Emilio Altieri (Clement X) elected Pope
Pope Clement X (13 July 1590 – 22 July 1676), born Emilio Bonaventura Altieri, was Pope from 29 April 1670 to 22 July 1676.
On 29 April 1670, the papacy was offered to him by fifty-nine Cardinals present at the election; only two being against him. He, however, objected because of his age, for he was almost eighty, and exclaimed, "I am too old to bear such a burden." Pointing to Cardinal Brancacci, Altieri said he was the Cardinal whom they ought to elect. He persisted in refusing, protesting that he no longer had strength or memory; but he was crowned on 11 May. With tears he accepted, and out of gratitude to his benefactor, by ten years his junior, he assumed the name of Clement X.
All but one of the male scions of the Altieri family had chosen the ecclesiastical career. On his accession to the papacy, Clement X, in order to save the Altieri name from extinction, adopted the Paluzzi family, and proposed that one of the Paluzzi should marry Laura Caterina Altieri, the sole heiress of the family. In exchange for adopting the Altieri surname he would make one of the Paluzzi a Cardinal. Following the wedding, which he officiated, he appointed his relative by marriage Cardinal Paluzzi-Altieri, the uncle of Laura's new husband, to the Office of Cardinal Nephew to take on the duties which he was prevented from doing by age. The main activity was to invest the Church's money, and with advancing years gradually entrusted to him the management of affairs, to such an extent that the Romans said he had reserved to himself only the episcopal functions of benedicere et sanctificare, resigning in favour of the Cardinal the administrative duties of regere et gubernare.
On the 8th of June Clement X took possession of St. John Lateran. On 11 June, he confirmed the Minor Observantines in the Holy Land in the privileges and indulgences granted to those who visit the holy places, according to the decree of Popes Alexander VII and Clement IX. In the same month he granted to the prelate-clerks of the chamber the use of the violet-coloured band around their hats.
Like all the pontiffs, Clement X advised the Christian princes to love each other, and to prove it by an entire confidence, by generous measures, and by a prudent and scrupulous conduct. It was especially between Spain and France that the pope desired to witness a renewal of feelings of good understanding.
In 1671, the Pope published an edict by which he declared that a noble might be a merchant without loss of his nobility, provided always that he did not sell by retail".
On 12 April, 1671, Clement X canonised five new saints:
Saint Gaetan of Thiene, founder of the Clerks of Divine Providence, better known by their other title of Theatines.
Saint Francis Borgia, fourth Duke of Gandia, Marquis of Lombay, and viceroy of Catalonia, born in 1510. He took the habit of the Jesuits in 1547, and became general and one of the most illustrious ornaments of that religious order.
Saint Philip Benizi, a noble Florentine, a religious of the order of the Servants of Mary, of which he was the reviver, and not, as has been stated by some, the founder. Pope Leo X (1513–21) had beatified him in 1516.
Saint Louis Beltran, or Bertrand, a Spaniard, of the family of Saint Vincent Ferrer, and like him a Dominican.
Saint Rose of Lima, of the third order of Saint Dominic, born at Lima, Peru in 1586. Saint Rose, beatified by Clement IX, was the first American saint.
Clement X confirmed the exemptions granted by Pope Gregory XIII (1572–85) to the German College at Rome in 1671; and then, on 16 October 1672, he ordered the pupils to swear that at the close of their studies they would set out for Germany without a day's delay.
On 13 January, 1672, Clement X regulated the formalities to be observed in removing the relics of saints from sacred cemeteries. No one was to remove such relics without the permission of the cardinal-vicar. They were not to be exposed for the veneration of the faithful, unless previously examined by the same cardinal. The principal relics of the martyr–that is to say, the head, the legs, the arms, and the part in which they suffered–were to be exposed only in the churches, and they were not to be given to private persons, but only to princes and high prelates; and even to them but rarely, lest the too great profusion should deprive relics of the respect which they ought to inspire. The Holy Father decreed severe penalties against all who gave a relic any name but that given by the cardinal-vicar. The pain of excommunication was pronounced against all who should demand any sum whatever for sealed and authentic relics. These decrees, and others made by preceding Popes, were confirmed by Pope Clement XI (1700–21) in 1704. He beatified Pope Pius V (1566–72), Francis Solano, and John of the Cross, all subsequently canonized by Clement XI and Pope Benedict XIII (1724–30).
Clement X, on the 24th of November, 1673, beatified nineteen martyrs of Gorcum, taken prisoner at Gorcum, the Netherlands, and put to death in Brielle on the 9th of July, 1572, in hatred of the Catholic faith, the primacy of the Pope, the Roman Church, and the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Of the nineteen Gorcum martyrs, eleven were Franciscan priests; Peter Ascanius and Cornelius Vican, laymen; one Dominican, two Premonstratensian monks, a regular canon of Saint Augustine, and four secular parish priests.
