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Paul IV
Papacy began 23 May 1555
Papacy ended 18 August 1559
Predecessor Pope Clement VII
Successor Pope Julius III
Personal details
Birth name Giovanni Pietro Carafa
Born 28 June 1476
Capriglia Irpina, Kingdom of Naples
Died 18 August 1559
Rome, Papal States
Other Popes named Paul
Vicolo Capocciuto, Roman Ghetto by Franz Roesler c.1880

Pope Paul IV (Latin: Paulus Quartus; 28 June 1476 – 18 August 1559), born Giovanni Pietro Carafa, was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church and the 221st Pope from 23 May 1555 until his death.

Early life

Giovanni Pietro Carafa was born in Capriglia Irpina in a noble family of Naples.


Pope Leo X sent Carafa as ambassador to England and then as papal nuncio in Spain.

In 1524, Pope Clement VII allowed Carafa to retire from diplomacy to head a monastery.

Pope Paul III recalled him to Rome.


In 1536, Carafa was made Cardinal and Archbishop of Naples.

He reorganized the Roman Inquisition.


Cardinal Carafa was elected popein 1555; and he chose to be called Paul IV.

Pope Paul was involved in Italian and European political disputes.

Pope Paul IV quarrelled with Philip II. of Spain, who sent the Duke of Alba with an army from Naples to invade the Papal States. At the gates of Rome, a peace was concluded in 1557.

In the context of the Counter-Reformation, this pope supported the Inquisition in Italy.

After his death

He was buried in St. Peter's Basilica but was later transferred to Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

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