontier against the Habsburgs and
were unable to concentrate their forces against the Republic. As such, the
Morean War holds the distinction of being the only Ottoman–Venetian conflict
from which Venice emerged victorious, gaining significant territory. Venice's
expansionist revival would be short-lived however, as their gains were reversed
by the Ottomans in 1715.
Ottoman–Venetian War (1714–18)
Ottoman–Venetian War was fought between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman
Empire between 1714 and 1718. It was the last conflict between the two powers,
and ended with an Ottoman victory and the loss of Venice's major possession in
the Greek peninsula, the Peloponnese (Morea). Venice was saved from a greater
defeat by the intervention of Austria in 1716. The Austrian victories led to
the signing of the Treaty of Passarowitz in 1718, which ended the war.
This war was also
called the Second Morean War, the Small War or, in Croatia, the War of Sinj.
The Holy League of 1717 was one of many coalitions organised
by the Papal States to deal with
the Ottoman threat. This last one comprised Portugal, the Republic
of Venice and Malta.
Throughout the 17th century several Holy Leagues were organised by Rome, the
most famous of which finally managed to defeat the Ottoman fleet at the third Battle of Lepanto. However the
resurgent threat of the Ottoman fleet continued until the early 18th century,
and came again to the fore in the Seventh
Ottoman–Venetian War of 1714–1718.As with the previous Leagues, Rome organized the expedition, Venice
financed it and a third party - usually a Catholic kingdom - was to provide the
backbone of the fleet. Given that Spain
was exhausted from the War of the
Spanish Succession, the Pope appealed to Portugal which ended up sending
a fleet to the Mediterranean. The efforts came to fruition in late July, when a
combined fleet of Portuguese, Venetian, Papal and Maltese ships defeated the
fleet of Kapudan PashaIbrahim Pasha[disambiguation needed] in the Battle of Matapan.
The outcome of 1717 as well as of the prior battles with the
same goal, was that of restricting the Ottoman naval dominance to the eastern