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(INNOCENT XI), Blessed Pope (1611-89)

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Declared blessed by Pope Pius XII in 1956.  Born Benedetto Odescalchi.

Much of his reign was concerned with tension with Louis XIV of France.  A conservative, he lowered taxes in the Papal States during his pontificate and he also produced a surplus in the papal budget. Because of this surplus he repudiated excessive nepotism within the Church. Innocent XI was frugal in matters of governing the Papal States, from dress to leading a life with Christian values. Once he was elected to the Papacy, he applied himself to moral and administrative reform of the Roman Curia. He abolished sinecures and pushed for greater simplicity in preaching as well as greater reverence in worship—requesting this of both the clergy and faithful. His cause for canonization was begun shortly after his death but much controversy ensued and the process stopped for over a century. Divine providence has spoken.

D – Document – Untranslated papal breve on vellum dated 1687, two years before his death.  Usual folds and lacking leaden bulla but hemp cord intact.  Nota bene:  we have generously discounted this breve due to a slight “imperfection”. In recent years, some sellers have resorted to manual removal (scraping) of names and places on breve in order to disguise provenance.  A full translation of the breve might reveal important information, but this irritating practice of scraping a vellum document is highly unacceptable.  Overall, the document is very good with usual folds and only faint toning. Were this in “perfect” condition it would be priced $150 higher.

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