Pope Julius II

Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II was born Giuliano della Rovere on December 5, 1443, at Albissola, Italy, and died November 28, 1503, in Rome. He was of Roman and Greek heritage and followed his uncle (the future Pope Sixtus IV) into the Franciscan order and was educated at Perugia. Rovere was elevated to cardinal in 1471. Although a bishop, he became the father of three daughters, a scandal even then.

He was a skilled papal diplomat and was sent to restore papal authority in Umbria; to France and the Netherlands to settle the Burgundian inheritance; and to France to obtain help against the Turks and free Cardinal Balue, a prisoner of Louis XI, king of France.

In the next two conclaves, he fought against the election of Pope Innocent VIII and Pope Alexander VI and thus earned disdain from them. Rovere was elected pope on October 31, 1503.

He saw as the chief aim of his papacy to extend the temporal power of the pope and fought the influence of Casare Borgia and the Republic of Venice, entering the League of Cambrai in 1509 to continue this fight. He is chiefly remembered for his establishment of the Papal States. He also laid the cornerstone of St. Peter’s Basilica.

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