Pius VIII - Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, (Cingoli, MC, November 20, 1761 - Rome, Dec. 1, 1830).
Bishop of Montalto (1800), he was confined by Napoleon I (1808) in Milan, then to Pavia, finally, in Mantua. When the temporal power was restored, he was cardinal and bishop of Cesena (1816), then of Frascati (1821), and Major Penitentiary.
Elected Pope (1829), he should be remembered for his doctrinal competence and for his aversion to any form of nepotism, for his hostility towards secret societies and towards Jansenists and his support to the spread of the moral doctrines by St. Alphonsus Maria dei Liguori; politically, he chose as Secretary of State the Cardinal Albani, who was considered close to Austria, although he didn’t want to displease France.
His pontificate was marked by patience, prudence and the constant search for a mediation thanks to his moderate personality and to an innate inclination to human tolerance.