My Type of Pope: Innocent XI



Therefore, we who occupy Peter’s throne and possess power equal to his, not by our own merits but because of almighty God’s inscrutable wisdom, steadfastly desire that the Christian people embrace that faith proclaimed by Christ our Lord through his apostles in a continuous and uninterrupted tradition; the faith which he promised will endure to the end of the world.

Pope Innocent XI



Pope Innocent XI, Pope from 1676-1689, was one of the greatest men ever to stand in the shoes of the fisherman.  Here are some of his accomplishments:

1. Successfully organized a crusade which ended in the decisive defeat of the Turks at Vienna on September 12, 1683.

2.  Instituted the feast of the Holy Name of Mary in commemoration of the victory at Vienna.

3.  Inheriting an insolvent treasury, he lowered taxes in the Papal States and produced a budget surplus through his frugality.

4.  He battled Louis XIV of France, disapproved the Gallican Liberties which sought to turn the Church in France into an arm of the State and condemned Louis’ persecution of the Huegenots.

5.  In his bull Sanctissimus Dominus he stated that the unborn do have souls and condemned all abortions as homicides.

6.  He condemned the compulsory baptisms of Jews.

7.  He attacked nepotism, ever a cancer within the Church.

8.  He passed measures to reform the lives of the clergy.

9.  He was a proponent of frequent reception of Communion.

When his corpse was exhumed 267 years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt.  Beatified in 1956, it is shameful that this champion of Christ has not yet been canonized.

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  1. His other great achievement was to preserve the “Peace of Clement IX” between the Jesuits and the Jansenists, in a determined effort to prevent either party unchurching the other and to keep the Church in France united.

  2. If enough people spoke up, he would be canonized. Far too many in the Holy See these days see the Council as the creation of a whole new Church and have acted as such.

  3. Maybe we could all pray to Innocent XI that PF might, by the grace of heaven, be filled in his heart and mind and soul with the power and love and healing and the fire of the Holy Spirit; that he might have an epiphany like St. Paul and stop persecuting the Church.
    If this miracle occurs he should easily be sainted since John XXIII, the father of smoke in the church, seemed to be appointed as an offset to JPII. Can’t let those nasty trads have anything, can we?

  4. Our Guardian Angels are pure, innocent spirits and have the power to be every where at all times. and the Archangels and the saints in heaven. I pray, Pope Innocent XI is among them and King Jan Sobieski.

  5. It can take centuries for canonization. Given that Blessed Pope Innocent is indeed blessed, I think it will one day happen.
    I do not know how many heads of states have been canonized, other than King Saint Louis, and that Queen Isabel the Catholic is a Servant of God. Jan III Sobieski was old by the standards of the day in 1683 and died in 1696, I believe, and not a popular man with the Polish nobles (who drove Poland into weakness, decline and partition). Canonized or not, he was a devout Catholic, faithful husband, devoted father and a true Defender of the Faith.

  6. I like Shawn”s idea of praying for a miracle of metanoia for our pope, and I would extend that request for a miraculous turning back to God to our whole Church- me, you, and them…
    Innocent may have been successfully interceding for the Church for 300 years and so I thank him… But, boy, we really need some extra assistance now!
    We need his prayers. And we really need to step up our own

  7. He had to have had a great sense of goodness, love, reverence, husbandry, and, well, virtue – derived from faith in the integrity of the God-given books, conveniently bound for the ages.
    There is a wish that sermons in the breviary could be used on Sundays – as both an avoidance of invisible time clocks for the demands of attention disorders and a deterrent of grammar with run-on shipwrecks.

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