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Alexander IV

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Death: 1261

Elected to the papacy in 1254, Rinaldo, the count of Segni, took the name Alexander IV. A native of Anagni, he was born in 1199 and became a cardinal deacon in 1227. In 1231, he was made cardinal bishop of Ostia, and he served under Innocent IV as cardinal protector of the Franciscans. Alexander inherited Innocent's quarrel with Manfred, the illegitimate son of Frederick II. In a struggle over the crown of Sicily, Alexander excommunicated Manfred in 1255. The two waged war for the rest of Alexander's reign, which ended with his death in 1261. The energy and resources spent against Manfred kept Alexander from realizing his dream of crusading against the Mongols. Alexander did, however, bless the Augustinian hermits and canonize Clare of Assisi.


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