Pope Benedict XIII was born on this day under the name Pietro Francesco Orsini.
The process of his canonization has been started, and he currently bears the title of Servant of God (Latin: Servus Dei). He served as pope from 1724 until 1730, and was elected at the age of 76, making him among the oldest popes elected in history (the oldest was Clement X, who was 79 at the time he was elected).
Pope Benedict XII was a contemporary of French king Louis XIV, Isaac Newton, and Wilhelm Leibniz. Before he became pope he was a Dominican monk. It is especially interesting that over 90% of today’s Catholic bishops can trace their line of ordaining to him.
This can be explained by the fact that Benedict XIII allegedly anointed over 100 bishops from many parts of Europe. In turn, these anointed other bishops in their own dioceses, which led to the extinction of other lines of ordaining. Pope Francis also traces his line of ordaining to Benedict XIII.