A powerful and ambitious pope, the builder of the new St. Peter’s and convoker of the 18th Ecumenical Council, Lateran V. Listen to this episode of Habemus Papam about Julius II, narrated by Fr. Conrad Murphy, a Catholic-Link Podcast. Born, Giuliano della Rovere on December 5, 1443 near Savona in the Republic of Genoa. He came from the House of della Rovere, a noble, but impoverished family. Giuliano’s uncle, Fr. Francesco della Rovere, OFM, educated him. Fr. Francesco later became Pope Sixtus IV on August 10, 1471 and he appointed Giuliano as Bishop of Carpentras.
Later on January 31, 1483, then Cardinal della Rovere, became suburbicarian Bishop of Ostia, who had the privilege to consecrate an elected pope a bishop. This happened when Cardinal della Rovere consecrated Pope Pius III a bishop before his coronation. You can learn more about Pope Pius III in our previous episode.
After Pope Pius III died, the College of Cardinals elected della Rovere pope on November 1, 1503. He took the name Julius II. He was one of most powerful and influential popes and central figure of the High Renaissance. During his papacy, he commissioned the paint of the Sistine Chapel, by Michael Angelo, the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the frescoes of the four large Raphael Rooms, including the School of Athens.
In 1506, Julius II established the Vaticans Museums and organized the Swiss Guards for his personal protection. Having interest in the New World, he established the first bishoprics in Latin America. Machiavelli, author of The Prince, described him as an ideal prince.
Ultimately, on the Vigil of Pentecost, May 1512, Pope Julius became aware that his health declined. He died of a fever in the night on February 20-21, 1513. Pope Leo X succeeded Julius II. Find the tomb of Julius II in St. Peter’s Basilica.