Pope Benedict XV

pope of the Catholic Church from 1914 to 1922

Pope Benedict XV (Latin: Benedictus PP. XV; Italian: Benedetto XV, 21 November 1854 – 22 January 1922), born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church and the 259th Pope from 1914 until his death in 1922.[1]


Benedict XV
Papacy began3 September 1914
Papacy ended22 January 1922
PredecessorPope Pius X
SuccessorPope Pius XI
Personal details
Birth nameGiacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa
Born(1854-11-21)21 November 1854
Pegli, Piemont-Sardinia
Died22 January 1922(1922-01-22) (aged 67)
Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
MottoIn Te Domine Speravi, Non Confundar In Aeternum (In Thee O Lord, I have hoped, not to be ashamed forever)
Other popes named Benedict

His pontificate was largely overshadowed by World War I.[2]

Priest change

Della Chiesa was ordained a priest on 21 December 1878.

Bishop change

Pope Pius X made della Chiesa Bishop of Bologna in 1907.

Cardinal change

On 25 May 1914, Giacomo della Chiesa was created a cardinal.

Pope change

Cardinal Della Chiesa was elected pope in 1914; and he chose to be called Benedict XV.[3]

Joan of Arc was canonized by Benedict.[4]

Benedict made efforts to encourage peace in World War I. He refused to denounce either side.[5] In 1918, Pope Benedict was excluded from the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, despite his entreaties to be made part of the talks.[4]

Benedict XV helped develop a Code of Canon Law.[4]

Benedict XV was the fourth Pope since the Kingdom of Italy took possession of Rome.[6]

The last years of his papacy were concerned with making sure that the Church could still function smoothly in the newly changed borders of Europe.[5]

Death and legacy change

Benedict XV fell ill with pneumonia in early January 1922.[4] He died on 22 January 1922.[7] The Italian Government lowered its flags in his honor; Benedict was the first pope to be honored in this way.[6]

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI explained why he chose the name Benedict:

"... I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples."

Related pages change

References change

The Coat of Arms of Benedict XV
  1. "List of Popes," Catholic Encyclopedia (2009); retrieved 2011-11-8.
  2. "Pope Benedict XV," Archived 2012-01-28 at the Wayback Machine New Catholic Dictionary (1910); retrieved 2011-11-8.
  3. Note on ordinal numbering: Popes Benedict XI–XVI are really the 10th–15th popes with that name. This is because Benedict X is now parsed as an antipope; but during the reign of Benedict XI, this was not recognized. The "true" or actual fourteenth pope Benedict identified himself with the ordinal number XV. In other words, the numbering of popes after the 10th Benedict needs to be explained -- compare Popes Boniface VIII–IX.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Williams, Timothy. "Last Pope Benedict Focused on Ending World War I," New York Times. April 19, 2005; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Benedict XV | pope". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-05-28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 McCormick, Anne O'Hare. "The Old Pope and Papal Prestige," New York Times. February 12, 1922; rtrieved 2011-11-9.
  7. "Body of Pope Benedict XV Lies in State," New York Times. January 23, 1922; retrieved 2011-11-8.

More reading change

Other websites change

  Media related to Benedictus XV at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Pius X
Succeeded by
Pius XI