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Pope Benedict XIII

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Benedict XIII[1]
Benedict XIII
Papacy began 29 May 1724
Papacy ended 21 February 1730
Predecessor Innocent XIII
Successor Clement XII
Personal details
Birth name Pietro Francesco Orsini
Born February 2, 1649(1649-02-02)
Gravina in Puglia, Kingdom of Naples
Died February 21, 1730 (aged 81)
Rome, Papal State
Other Popes named Benedict

Pope Benedict XIII (2 February 1649 – 21 February 1730), born Pietro Francesco Orsini, later Vincenzo Maria Orsini, was pope from 1724 until his death. He succeeded Pope Innocent XIII (1721–1724).

He was born in Gravina in Puglia to Ferdinando III Orsini, duke of Gravina, and Giovanna Frangipani della Tolfa, from Toritto. He was a member of the Orsini of Rome, the third and last member of that family to become Pope. He entered the Dominican Order and received the name Vincenzo Maria. He was named Cardinal-Priest of San Sisto on 22 February 1672 (allegedly, against his will); later he was bishop of Manfredonia, bishop of Cesena and then archbishop of Benevento.


At first, he called himself Benedict XIV, but afterwards altered the title to Benedict XIII (the previous Benedict XIII having been considered an antipope).

Styles of
{{{papal name}}}
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style None

He endeavoured to put a stop to the decadent lifestyles of the Italian priesthood and of the cardinalate. He also abolished the lottery in Rome. A man fond above all of asceticism and religious celebrations, according to Cardinal Lambertini (later Pope as Benedict XIV) he "did not have any idea about how to rule".[2] The government was effectively held in his lieu by Niccolò Cardinal Coscia, who had been Benedict's secretary when he was archbishop of Benevento, and who committed a long series of financial abuses at his own advantage, causing the ruin of the Papal treasure. According to Montesquieu, "All the money of Rome go to Benevento... as the Beneventani direct [Benedict's] weakness"[3].

In foreign politics, he struggled with John V of Portugal and the Jansenists

Pope Benedict XIII repealed the world wide smoking ban set by Pope Urban VIII.

Benedict XIII, whose orders were descended from Scipione Cardinal Rebiba, personally consecrated at least 139 bishops for various important European sees, including German, French, English and New World bishops. These bishops in turn consecrated bishops almost exclusively for their respective countries causing other episcopal lineages to die. As a result, more than 90% of present-day bishops trace their episcopal lineage through him to Cardinal Rebiba [1] [2].

In 1727 he inaugurated the famous Spanish Steps and founded the University of Camerino.

Benedict died in 1730 and was buried in a tomb in Santa Maria sopra Minerva completed by Pietro Bracci and others. Coscia fled from the city in the circumstance, being excommunicated under the new Pope Clement XII. He was later restored and took part in the conclaves of 1730 and 1740.

Napoli - s Anna di Palazzo - Benedetto XIII 1060635

Napoli, Sant'Anna di Palazzo: memoria di Benedetto XIII

The comment to Benedict's death by Pasquino, the popular satirist of Rome, was:

"This tomb encloses
the bones of a little friar:
more than a saint's lover
a protector of brigands"

Episcopal succession

Episcopal Lineage
Consecrated by: Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri Degli Albertoni
Date of consecration: February 3, 1675
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Tiberio Muscettola May 19, 1680
Domenico Diez de Aux November 13, 1689
Fabrizio Cianci November 30, 1689
Marcello Cavalieri January 15, 1690
Giuseppe Rosa January 22, 1690
Giuseppe Ponzi January 22, 1690
Pietro Vecchia March 12, 1690


  • Wikisource-logo "Pope Benedict XIII" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • Rendina, Claudio (1993). I papi. Storia e segreti. Rome: Newton Compton. 


