Pope Benedict XIII Biography
Birthday: February 2, 1649 (Aquarius)
Born In: Gravina in Puglia, Italy
Pope Benedict XIII was the pope from 29 May 1724 to his death in 1730. The cause for his canonization was first opened in 1755 but closed soon after. It was re-opened and closed twice again. Eventually he was given the posthumous title of Servant of God. Born into the archducal family of Orsini-Gravina, he developed a liking for the Order of St. Dominic at a young age. On a visit to Venice when he was 16, he decided to enter the Dominican novitiate going against the wishes of his parents. His parents tried their best to dissuade him from taking the decision, but the determined young man had made up his mind. A simple and humble person religiously devoted to the church, he was soon elevated to the cardinalate. Following the death of Pope Innocent XIII in 1724, he was elected to be his successor. As someone who believed in living an austere lifestyle, he was much against the extravagance of the cardinals and ecclesiastics and attempted to bring about reformation by enforcing a life of rigid discipline upon them. Being a lover of peace he found himself in constant struggle with John V of Portugal and the Jansenists regarding foreign politics. As the pope he also inaugurated the famous Spanish Steps and founded the University of Camerino.