Emilio Altieri was born in Rome on the 13th of July 1590.

He felt called to the priesthood early in life and spent his time in Rome studying

He had a close relationship with many of the Popes whose reigns he witnessed in his long life. He was made nuncio to Naples by Innocent X, Alexander VII made him Secretary of the congregation of Bishops and his immediate predecessor Clement IX appointed him superintendent of the papal exchequer.

For all his good works Altieri was only made a cardinal by Clement IX on the 9th of December 1669 (the eve of his death {Clement IX’s}). It is said he would have received the cardinalate early but he refused the honour in favour of another priest.

It is alleged that Altieri was only made Pope because the Conclave of Cardinals, unable to find an ideal candidate, resorted to electing the oldest reasonable candidate. Hence Altieri was crowned Pope Clement X on the 29th of April 1670.

The Altieris were a noble Roman family with a huge history however all of the male members of Emilio’s generation had chosen the religious life leaving Laura Caterina Altieri as the sole heiress of the family. Concerned the family name would die out Clement X married Laura to a member of the Paoluzzi family causing that whole family to take the double barrelled name Paoluzzi-Altieri.

Clement X then made Laura’s husband, Cardinal Paoluzzi-Altieri, “cardinal nephew” and over the years he entrusted more and more of the administration and the running of day to day affairs to his new assistant.

Although he did less and less administrative work as his reign drew on he did not become idle but rather he merely devoted more of his time other religious ceremonies such as canonizations and beatifications.

Pope Clement X died in Rome on the 22nd of July 1676.

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