  1. Pope Benedict X is now considered an antipope. At the time, however, this status was not recognised and so the man the Roman Catholic church officially considers the tenth true Pope Benedict took the official number XI, rather than X. This has advanced the numbering of all subsequent Popes Benedict by one. Popes Benedict XI-XVI are, from an official point of view, the tenth through fifteenth popes by that name.
  2. Rendina, p. 590
  3. Rendina, p. 592
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Innocent XIII
Succeeded by
Clement XII

Popes of the Roman Catholic Church
PeterLinusAnacletusClement IEvaristusAlexander ISixtus ITelesphorusHyginusPius IAnicetusSoterEleuterusVictor IZephyrinusCallixtus IUrban IPontianAnterusFabianCorneliusLucius IStephen ISixtus IIDionysiusFelix IEutychianCaiusMarcellinusMarcellus IEusebiusMiltiadesSilvester IMarkJulius ILiberiusDamasus ISiriciusAnastasius IInnocent IZosimusBoniface ICelestine ISixtus IIILeo IHilariusSimpliciusFelix IIIGelasius IAnastasius IISymmachusHormisdasJohn IFelix IVBoniface IIJohn IIAgapetus ISilveriusVigiliusPelagius IJohn IIIBenedict IPelagius IIGregory ISabinianBoniface IIIBoniface IVAdeodatus IBoniface VHonorius ISeverinusJohn IVTheodore IMartin IEugene IVitalianAdeodatus IIDonusAgathoLeo IIBenedict IIJohn VCononSergius IJohn VIJohn VIISisinniusConstantineGregory IIGregory IIIZacharyStephen IIPaul IStephen IIIAdrian ILeo IIIStephen IVPaschal IEugene IIValentineGregory IVSergius IILeo IVBenedict IIINicholas IAdrian IIJohn VIIIMarinus IAdrian IIIStephen VFormosusBoniface VIStephen VIRomanusTheodore IIJohn IXBenedict IVLeo VSergius IIIAnastasius IIILandoJohn XLeo VIStephen VIIJohn XILeo VIIStephen VIIIMarinus IIAgapetus IIJohn XIILeo VIIIBenedict VJohn XIIIBenedict VIBenedict VIIJohn XIVJohn XVGregory VSilvester IIJohn XVIIJohn XVIIISergius IVBenedict VIIIJohn XIXBenedict IXSilvester IIIBenedict IXGregory VIClement IIBenedict IXDamasus IILeo IXVictor IIStephen IXNicholas IIAlexander IIGregory VIIVictor IIIUrban IIPaschal IIGelasius IICallixtus IIHonorius IIInnocent IICelestine IILucius IIEugene IIIAnastasius IVAdrian IVAlexander IIILucius IIIUrban IIIGregory VIIIClement IIICelestine IIIInnocent IIIHonorius IIIGregory IXCelestine IVInnocent IVAlexander IVUrban IVClement IVGregory XInnocent VAdrian VJohn XXINicholas IIIMartin IVHonorius IVNicholas IVCelestine VBoniface VIIIBenedict XIClement VJohn XXIIBenedict XIIClement VIInnocent VIUrban VGregory XIUrban VIBoniface IXInnocent VIIGregory XIIMartin VEugene IVNicholas VCallixtus IIIPius IIPaul IISixtus IVInnocent VIIIAlexander VIPius IIIJulius IILeo XAdrian VIClement VIIPaul IIIJulius IIIMarcellus IIPaul IVPius IVPius VGregory XIIISixtus VUrban VIIGregory XIVInnocent IXClement VIIILeo XIPaul VGregory XVUrban VIIIInnocent XAlexander VIIClement IXClement XInnocent XIAlexander VIIIInnocent XIIClement XIInnocent XIIIBenedict XIIIClement XIIBenedict XIVClement XIIIClement XIVPius VIPius VIILeo XIIPius VIIIGregory XVIPius IXLeo XIIIPius XBenedict XVPius XIPius XIIJohn XXIIIPaul VIJohn Paul IJohn Paul IIBenedict XVI

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