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Pope Pius VII

Pope Pius VII  251st Roman Pontiff from 1800 to 1823

251st Pontiff (1800-1823)

Barnaba Chiaramonte was born into nobility on April 14, 1742, in Cesena, Italy. 

Pope Pius VII studied with the Jesuits at Ravena and became a Benedictine.  He was abbot at Saint Callisto and bishop of both Tivoli and Imola before becoming cardinal in 1797 and pope on March 21, 1800.

During Pope Pius VII's early pontificate, Napoleon continued to consolidate power, annexing Church holdings, including The Holy See, causing Pope Pius VII to excommunicate Napoleon who retaliated in July of 1809 by imprisoning Pope Pius VII in Savona, Italy, and then in Fontainebleau, France. 

Napoleon pressured Pope Pius VII to relocate The Holy See to Paris, but Pope Pius VII refused.  In May of 1814, after Napoleon's defeat and banishment to the Island of Elba, Pope Pius VII returned to Rome, revived the  Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and unsuccessfully negotiated with King Louis XVIII of France for the return to the Vatican of holy relics and prized artwork which had been confiscated by Napoleon.

On July 7, 1823 Pope Pius VII broke his leg and died on August 20, 1823 from the unhealed wound.

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