The term first appeared in a dictionary in 1690
The Baroque era is characterized by ambiguity: at once severe and fanciful, of daytime and nighttime, in celebration of life and in exaltation of death. With, as its motto, memento mori (reminder of mortality).
Site: Rome. The Holy See.
Historical/intellectual context :
The Counter-Reformation, also known as the Catholic Reformation, was born of the Church's need to breathe new life into its doctrines and purge itself of past abuses. The Council of Trent (19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church) represented the culmination point of all attempts to meet the crisis of the Protestant Reformation:
It asserted itself most fully in the 16th century with the creation of various orders: the Capuchin Order (1525), the Theatines, the Barnabites, the Ursulines and, above all, as of 1540, the Jesuits - founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Paul III.
All this was accomplished thanks to several faithful greats:
- St. Charles Borromeo in Italy
- St. Thomas of Villeneuve in Spain
- Saint Bartholomew of the Martyrs in Portugal
- St. Francis of Sales in France
as well as: St. John of the Cross (Spain), St. Theresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier (one of the greatest Christian missionaries)
and the support of several steadfast popes:
- Pope Pius V (Michaele Ghislieri: 1556-1572 - appointed inquisitor general by Paul IV, reformer of the papal government in Rome, inventor of the index ("Index librorum prohibitorum").
- Pope Gregory XIII (Ugo Buoncompagni: 1572-1585) rectifier of the reformed calendar ("Gregorian calendar"), founder of the Roman College, contemporary of Saint Bartholomew.
- Pope Sixtus V (Felix Peretti, 1585-1590) life enemy of Gregory XIII, sent away from the Curia (body of congregations, tribunals and offices from which pope governs Roman Catholic Church).
- Pope Clement VIII (Ippolito Aldobrandini, 1592-1605)
- Pope Leo XI (Alessandro de' Medici: 1605)
- Pope Paul V (Camillo Borghese: 1605-1621)
- Pope Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini: 1623-1644)
- Pope Innocent X (Giovanni Battista Pamfili: 1644-1655) nuncio (papal legate accredited to civil government) in Naples, Cardinal from 1629,Pope from 1644 -1655, Condemns Jansenism as heretical in 1653.
- Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi: 1655-1667) These then are the people who built the new Rome. To this day, the city's immortal monuments bear the coats of arms of these historical figures.