Biography - Pope Gregory XV - The Papal Library

Gregory XV1621-1623 Alessandro Ludovisi Gregory XV was born at Bologna, on the 15th of January, 1554, and was the son of Pompey Ludovisi and Camilla Bianchini. Having studied the humanities and philosophy at Rome, in the German College and in the Roman Seminary, Alessandro became one of the most praiseworthy pupils of the Society of Jesus. The modesty, intellect, and prudence of the young nobleman were admired, and his elevation predicted. On his return to Bologna, whither he was recalled by his family, Alessandro took the insignia of doctor of both laws. Afterwards settled at Rome, he there won the esteem of three successive pontiffs. Gregory XIII named him first judge of the Capitol, saying to him: We now give you the first step towards the pontificate. Clement VIII created him referendary of signature, lieutenant of the cardinal-vicar, and, in succession, vicegerent, auditor of the Rota, and clerk of the chamber. At length Paul V, on the 12th of March, 1612, granted him the archbishopric of Bologna, and then sent him, as nuncio, into Savoy. As nuncio at Chambery, Alessandro knew the Constable Duke of Lesdiguieres, whom the King of France had sent into that city to support the claims of the Holy See, that so constantly showed itself the conciliator of conflicting interests. When Alessandro had completed his labors as nuncio, the duke laughingly said, as they parted: I can assure you that I have a presentiment that you will be pope. I wish it may be so, replied Alessandro; and I ac

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