Pope Clement XII, who spent almost the full last eight years of his pontificate completely blind, died on this day in 1740.
Namely, the pope became blind in 1732, during the second year of his pontificate. In addition to his blindness, he was also sick, which led to him becoming almost completely bedridden. Despite these hindrances, Clement XII proved quite active.
Due to his physical disabilities, the pope had to rely on his colleagues. He was assisted primarily by his nephew, Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini. It is interesting that the construction of the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome began during the time of Clement XII, and the same pope took other important steps for the beautification of the city.
Pope Clement XII belonged to the aristocratic Corsini family, which produced a medieval saint of the Catholic Church – St. Andrew Corsini. The pope’s birth name was Lorenzo Corsini, and he was elected pope at the high age of 78.
Since he was already sickly and mostly bedridden at the time of his election, it was not expected that he would survive long. However, he managed to live almost 10 full years and led the Church quite actively. One of his actions was the first papal condemnation of the Freemasons (in 1738).