Pope Julius III

Pope Julius III

Infobox pope|English name=Julius III|Latin name=Julius PP. III

birth_name=Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte
term_start=February 7, 1550|term_end=March 23, 1555
predecessor=Paul III|successor=Marcellus II
birth_date=birth date|1487|9|10|mf=y|birthplace=Rome, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1555|3|23|1487|9|10|mf=y|deathplace=???|other=Julius

Pope Julius III (September 10, 1487 – March 23, 1555), born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, was Pope from February 7, 1550 to 1555.


The last of the High Renaissance Popes, Julius III was born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte in Rome in 1487. His father was a famous jurist, and he succeeded his uncle as archbishop of Siponto (Manfredonia) in Apulia in 1513, adding the diocese of Pavia in 1520. At the Sack of Rome (1527) he was one of the hostages given by Pope Clement VII (1523–34) to the Emperor's forces, and might have been killed in the Campo de' Fiori as others were, had he not been secretly liberated by Cardinal Pompeo Colonna.

In 1536 he was created cardinal-bishop of Palestrina by Pope Paul III (1534–49), by whom he was employed on several important legations; he was the first president of the Council of Trent, opening its first session at Trent, December 13, 1545, with a brief oration. At the council, he was the leader of the papal party against Emperor Charles V (1519–56), with whom he came into conflict on various occasions, especially when, on March 26, 1547, he transferred the Council to Bologna.

Paul III died on November 10, 1549, and in the ensuing conclave the forty-eight cardinals were divided into three factions: the Imperials, the French, and the adherents of the Farnese. The French cardinals were able to prevent the election of the other two factions, and Cardinal del Monte was duly elected Pope Julius III on February 7, 1550, as a compromise, after a conclave of ten weeks, although the Emperor had expressly excluded him from the list of acceptable candidates. Ottavio Farnese, Paul III's grandson, was immediately confirmed as Duke of Parma.

The papacy of Julius III

In 1551, at the request of the Emperor Charles V, he consented to the reopening of the council of Trent and entered into a league against the duke of Parma and Henry II of France (1547–59), but soon afterwards made terms with his enemies and suspended the meetings of the council (1553). (For the history of papal conflicts with councils, see conciliar movement). He was also a friend of the Jesuits, to whom he granted a fresh confirmation in 1550.

Julius spent the bulk of his time, and a great deal of Papal money, on entertainments at the Villa Giulia, created for him by Vignola, where putti play with one another's genitals amidst the vine-covered trellis of the ceiling fresco. Julius extended his patronage to the great Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, whom he brought to Rome as his "maestro di cappella", Giorgio Vasari, who supervised the design of the Villa Giulia, and to Michelangelo, who worked there. But the pope's lack of interest in political or ecclesiastical affairs caused dismay among his contemporaries, Joachim du Bellay the French poet in the retinue of Cardinal du Bellay, expressing his scandalized opinion of Julius' priorities in two sonnets in his series "Les regrets" (1558).

Far worse scandal surrounded Julius' relationship with his adoptive "nephew", Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte, a beggar-boy whom he had picked up on the streets of Parma some years earlier. [Innocenzo may have been 13 or 14 when he first began to serve the future pope; he was about 17 when Julius made him a cardinal.] Julius raised the uncouth and quasi-illiterate Innocenzo to the cardinalate as cardinal-nephew, and showered him with benefices [Abbot "commendatario" of the abbeys of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, S. Zeno in Verona, June 1552; later of the abbeys of S. Saba, Miramondo, and of Grottaferrata, Frascati; and other appointments.] to the point where his income was one of the highest in Europe. Gossip called the boy Julius's "Ganymede," and the Venetian ambassador reported that Innocenzo shared the pope's bedroom and bed. The relationship became a staple of anti-papal polemics for over a century: it was said that Julius, awaiting Innocenzo's arrival in Rome to receive his cardinal's hat, showed the impatience of a lover awaiting a mistress, and that he boasted of the boy's prowess.cite web |last=Crompton |first=Louis |title=Julius III |work=glbtq.com |year=2004 |accessdate=2007-08-16 |url=http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/julius_III.html] Despite the damage which the affair was inflicting on the church, it was not until after Julius' death in 1555 that anything could be done to curb Innocenzo's visibility. One outcome of the Innocenzo affair, however, was the upgrading of the position of Papal Secretary of State, as the incumbent had to take over the duties Innocenzo was unfit to perform: the Secretary of State eventually replaced the cardinal-nephew as the most important official of the Holy See. [See [http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios1550.htm The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Biographical Dictionary - Pope Julius III (1550-1555) - Consistory of May 30, 1550 (I)] for a summary of Innocenzo Del Monte's life based on Francis Burkle-Young and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer's authoritative biography, "The life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte".]


*cite book|title=P. Messina, 'Del Monte, Innocenzo', Dizionario biografico degli italiani, Vol 38, Rome, 1990.
* Bayle, Pierre. "Jules III." Dictionnaire historique et critique". Vol. 15. Paris: Desoer, 1820.
* Burkle-Young, Francis A., and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer. "The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte: A Scandal in Scarlet." Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 1997.
* Dall'Orto, Giovanni. "Julius III." "Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History from Antiquity to World War II." Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London: Routledge, 2001. 234-35.
* Kelly, J. N. D. "The Oxford Dictionary of Popes." Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.

External links

* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8808585 Julius III at Find-A-Grave]
* [http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios1550.htm Career of Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte]

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