GREGORY XV. (Alessandro Ludovisi) was born on the 9th of January 1554, in Bologna, where he also studied and taught. He was made archbishop of his native place and cardinal by Paul V., whom he succeeded as pope on the 9th of February 1621. Despite his age and feebleness, Gregory displayed remarkable energy. He aided the emperor in the Thirty Years' War, and the king of Poland against the Turks. He endorsed the claims of Maximilian of Bavaria to the electoral dignity, and was rewarded with the gift of the Heidelberg library, which was carried off to Rome. Gregory founded the Congregation of the Propaganda, encouraged missions, fixed the order to be observed in conclaves, and canonized Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Philip Neri and Theresa de Jesus. He died on the 8th of July 1623, and was succeeded by Urban VIII.
See the contemporary life by Vitorelli, continuator of Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae summorum pontiff. Rom.; Ranke's excellent account, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), ii. 468 seq.; v. Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom, iii. 2, 609 seq.; Brosch, Gesch. des Kirchenstaates (1880), i. 370 seq.; and the extended bibliography in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopddie, s.v. " Gregor XV." (T. F. C.)
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