Susanne Ramharter‘s Today’s story about art
Lorenzo Benini’s Pope Gregory XV
Originally shared by Susanne Ramharter
Good Morning Google+ your daily story about art: 02.09
It’s Sunday, today’s artists do nothing for me, so let’s have a look at a bust, namely that of Pope Gregory XV, who was declared the successor of Paul V on February 9th in 1621. This bust is a bronze cast made by the Bernini (Superstar), who also made an almost identical marble version.
Pope Gregory was one of six (!) popes to give commissions to Bernini and this bust was done sometime in the year 1621, presumably soon after Gregory’s becoming Pope. Gregory was only pope for about 29 months, having gained the office when he was already 67. But in this short time, the first Jesuit pope managed to make some changes with long lasting effects.
The first of these was to reorganize the procedures for Papal elections. Gregory himself was to be the last pope to be determined by open acclamation (mostly due to some heavy lobbying by the Cardinal Borghese). He introduced the secret ballot and the process that still remains in place today.
Another change, was his „Declaration against Magicians and Witches (Omnipotentis Dei, 20 March 1623)”, the last papal declaration in connection with withcraft. While our time would still see this as monstrous, for his day it was quite enlightened and reduced most of the previous punishments for practicing witchcraft.
Gregory is also the pope whose pontificate was marked by the canonizations of:
Teresa of Avila, the Carmelite Nun and Mystic,
Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Jesuit Order,
Francis Xavier, one of the first seven Jesuits to take orders and missionary in India and the Far East,
Philip Neri, an Italian priest known for his work among the poor and outcast in the city of Rome,
Isidore the Farmer, a Spanish day labourer known for his kindness and piety towards the poor and farm animals.
So, if all that doesn’t help you realize it’s Sunday, I can only hope you tread lightly 😉
Image from Wikimedia here: http://goo.gl/DjKPbg
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