Pope Innocent XIII (Latin: Innocentius XIII), born as Michelangelo dei Conti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 May 1721 to his death in 1724. He is the last pope to date to take the pontifical name of "Innocent" upon his election.
Pope Innocent XIII was reform-oriented, and he imposed new standards of frugality, abolishing excessive spending. He took steps to finally end the practice of nepotism by issuing a decree which forbade his successors from granting land, offices or income to any relatives - something opposed by many cardinals who hoped that they might become pope and benefit their families.
After the death of Pope Clement XI in 1721, a conclave was called to choose a new pope. It took 75 ballots just to reach a decision and choose Conti as the successor of Clement XI. After all candidates seemed to slip, support turned to Conti. The curial factions also turned their attention to him. In the morning of 8 May 1721, he was elected. He chose the name of Innocent XIII in honour of Pope Innocent III. On the following 18 May, he was solemnly crowned by the protodeacon, Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili.
Innocent XIII fell ill in 1724. He was tormented by a hernia of which he spoke to nobody but his valet. At one point, it had burst and caused inflammation and fever. Innocent XIII asked for the last rites, made his profession of faith, and died on 7 March 1724, at the age of 69. His pontificate was unremarkable, given that he was hampered by physical suffering. He was interred in the grottoes at Saint Peter's Basilica.
In 2005 upon the occasion of the 350 years since the birth of the late pontiff, the citizens in the late pope's village of birth asked the Holy See to introduce the cause of beatification for Innocent XIII.
|Reigned as||In Country||From||To||Coins Issued|
|Papa Innocentius XIII (Pope Innocent XIII)||Holy See||8 May 1721||7 March 1724|
|Papa Innocentius XIII (Pope Innocent XIII)||Papal States||8 May 1721||7 March 1724|