Aerogram - 250th Anniversary of the Pontificate of Clement XIII

Aerogram - 250th Anniversary of the Pontificate of Clement XIII  

Carlo Rezzonico was born in Venice and grew up in a family of recent nobility. His education by the Jesuits in Bologna had a strong influence on his future since events surrouding of the Society of Jesus were to mark profoundly his pontificate. He became Pope on 6 July 1758 and took the name Clement XIII. He had been created a Cardinal in 1737 and since 1743 he was bishop of Padua. His pontificate was marked by the ongoing controversy surrounding the Society of Jesus and the call for its suppression by supporters of the Enlightenment in France. Clement XIII defended the Jesuits, even protesting their expulsion as called for by various European courts (France, Portugal, Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, Reign of the Two Sicilies, Spain). The controversy surrounding the order founded by Ignatius of Loyola motivated Clement XIII to call for a consistory in order to find a solution, but he died on the eve of the scheduled gathering (2 February 1769). The fate of the Society of Jesus was left to his successor, Clement XIV. The image on the aerogramme depicts the Pope kneeling in prayer and is taken from his funerary monument, a work of Canova in St. Peter’s Basilica. The impression displays the coat of arms of Clement XIII.