His Majesty surprised his contemporaries with his long reign (54 years in total since 1661 when he became the true sovereign). However not in all parts of Europe rulers lived so much. The Holy See of that epoch presented a true battle field, where the Divine principles and Faith had to face intrigues, ambitious and a common human vanity.
Louis XIV had a rather friendly relationship with numerous Popes who were destinied to rule in Rome and, except some cases like l’affaire des poisons, France and the Holy See colaborated actively for the good of Christianity. Numerous correspondence containing thousands of Louis XIV’s letters to the Popes proves that positive activity. Louis supported the clergy, granted them lands, opened monasteries and convents. Besides His Majesty sent great religious gifts to Italy, while the French Ambassadors were accepted with respect at the Papal Court.
Here is a list of the Popes who reigned from 1661 to 1715 and, as we may conclude, the time of their power was rather short:
- Alexander VII (1655-1667)
- Clement IX (1667-1669)
- Clement X (1670-1676)
- Innocent XI (1676-1689)
- Alexander VIII (1689-1691)
- Innocent XII (1691-1700)
- Clement XI (1700-1721)
It is an amazing thing how the Providence interfered in history, bringing changes in the most unchangeable state that was the Holy See. I wonder what this Divine diplomacy means. Though, the 17th century might have been a wonderful epoch when so many persons worthy of the Papal tiara have been born.
Vive le Roy! 🙂