Pope Callixtus III

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Pope Callixtus III

Pope Callixtus III (31 December 1378 – 6 August 1458), also known as Alfonso de Borgia), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 April 1455 to his death in 1458.

He is the most recent pope to have taken the pontifical name of "Callixtus" upon his election. He was also responsible for the retrial of Joan of Arc that saw her vindicated. A member of the powerful Borgia family, Callixtus III was the uncle of Pope Alexander VI, whom he appointed to the College of Cardinals.

Quotes[edit]

  • We ratify the law, but we condemn your interpretation, for He of whom ye say that He will come—our Lord Jesus Christ—has come, as the Church teaches us and preaches.
    • Remarks to the representatives of the Jews who handed him a roll of the law during his post-coronation procession, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 338
  • I, Pope Calixtus, vow to Almighty God and the Holy Trinity that by war, maledictions, interdicts, excommunications, and all other means in my power, I will pursue the Turks, the most cruel foes of the Christian name.
    • Letter written shortly after his election as Pope, quoted in Mandell Creighton, A History of the Papacy during the Period of the Reformation, Vol. II: The Council of Basel—The Papal Restoration, 1418–1464 (1882), pp. 346–347
  • I, Pope Calixtus III, promise and vow to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the heavenly host, that I will do everything in my power, even, if need be, with the sacrifice of my life, aided by the counsel of my worthy brethren, to reconquer Constantinople, which in punishment for the sin of man has been taken and ruined by Mahomet II, the son of the devil and the enemy of our Crucified Redeemer. Further, I vow to deliver the Christians languishing in slavery, to exalt the true Faith and to extirpate the diabolical sect of the reprobate and faithless Mahomet in the East. For there the light of Faith is almost completely extinguished. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee. If I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy, God and His holy Gospel help me. Amen.
    • Solemn vow shortly after his election as Pope, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 346
  • Nothing will induce me to leave Rome, not even if, like so many others, I am to fall a victim to the plague. Mahomet, the enemy of our faith, compels me to remain. He does not relax his efforts, although thousands in his immense army have been carried off.
    • Remarks to the Milanese ambassador, Jacopo Calcaterra (27 July 1456), quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 399
  • The Christian who does not now render assistance in following up the victory God has granted proves himself unworthy of divine favours.
    • Letter to Cardinal Alain (8 October 1456) after the Siege of Belgrade, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 379
  • Woe, woe to those, whoever they may be, who hinder the cause of the crusade!
    • Brief to Cardinal Alain (16 February 1457), quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 380
  • Away, away with these things! take them for the Turks! Earthenware will do quite as well for me!
    • Brief (undated) on his sacrificing his silver plate to finance the crusade against the Ottomans, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 387
  • I have been chosen for the destruction of the enemies of the Faith.
    • Inscription on the medal commemorating the victory over the Ottomans in August 1457 at Mitylene, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 438
  • Beloved son! continue to defend the Catholic Faith; God, for whom you fight, will not abandon His cause. He will, I am confident, grant success against the Turks and the other unbelievers to you and the rest of the Christians with great glory and honour.
    • Letter to Skanderbeg (17 September 1457), quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 434
  • Only cowards fear danger; the palm of glory grows nowhere but on the battle-field.
    • Remark (1458), quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 387

Quotes about Pope Callixtus III[edit]

  • The Pope speaks and thinks of nothing but the crusade.
    • Gabriel of Verona, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 348
  • Whatever was achieved against the Turks was entirely the Pope's doings, and the great deliverance wrought at Belgrade is to be ascribed most properly to him.
    • German Protestant historian Karl Adolf Menzel, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 398
  • Except for his nepotism, Calixtus III deserves high praise, more especially for the energy, constancy and purpose which he displayed in dealing with the burning question of the day—the protection of Western civilization from the Turkish power. In this matter he gave a grand example to Christendom, and it is to be observed that in the midst of the military and political interest which claimed so large a share of his time and attention, he did not neglect the internal affairs of the Church, and vigorously opposed heresies.
    • Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), pp. 479–480

External links[edit]

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