Pope Clement XIII dies

Much the same fate awaited them in the territories of the Bourbon Duke of Parma and Piacenza, advised by the liberal minister Guillaume du Tillot.

In 1768 Clement XIII issued a strong protest (monitorium) against the policy of the Parmese government. The question of the investiture of Parma aggravated the Pope's troubles. The Bourbon Kings espoused their relative's quarrel, seized Avignon, Benevento and Pontecorvo, and united in a peremptory demand for the total suppression of the Jesuits (January 1769). Driven to extremes, Clement XIII consented to call a consistory to consider the step, but on the very eve of the day set for its meeting he died (February 2, 1769), not without suspicion of poison, of which, however, there appears to be no conclusive evidence.

Greatly upset by these broils, Clement's health gave way and on February 7, 1769, the brave but gentle Pope died. Clement XIII has been called the eighteenth-century Hildebrand, and he deserves the title. While Clement's memory is held in honor by all who admire courage and adherence to principle, it is especially revered by Catholics because Clement XIII is the pope who, against much opposition, established the beautiful feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.