Philip II’s Disinterestedness Made the Holy League Possible

December 1, 2022

At the end of May [1570] a courier sent from Torres arrived in Rome with the news that Philip II was willing to help Venice immediately and enter negotiations with the league. Philip wrote to the pope that the interests of the Church were superior to his own particular interests, and “seeing the holy purpose and intention by which Your Holiness is moved, because of the great desire I have to satisfy and correspond to what Your Holiness proposes to me, I have resolved to agree and condescend everything that touches this [Holy] League.” The letter was accompanied by ample instructions that conferred on Cardinal Granvelle, Cardinal Pacheco, and Ambassador Zuñiga the power of concluding an immediate alliance.

Portrait of the doge of Venice Alvise I Mocenigo (1507-1577)

Pius V felt immense joy and wept with consolation. Within the Senate of Venice, however, there still existed some resistance, but it was defeated by the firmness of the new doge, Alvise Mocenigo, and by the young patricians of the Serenissima.

Roberto de Mattei, Saint Pius V: The Legendary Pope Who Excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, Standardized the Mass, and Defeated the Ottoman Empire, trans. Giuseppe Pellegrino (Manchester, N.H.: Sophia Institute Press, 2021), 220–21.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 857


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