Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI [also Alexander Sextus] (born Roderic Llançol i de Borja; 1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 11 August 1492 until his death in 1503.
Born into the prominent Borgia family in Xàtiva under the Crown of Aragon (now Spain), Rodrigo studied law at the University of Bologna. He was ordained deacon and made a cardinal in 1456 after the election of his uncle as Pope Callixtus III, and a year later he became vice-chancellor of the Catholic Church. He proceeded to serve in the Curia under the next four popes, acquiring significant influence and wealth in the process. In 1492, Rodrigo was elected pope, taking the name Alexander VI.
Alexander's papal bulls of 1493 confirmed or reconfirmed the rights of the Spanish crown in the New World following the finds of Christopher Columbus in 1492. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized catalan surname Borgia became a byword for libertinism and nepotism, which are traditionally considered as characterizing his papacy.
- Pro salutae animae sua.
- For the salvation of their soul.
- As pope, to Cardinal Ximenes on the why he saw no reason to hinder his son Cesare Borgia's renunciation of the Purple (August, 1498), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Chapter V: The Renunciation of the Purple.
- For the salvation of their soul.
- The very heart of him.
- As pope, in a letter to the King of France, about the magnificence of his son Cesare Borgia (October, 1498), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Book III The Bull Rampant, Chapter I: The Duchess of Valentinois.
- May the Lord array thee in the garment of salvation and surround thee with the cloak of happiness.
- Inscribed words upon the mantle of gonfalonier given to his son Cesare Borgia (March 29, 1499), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Chapter IV: Gonfalonier of the Church.
- "The Duke (Cesare) is a good-natured man, but he cannot tolerate affronts. I have often told him that Rome is a free city, and that everyone may write and speak as he pleases. Evil is even spoken of me, but I let it pass." The Duke replied: "Rome is accustomed to write and speak; it is well, but I will teach such people repentance."* The Pope finally reminded him how much he himself had forgiven, and especially at the time of Charles VIII's invasion, so many cardinals, whom the King himself had called his betrayers. "I could," he said, "have sentenced the Vice-Chancellor and Cardinal Vincula to death, but I did not wish to harm anyone, and I have forgiven fourteen great nobles."
- Report of the Ferrarese ambassador, Beltrando Costabili to Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, February 1, 1502. Archives of Modena: As quoted in History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (1900), Ferdinand Gregorovius, George Bell & Sons, London, Volume 7, Part 2 (1497-1503), p. 486.  See also L. Pastor, History of the Popes, vol.6, p. 12. . (Commonweal writes: “Whatever his faults, the Pope appears to have been of a forgiving and clement disposition, pardoning foes when he had them in his power, and becoming reconciled with those who had bitterly opposed him. With Savonarola — pulpit methods, by the way, were scarcely as novel and extraordinary then as our author (Peter de Roo) thinks — Alexander VI dealt on the whole rather patiently, more so, indeed, than our author, who is hardly fair to the friar.” -- Commonweal (1924), Commonweal Publishing Company, volume 1, p. 185.)
- I am coming; I am coming. It is just. But wait a little.
- Last words (August, 1503), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Book IV The Bull Cadent, Chapter I: The Death of Alexander VI
- But may God, who grants pardon and loves to save man, in his goodness, give strength to us and make prosperous the Holy See.
- Quoted in, Material for a History of Pope Alexander VI, Peter de Roo, 2:378   Compare: For God loves saving, not condemning, and therefore He is patient with bad people, in order to make good people out of bad people." - St. Augustine, On the Verse of the Psalm: God Will Come Openly, (420-425), Sermon 18:2. Works of Saint Augustine, A translation for the 21st Century, (1990), Pt. III - Sermons, vol. I, (1-19), Edmund Hill, O.P.,translation and notes, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., New City Press, New York, ISBN 0911782753 p. 374. Latin: Non enim amat Deus damnare sed salvare, et ideo patiens est in malos, ut de malis faciat bonos.