Pius VIII: Pope Leo XII’s childhood schoolmate who couldn’t be more different.
In this episode of Habemus Papam, Fr. Conrad discusses Pius VIII, who succeeded Leo XII: An old traditionalist Pope who tries to reset Europe after the upheavals of the French Revolution. You can listen to the podcast about him here.
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Born Francesco Saverio Maria Felice Castiglioni on November 20, 1761 in Cingoli, Marche as the third of eight children to Count Ottavio Castiglioni and his wife Sanzia Ghislieri.
He received an education at the Collegio Campana and the University of Bologna and earned a doctorate in canon law and civil law in 1785.
He received the sacrament of Holy Orders in Rome on December 17, 1785.
Pope Leo XII died in 1829 and a conclave ensued to pick a compromise candidate. Cardinal Castiglioni was a year younger than Leo XII, so the conclave considered him a good candidate. They coronated him on April 5, 1829 and he chose the name Pius VIII. Pope Pius VIII declared St. Bernard of Clairvaux a Doctor of the Church on August 20, 1830.
In poor health for the majority of his papacy, he became especially ill in November 1830 and died on November 30, 1830. Pope Gregory XVI succeeded him.