Pope Leo XI facts
|Papacy began||1 April 1605|
|Papacy ended||27 April 1605|
|Predecessor||Pope Clement VIII|
|Successor||Pope Paul V|
|Birth name||Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici|
2 June 1535|
|Died||27 April 1605
Rome, Papal States
|Other Popes named Leo|
Pope Leo XI (Latin: Leo Undecimus; 2 June 1535 – 27 April 1605), born Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici, was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church and the 233rd Pope for only 26 days in April 1605.
In 1569, Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, sent Father Medici to be the ambassador of Florence in the court of Pope Pius V. For 15 years in Rome, Father Medici was the representative of the city and the Medici family.
Gregory raised him to the rank of cardinal in 1583.
On 1 April 1605, Cardinal Medici was elected pope. He chose to be called Leo XI in honor of his uncle Pope Leo X.
When he was elected, Leo XI was almost seventy years of age, and he died within the month. His death came as a result of fatigue and cold in the ceremony of taking possession of the Basilica of St John Lateran. He was called Papa Lampo ("Lightning Pope") because his papacy was so short.
Tomb of Leo XI in St. Peter's Basilica, by Alessandro Algardi
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