Pope Clement VIII – 231st Pope

Clement VIII

Pope Clement VIII was the 231st Pope and reigned for more than 13 years.

His papacy began in 1592 and ended in 1605 when he died.

He is known for helping settle issues between the Jesuits and Dominicans and for the efforts that led to The Long War.

Early Life

Ippolito Aldobrandini was born on February 24, 1536, in Fano, Marche. He grew up in the Papal State with a father who worked as a canon lawyer. That fostered his interest in law and led to the young man attending college to also study canon law.

He eventually became an auditor and worked as a judge for the Holy See in the highest court of the time. Known as an administrator, he later came to the Church and was ordained as a priest. Just 12 years later, he was elected as the new pope.

Papal Election

Pope Sixtus V selected the priest as a papal legate and sent him to work in Poland. The Polish people supported him after he helped release a man they believed was the heir to their throne. When Pope Innocent XI passed away, the cardinals held a conclave to elect the next pope. They spent nearly a month before selecting Ippolito. They believed that he would use his legal background to settle disputes and help the Church.

Later Years

Clement VIII created an alliance and sent soldiers to Hungary to fight the Ottomans. That war battled for years and became known as The Long War. He became friends with Henry IV and absolved the man, which led to the end of a long feud with France.

The pope issued several papal bulls that blocked Jewish people from Rome and other territories controlled by the Church. Stricken with a case of gout in his later years, the pope was in so much pain that he spent many days in bed.

Complications from that disease rapidly intensified in February of 1605 and led to his death a few weeks later.

List of Events In The Life of Pope Clement VIII (Ippolito Aldobrandini)

24 Feb 1536Born
158043.8Ordained PriestPriest
18 Dec 158549.8AppointedCardinal-Priest of San Pancrazio
18 Dec 158549.8Elevated to Cardinal
12 Jun 158650.3AppointedMajor Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary
30 Jan 159255.9ElectedPope (Roma, Italy)
2 Feb 159255.9Ordained BishopPope (Roma, Italy)
9 Feb 159255.9InstalledPope (Roma, Italy)
3 Mar 160569.0DiedPope (Roma, Italy)

Quick Facts About Pope Clement VIII

  • The future pope was born on February 24, 1536, in Fano, Marche.
  • His birth name was Ippolito Aldobrandini.
  • He died on March 5, 1605.
  • The pope was 69 and died from natural causes. His official cause of death was due to complications from gout.
  • Though elected on January 30, 1592, his papacy began on February 2.
  • He served as pope up until 1605 when he passed away.
  • The successor to the papal throne was Pope Leo XI.

Interesting Facts About Pope Clement VIII

  • Before becoming pope, Clement VIII worked with Phillip Nori and took his confessions. It was Nori who suggested that he choose the name Clement before his papacy.

  • Clement VIII was pope for 13 years and 32 days. He reigned as pope for more time than his last 10 predecessors. The three popes before him reigned for less than one year.

  • Those he was an honest and balanced man, Clement VIII helped start Collegio Clementine, which was a school for the sons of rich men. He created a second school to educate and prepare men to do missionary work.

  • Clement VIII has a close connection to the spread of coffee. While some men within the Church believed that it was a sin to drink coffee because it was popular among Muslims, the pope disagreed. After trying coffee for the first time, he decided that everyone should drink it. Some historians think this story is just a legend.

  • The Church buried the pope in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Paul V would later transfer his remains to a mausoleum in the Borghese Chapel.