Roman Catholic Pope. Born Fabio Chigi, he was the nephew of Pope Paul V. When still young, he was marked by continued ill-health, consequent upon an attack of apoplexy in infancy. Unable to attend school, he was taught first by his mother, and later by able tutors, and displayed remarkable precocity and love of reading. He fulfilled many papal diplomatic missions and was created Cardinal in 1652. Elected Pope in April 1665, during his pontificate difficulties with King Louis XIV of France led to the temporary loss of Avignon and acceptance of the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Pisa. Alexander combated Jansenism by compelling the French clergy to sign his "formulary." A patron of art, he beautified Rome, enlarged the Vatican Library, and befriended men of letters. In 1655 Alexander had received the most celebrated convert of the age, Queen Christina of Sweden, the daughter of Catholicism's great enemy Gustavus Adolphus who had given up a throne for the faith. He served until his death in May 1667.
Bio by: MC