Pope Sixtus V

Pope Sixtus V (13 December 1521 – 27 August 1590), born Felice Piergentile, was head of the Catholic Church from 24 April 1585 to his death. As a youth, he joined the Franciscan order, where he displayed talents as a scholar and preacher, and enjoyed the patronage of Pius V, who made him a cardinal. As a cardinal, he was known as Cardinal Montalto.


Sixtus V
Bishop of Rome
DioceseDiocese of Rome
SeeHoly See
Papacy began24 April 1585
Papacy ended27 August 1590
PredecessorGregory XIII
SuccessorUrban VII
Consecration12 January 1567
by Antonio Lauro
Created cardinal17 May 1570
by Pius V
Personal details
Birth nameFelice Piergentile, then Felice Peretti
Born(1521-12-13)13 December 1521
Grottammare, Papal States
Died27 August 1590(1590-08-27) (aged 68)
Rome, Papal States
Previous post(s)
Coat of arms
Other popes named Sixtus

As Pope, he energetically rooted out corruption and lawlessness across Rome, and launched a far-sighted rebuilding programme that continues to provoke controversy, as it involved the destruction of antiquities. The cost of these works was met by heavy taxation that caused much suffering. His foreign policy was regarded as over-ambitious, and he excommunicated both Queen Elizabeth I of England and King Henry IV of France. He is recognized as a significant figure of the Counter-Reformation.