Pope Urban VII
– September 27
), born Giovanni Battista Castagna
, was Pope
for thirteen days in September 1590. He was of Genoese
origin, although born in Rome
. He was chosen successor of Pope Sixtus V
(1585–90) on September 15
, 1590, but died of malaria
, 1590) before consecration, making his either the shortest or second shortest papal reign
in history, depending on whether Pope-elect Stephen
is considered a real Pope (he has not been so considered by the Catholic Church since 1961).
He had previously served as governor of Bologna and as archbishop of Rossano, and was for many years nuncio to Spain; his election to the papacy was largely backed by the Spanish faction.
Urban VII's short passage in office gave rise to the world's first known public smoking ban, as he threatened to excommunicate anyone who "took tobacco in the porchway of or inside a church, whether it be by chewing it, smoking it with a pipe or sniffing it in powdered form through the nose".
- The Death of the Popes by Wendy J. Reardon, 2004.