Pius VI

Pope Pius VI

Full Name: Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi
Profession: Pope


Biography: Pope Pius VI succeeded Clement XIV as head of the Catholic Church in 1775 and went on to rule for 24 years, the fifth-longest of any Pope.

Pius XVI inherited a church under attack from the ideas of the Enlightenment. Pius tried to persuade the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II against his ecclesiastical reforms, issued in his Edict of Toleration in 1781 but was largely unsuccessful.

Things in France were equally difficult. In 1791 Pius condemned the French revolution after it demanded French clergy pledge an oath of loyalty to the French regime. Napoléon Bonaparte and his army went on to invade the Papal territories in 1796 and his army occupied Rome in 1798. Pius himself was taken prison and moved, though in ill health, through Italy to Valance in France where he died. His remains were eventually reburied in St. Peter's in Rome in 1802.

Born: December 25, 1717
Birthplace: Cesena, Emilia-Romagna, Papal States
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: August 29, 1799 (aged 81)

Historical Events

  • 1775-02-15 Angelo Braschi chosen as Pope Pius VI
  • 1775-12-25 Pope Pius VI encyclical on the problems of the pontificate
  • 1782-03-22 Pope Pius VI arrives in Vienna to meet with Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to address his ecclesiastical reforms
  • 1789-11-06 Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States
  • 1797-02-19 The Peace of Tolentino : Pope Pius VI cedes Papal territories of Avignon, Venaissin, Ferrara, Bologna, and the Romagna to France
  • 1798-02-20 French General Louis Alexandre Berthier forcibly removes Pope Pius VI from Rome during French occupation of Rome (Pope later dies a prisoner in Valence)
  • 1800-01-30 Pope Pius VI's embalmed remains are finally buried five months after his death in Valance, France

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