Pope Pius VII

Pope Pius VIIAlso known as

  • Luigi Barnaba Chiaramonti
  • Brother Gregory


Youngest of six children of Count Scipione Chiaramonti. His mother was an Italian noble who, when widowed, entered a Carmelite convent and prophesied his ascension to the papacy. Educated at the college for nobility at Ravenna, Italy. Benedictine monk at Santa Maria de Monte age 16, taking the name Brother Gregory. Priest at age 21 on 21 September 1765. Teacher at colleges in Parma and Rome, and the monastery of San Callisto in Rome, Italy. Family friend of Pope Pius VI. Abbot of San Callisto. Bishop of Tivoli, Italy in 1782. Bishop of Imola in the Papal States. Created cardinal by Pope” Pius VI on 14 February 1785. Elected Pope on 14 March 1800 following a 14 week conclave.

Signed the Concordat of 1801 with Napoleon Bonaparte in order to re-establish the Church in post-Revolutionary France. It permitted the civil government to nominate bishops and archbishops, but left it to the Pope to confirm them. Much of the agreement was erased by later declarations (the Organic Acts) by Napoleon, declarations with which Pius did not accept. Travelled to Paris in 1804 to crown Napoleon emperor; this is the incident in which Napoleon took the crown from Pius’s hands, crowning himself.

When Napoleon realized that Pius would not be his puppet, he invaded Italy, taking Rome in 1808 and the Papal States in 1809. Pius was captured and imprisoned in Fontainebleau, France and Savona, Italy, and forced to sign on to another concordat, which he later disavowed.

Pius was freed upon Napoleon’s downfall, and returned to Rome on 24 May 1814. He instituted the Feast of Mary, Help of Christians on 24 May in commemoration. Extended the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows to the whole Church on 18 September 1814. Restored the Jesuits so they could help in his renewed mission to revive the Church in war-torn Europe. Patron of the arts. Fell on 6 July 1823, fracturing his thigh; he died while recuperating from his injury.


Papal Ascension


Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Pope Pius VII“. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 September 2020. Web. 27 January 2022. <>