Pope Paul III


Paul III
Bishop of Rome
Titian - Pope Paul III - WGA22962.jpg
Papacy began13 October 1534
Papacy ended10 November 1549
PredecessorClement VII
SuccessorJulius III
Ordination26 June 1519
Consecration2 July 1519
by Leo X
Created cardinal20 September 1493
by Alexander VI
Personal details
Birth nameAlessandro Farnese
Born29 February 1468
Canino, Lazio, Papal States
Died10 November 1549(1549-11-10) (aged 81)
Rome, Papal States
PartnerSilvia Ruffini (Mistress)
ChildrenPier Luigi II Farnese
Paolo Farnese
Ranuccio Farnese
Costanza Farnese
Lucrezia Farnese
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Coat of armsPaul III's coat of arms
Other popes named Paul
Papal styles of
Pope Paul III
Coat of arms of Pope Paul III.svg
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone

Pope Paul III (Latin: Paulus III; 29 February 1468 – 10 November 1549), born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope from 13 October 1534 to his death in 1549.

He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation. During his pontificate, and in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, new Catholic religious orders and societies, such as the Jesuits, the Barnabites, and the Congregation of the Oratory, attracted a popular following.

He convened the Council of Trent in 1545. He was a significant patron of the arts and employed nepotism to advance the power and fortunes of his family. It is to Pope Paul III that Nicolaus Copernicus dedicated De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres).


Early life and career

Born in 1468 at Canino, Latium (then part of the Papal States), Alessandro Farnese was the oldest son of Pier Luigi I Farnese, Signore di Montalto (1435–1487) and his wife Giovanna Caetani,[1] a member of the Caetani family which had also produced Pope Boniface VIII. The Farnese family had prospered over the centuries but it was Alessandro’s ascendency to the papacy and his dedication to family interests which brought about the most significant increase in the family’s wealth and power.

Alessandro’s humanist education was at the University of Pisa and the court of Lorenzo de' Medici.[2] Initially trained as an apostolic notary, he joined the Roman Curia in 1491 and in 1493 Pope Alexander VI appointed him Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Cosma e Damiano. Farnese’s sister, Giulia was reputedly a mistress of Alexander VI and might have been instrumental in securing this appointment for her brother. For this reason, he was sometimes mockingly referred to as the "Borgia brother-in-law," just as Giulia was mocked as "the Bride of Christ." More disparagingly he was referred to as "Cardinal Fregnese" (translated as Cardinal Cunt).[3] As Bishop of Parma, he came under the influence of his vicar-general, Bartolomeo Guidiccioni. This led to the future pope breaking off the relationship with his mistress and committing himself to reform in his Parma diocese.[4] Under Pope Clement VII (1523–34) he became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Dean of the College of Cardinals, and on the death of Clement VII in 1534, was elected as Pope Paul III.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Pous Paulus III
Alemannisch: Paul III.
العربية: بولس الثالث
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Павал III (папа рымскі)
български: Павел III
brezhoneg: Paol III
català: Pau III
čeština: Pavel III.
Cymraeg: Pab Pawl III
Deutsch: Paul III.
eesti: Paulus III
español: Paulo III
Esperanto: Paŭlo la 3-a
euskara: Paulo III.a
فارسی: پل سوم
français: Paul III
Gàidhlig: Pàpa Pòl III
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kau-fòng Paulus 3-sṳ
hrvatski: Pavao III.
Bahasa Indonesia: Paus Paulus III
italiano: Papa Paolo III
Basa Jawa: Paus Paulus III
ქართული: პავლე III (პაპი)
Kiswahili: Papa Paulo III
Latina: Paulus III
latviešu: Pāvils III
lietuvių: Paulius III
македонски: Папа Павле III
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Gáu-huòng Paulus 3-sié
Nederlands: Paus Paulus III
norsk: Paul III
português: Papa Paulo III
Runa Simi: Pawlu III
русский: Павел III
sicilianu: Paulu III
Simple English: Pope Paul III
slovenščina: Papež Pavel III.
српски / srpski: Папа Павле III
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pavao III.
svenska: Paulus III
Türkçe: III. Paulus
українська: Павло III
Tiếng Việt: Giáo hoàng Phaolô III
粵語: 保祿三世
中文: 保祿三世