Pope Callixtus III


November 27, 2021

Callisto III, born Alfons de Borja y Cabanilles, in Latin Callistus III (Xàtiva, December 31, 1378 - Rome, August 6, 1458), was the 209th pope of the Catholic Church from 1455 to his death.

Formation and ecclesiastical career

Alfonso de Borgia was born on December 31, 1378 in Torre del Canals, in Játiva, near Valencia, Spain, in one of the most important families of Játiva. He was precisely the eldest son of Domingo de Borgia, a small landowner and country gentleman, and of Francina Llançol. Alfonso had four sisters: Isabella, Giovanna, Catalina and Francesca. He was baptized in the collegiate church of Santa Maria in Torre del Canals. Initially, he studied grammar, logic and arts at the school of Valencia and then from 1392 he studied at the University of Lleida obtaining a doctorate in utroque iure. He spent the beginning of his career as a professor of law in Lleida and then as a diplomat in the service of the kings of Aragon, particularly during the council of Basel. Lector of the University of Lleida, in 1408 the antipope Benedict XIII appointed him councilor and officer of the diocese of Lleida as well as, from 1411, canon of the chapter of the diocesan cathedral.

At the service of Alfonso of Aragon

The rapid rise (1416-1429)

Elected delegate to the diocese of Lleida at the Council of Constance in 1416, he did not take part in the assembly since shortly afterwards King Alfonso V of Aragon ascended the throne and opposed the celebration of the council; for this reason the then canon Borgia went to Barcelona to represent his diocese at the synod of the church of Aragon. In 1418, with the permission of Cardinal Alamanno Adimari, archbishop of Pisa, who served as an envoy of Pope Martin V, he was charged with obtaining the support of King Alfonso V. Borgia worked hard to restore the unity of the church and his influence on the Aragonese monarch, understanding that this was one of the decisive parties for the conclusion of an agreement between the king and the new pope; as a reward, he also received the canonicate of the Barcelona cathedral chapter. In 1418 he was appointed rector of the church of San Nicola in Valencia. From 1420 to 1423 he was in Italy and from May 13 of that last year he was in Los Alfaques and then in December in Barcelona. From 1420 to 1423 he was also vice-chancellor of the University of Lleida, then resigned from his posts to devote all his energies to the diplomatic service of the Spanish king.

The episcopate of Valencia (1429-1442)

Commissioned by the King and Martin V to obtain the peaceful resignation of Clement VIII, Alfonso Borgia went in 1429 to his castle of Peñíscola, where he managed to convince the antipope. As a reward, Alfonso Borgia obtained to be elevated to full episcopate and was elected bishop of Valencia on August 20, 1429, keeping the post until his death (even after his elevation to pope). Consecrated on August 31, 1429 by the hand of Cardinal Pietro di Foix, he authorized Pedro Lloréns to take possession of the see in his name. In 1432, the king called him from Italy to resume his post as royal councilor and even had considered sending him to the Council of Basel, which was taking place that same year, but for different reasons the Council took place without the participation of the Borgia. , who was instead in Tarazona, intending to conclude some negotiations with Castile, and then move to Navarre. In 1436, he obtained the protection of King Alfonso's illegitimate son, Ferrante, and in 1439 he led the Aragonese delegation to the Council of Florence, establishing the first contacts with the papal court thanks to the personal friendship that bound him to cardinals Bessarione and Giuliano Cesarini.

In Naples in the service of King Alfonso (1442-1444)

When in 1442 King Alfonso V started the Aragon dynasty in Naples, the Borgia came

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