- Giovanni Angelo Medici
Younger son of Bernardino, a tax collector; his brother became a soldier and adventurer. Studied philosophy, medicine, and law at Pavia and Bologna in Italy, earning a doctor of law. Advisor to Pope Paul III. Governor of several towns in the papal states. Archbishop of Ragusa, Italy. Vice-legate of Bologna. Cardinal in April 1549 by Pope Paul III. Papal legate and commander of papal troops in Romagna. 224th pope in 1559 after a three month conclave.
To bring civil calm, he immediately pardoned those involved in the riot that occurred at the end of Paul IV‘s pontificate, and to bring to trial corrupt members of the old court. Re-opened the Council of Trent on 18 January 1562, and with the help of Saint Charles Borromeo, brought it to a successful conclusion, confirming its decrees by a bull on 26 January 1564. Founded the pontifical printing office. Embarked on an extensive building campaign throughout the papal states. Supported the war against Muslim Turks in Hungary. Supported Saint Teresa of Avila‘s reform of the Carmelites. He was so mild in dealing with suspected heretics that the fanatic Benedetto Accolti questioned the pope‘s orthodoxy, and conspired to assassinate him; the plot was discovered and crushed in 1565. Pius died soon after, however, of natural causes; Saint Philip Neri and Saint Charles Borromeo were with him at the end.
- 9 December 1565 of fever at Rome, Italy
- buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica
- relics transferred to the church of San Maria degli Angeli, a structure desgined by Michelangelo and financed by Pius, on 4 June 1583
Pius IV had faults (who is without them?); but they are as nothing compared with his many virtues. His memory shall ever remain in benediction for having brought to a glorious termination the Council of Trent; for having reformed all the Roman tribunals; for having maintained order and plenty in his dominion; for having promoted to the cardinalate men of great merit and rare literary ability; finally, for having avoided excess of love for his kindred, and enriched Rome by the building of so many fine edifices. – Muratori, historian