The New Student's Reference Work/Pius VII
Pius VII, originally Gregorio Luigi Barnaba, was born at Cesena, Italy, Aug. 14, 1742, and became pope in 1800. Rome, which had been occupied by the French for two years, was restored to the papal authority, and next year the French troops were withdrawn from the city. In 1804 Napoleon compelled Pius to come to Paris to consecrate him as emperor. He was well-received, but in less than six months after his return to Rome French troops seized Ancona, and in 1809 General Miollis entered Rome and took possession of the Castle of St. Angelo. The usurpation was consummated in the following year by a decree annexing Rome and all the papal territory to the French empire. After the downfall of Napoleon the Congress of Vienna restored his territories, and on May 24, 1814, he re-entered Rome, the remainder of his reign being devoted to wise measures of internal administration. Throughout his life Pius was a model of gentleness, benevolence and Christian charity. He died on August 20, 1823.