Pope Benedict XVI: The Benedict Legacy: A Nobleman, a Victim of Poison and a Child

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Benedict XV

Christened Giacomo della Chiesa, he was pope from 1914 to 1922. Born in Genoa of a noble family, he served in the Vatican diplomatic service.

Benedict XIV

Born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, he was pope from 1740 to 1758 and belonged to a noble family of Bologna. Known for denouncing the custom of accommodating Christian words to express non-Christian ideas.

Benedict XIII

Born Pietro Francesco Orsini, he was pope from 1724 to 1730. At first, he called himself Benedict XIV due to the superstition that 13 brings bad luck

Benedict XII

Born Jacques Fournier, he was pope from 1334 to 1342. A Frenchman who became a Cistercian monk, he left to study at Paris University. Tried to curb luxury of monastic orders but without much success.

Benedict XI

Born Nicholas Boccasini, he reigned from 1303 to 1304. After a brief pontificate of eight months, he died suddenly, possibly from poisoning.

Benedict X

Born John Minicus, he was elected in 1058 but a group of cardinals hailed his choice as irregular before electing Pope Hildebrand, invading Rome and forcing Benedict X to flee and renounce the papacy. …