Fernando III called El Santo (the Saint), (1198/1199 – 30 May, 1252) was a king of Castile (1217 - 1252) and Leon (1230 - 1252). He was the son of Alfonso IX and Berenguela of Castile, daughter of Alfonso VIII. In 1231 he united Castile and Leon permanently. Fernando was canonized by Pope Clement X in 1671. Several places named San Fernando were founded across the Spanish Empire.
Clement X also had declared Venerable one of the famous spanish mystics, Sister Maria de Jesus de Ágreda.
Born at Rome, 13 July, 1590; elected 29 April, 1670, and died at Rome, 22 July, 1676. Unable to secure the election of any of the prominent candidates, the cardinals finally, after a conclave of four months and twenty days, resorted to the old expedient of electing a cardinal of advanced years; they united upon Cardinal Altieri, an octogenarian, whose long life had been spent in the service of the Church, and whom Clement IX, on the eve of his death, had raised to the dignity of the purple. The reason a prelate of such transcendent merits received the cardinalate so late in life seems to have been that he had waived his claims to the elevation in favour of an older brother. He protested vigorously against this use of the papal robes as a funeral shroud, but at length was persuaded to accept, and out of gratitude to his benefactor, by ten years his junior, he assumed the name of Clement X. The Altieri belonged to the ancient Roman nobility, and since all but one of the male scions had chosen the ecclesiastical career, the pope, in order to save the name from extinction, adopted the Paoluzzi, one of whom he married to Laura Caterina Altieri, the sole heiress of the family.
During previous pontificates the new pope had held important offices and had been entrusted with delicate missions. Urban VIII gave him charge of the works designed to protect the territory of Ravenna from the unruly Po. Innocent X appointed him nuncio to Naples; and he is credited with no slight share in the re-establishment of peace after the stormy days of Masaniello. Under Alexander VII he was made secretary of the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. Clement IX named him superintendent of the papal exchequer. On his accession to the papacy, he gave to his new kinsman, Cardinal Paoluzzi-Altieri, the uncle of Laura's husband, the office of cardinal nephew, and with advancing years gradually entrusted to him the management of affairs, to such an extent that the biting Romans said he had reserved to himself only the episcopal functions of benedicere et sanctificare, resigning in favour of the cardinal the administrative duties of regere et gubernare. Nevertheless, the Bullarium Romanum contains many evidences of his religious activity, among which may be mentioned the canonization of Sts. Cajetan, Philip Benitius, Francis Borgia, Louis Bertrand, and Rose of Lima; also the beatification of Pope Pius V, John of the Cross, and the Martyrs of Gorcum in Holland. He laboured to preserve the peace of Europe, menaced by the ambition of Louis XIV, and began with that imperious monarch the long struggle concerning the régale, or revenues of vacant dioceses and abbeys. He supported the Poles with strong financial aid in their hard struggle with their Turkish invaders. He decorated the bridge of Sant' Angelo with the ten statues of angels in Carrara marble still to be seen there. To Clement we owe the two beautiful fountains which adorn the Piazza of St. Peter's church near the tribune, where a monument has been erected to his memory.
Priesthood. Ordained, April 6, 1624.
Episcopate. Elected bishop of Camerino, November 29, 1627. Consecrated, November 30, 1627, patriarchal Liberian basilica, Rome, by Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli-Borghese, assisted by Giovanni Battista Altieri, former bishop of Camerino, and by Giovanni Battista Lancelotti, bishop of Nola. Succeeded his brother Giambattista as bishop of that diocese. Governor of Loreto, December 10, 1633. President of Romagna, June 4, 1636. Governor of Marche, per modum provisionis, January 22, 1641 until October 7, 1641. In charge of the safety of Ravenna against the floods of the river Po. Named apostolic visitor of the entire Papal States, could not exercise the post because of the Castro war. He declined promotion to the cardinalate in favor of an older brother. Nuncio in Naples, December 25, 1644 until 1652. Charged by the Sacred College of Cardinals, during the vacancy of 1655, with the mission of pacifying Lombardy. Secretary of the S.C. of Bishops and Regulars, 1657-1667. Consultor of the Supreme S.C. of the Roman and Universal Inquisition in the pontificate of Pope Alexander VII. Resigned the government of the see, June 7, 1666. Prefect of the Cubiculi of His Holiness, January 24, 1667.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of November 29, 1669; never received the red hat and the title because Pope Clement IX died on December 9, 1669 and he was elected his successor. Participated in the conclave of 1669-1670 and was elected pope.
Papacy. Elected pope on April 29, 1670. He protested his election because of his advanced age, but accepted and took the name Clement X. Crowned, May 11, 1670, Rome, by Cardinal Francesco Maidalchini, protodeacon of S. Maria in Via Lata. Took possession of the patriarchal Lateran basilica, June 8, 1670.
Death. July 22, 1676. Exposed and buried in the patriarchal Vatican basilica.