Pope Paul IV

pope of catholic church 1555-1559

Pope Paul IV (Latin: Paulus Quartus; 28 June 1476 – 18 August 1559), born Giovanni Pietro Carafa, was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church and the 221st Pope from 23 May 1555 until his death.[1]

Paul IV
Papacy began23 May 1555
Papacy ended18 August 1559
PredecessorPope Clement VII
SuccessorPope Julius III
Personal details
Birth nameGiovanni Pietro Carafa
Born28 June 1476
Capriglia Irpina, Kingdom of Naples
Died18 August 1559
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named Paul

Early life


Giovanni Pietro Carafa was born in Capriglia Irpina in a noble family of Naples.[2]



Pope Leo X sent Carafa as ambassador to England and then as papal nuncio in Spain.[2]

In 1524, Pope Clement VII allowed Carafa to retire from diplomacy to head a monastery.[2]

Pope Paul III recalled him to Rome.[2]



In 1536, Carafa was made Cardinal and Archbishop of Naples.[3]

He reorganized the Roman Inquisition.[2]

Cardinal Carafa was elected popein 1555;[2] and he chose to be called Paul IV.

Pope Paul was involved in Italian and European political disputes.[2]

Pope Paul IV quarrelled with Philip II. of Spain, who sent the Duke of Alba with an army from Naples to invade the Papal States. At the gates of Rome, a peace was concluded in 1557.[4]

In the context of the Counter-Reformation, this pope supported the Inquisition in Italy.[5]

After his death


He was buried in St. Peter's Basilica but was later transferred to Santa Maria sopra Minerva.



The Coat of Arms of Paul IV
  1. "List of Popes," Catholic Encyclopedia (2009); retrieved 2011-11-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Pope Paul IV," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-10-29.
  3. "Paul IV," Encyclopedia Britannica (1911), p. 956.
  4. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. (1833). "Paul IV," Penny cyclopaedia, Vols. 17-18, p. 323.
  5. Gallenga, Antonio Carlo Napoleone. (1841). Italy: General Views of Its History and Literature in Reference to Its Present State, Vol. II, p. 99.

Other websites


  Media related to Paulus IV at Wikimedia Commons

  •   "Pope Paul IV" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  • Catholic Hierarchy, Pope Paul IV
  • Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Cardinal Carafa Archived 2018-01-05 at the Wayback Machine
Preceded by
Marcellus II
Succeeded by
Pius IV