Pope Julius II, elected by near unanimous vote

Pope Julius II was bishop of Carpentras

Pope Julius II sat on the throne of Peter from 1503 to 1513. He had two nicknames: The Fearsome Pope and the Warrior Pope. His real name was Giuliano della Rovere and he was born on December 5th, 1443.

One of his uncles, Pope Sixtus IV, took care of his education, sending him to a convent to learn sciences.

He did not become a religious however, but shortly after his uncle became pope, Giuliano became Bishop of Carpentras in France.


How he became Pope 

Giuliano became cardinal of San Pietro in Vincula, which title was formerly held by his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV. His uncle sent him to France in 1480. During the four years he remained there, he gained great influence in the College of Cardinals.

The Vicar Innocent VIII died in 1492 and a member of the Borgia Family, Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, was elected as the New Vicar, Alexander VI. Giuliano accused Borgia that he was elected by means of simony and secret agreements.

Because of these accusations he had to flee to Ostia.

He tried to convocate a council to obtain the deposition of Alexander VI, but did not succeed.

But Alexander VI died in the year 1503 and was succeeded by Cardinal Piccolomini of Siena, who died twenty six days later.

Supported by Cesare Borgia, Giuliano became pope himself in this same year, by near unanimous vote. His election only took a few hours!

He succeeded to prevent the Borgia Family to hold on to their power over the Papal States.


His most remarkable achievements as Pope

  • He got rid of the powers which almost overwhelmed his papacy.
  • He made it impossible for the Borgia Family to keep their power over the Papal States.
  • He reconciled the two powerful Roman Families, Orsini and Colonna.
  • He improved and beautified Rome.
  • He laid the foundation stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica.
  • He commissioned several of Michelangelo's greatest works, like the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.


Sadly, this Pope died of fever in February 1513. He is buried in St. Peter's in the Vatican. The Pope who succeeded him was Pope Leo X.


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