Roman Catholic Pope. Born Giovanni Angelico Braschi, he was of a noble but impoverished family, and was educated at the Jesuit College of Cesena and studied law at Ferrara. Early in his reign he was faced with the attempts of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to "reform" the church by suppressing monasteries, assuming rights of appointment of clergy, and by other changes. In 1797 a treaty at Tolentino ceded Avignon, Venaissin, Ferrara, Bologna, and the Romagna to the French, along with a huge indemnity and many papal treasures. The pope was taken to Siena, thence to Florence; soon, though he was ill and feeble, the French took him to Turin and to Grenoble. Aged 82 and poorly treated by his captors, he died in exile. His last words: "Lord forgive them." Pius VI was initially buried in Valences, France but on February 17, 1802 his remains were transferred to Saint Peter's Basilica where a statue by Canova of Pope Pius VI in a kneeling position was placed in 1822.
Bio by: MC