4th CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF POPE INNOCENT XII

4th CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF POPE INNOCENT XII  

This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Antonio Pignatelli, born in 1615 in Spinazzola, Puglia, and elected Pope in 1691 taking the name Innocent XII. His pontificate is remembered especially for the reforms he made in the Church and the Roman Curia, in addition to his works of a civic nature which helped the city of Rome. His most well known and celebrated measure came in 1692 with the publication of the papal bull, “Romanum decet Pontificem”, which aimed to end the practice of nepotism, implementing an effort his predecessor, Alexander VIII, had worked on for a long time. Pope Innocent XII was very much loved by the people since he knew how to unite his skill and political determination with a simple and modest lifestyle. He dedicated special efforts to reach out to the poor by assisting them during the plague, earthquakes and flooding of the Tiber, events afflicting Rome during his pontificate. He called the Jubilee of 1950, but because of illness affecting him, he was unable to open the Holy Door himself or conclude the jubilee celebrations. He died on 27 September of that year. The Philatelic and Numismatic Office is marking the anniversary of his birth with the issue of a 0.95 cent stamp on a sheet of ten. The image on the stamp features an etching found in the offices of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness, produced by the prominent De Rossi printing house operating in Rome from 1648 to 1738.