New Catholic Dictionary – Pope Gregory XV

bust of Pope Gregory XV by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, date unknown; photographed on 6 March 2010 by LaslovargaArticle

Reigned from 9 February 1621 to 18 July 1623. Born in Bologna, Italy in 1554 as Alessandro Ludovisi; died in Rome, Italy on 18 July 1623. He was educated by the Jesuits, entered the papal service as a judge, was Archbishop of Cremona, nuncio to Savoy, and cardinal-priest. His Bull “AEterni Patris” laid down the rules, practically unchanged today, governing papal elections. In these he introduced the secret ballot. He established the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to regulate missionary work; founded the International college for Benedictines at Rome; issued the last papal ordinance against witchcraft, 1623; sent financial aid to Emperor Ferdinand II to regain Bohemia; secured more tolerance for Catholics in England; and aided the Catholic reaction in the Netherlands. War in the Valtelline, Italy, was averted when Gregory’s army seized possession of it before Spain and Austria could open hostilities, and held it until its status was settled.

MLA Citation

  • “Pope Gregory XV”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 August 2018. Web. 2 March 2021. <>