Callixtus III, Pope of Rome [ROMAN CATHOLIC]
The son of a small landholder, Alfonso de Borja y Borja was born in 1378
in Jativa. He studied and taught at Lérida before becoming private
secretary to King Alfonso V in 1416. Appointed a cardinal in 1444, Borja
was elected pope eleven years later, a compromise candidate. He took the
name Callixtus and called for a crusade to take Constantinople from the
Turks. His army regained some Ægean Islands and recaptured Belgrade
1457. Callixtus banned Christian and Jewish social interaction. In 1456,
he reopened the trail of Joan of Arc, who had been burned at the stake in
1431; his court found her innocent of the charges of witchcraft and
heresy. Callixtus died on the feast of the Transfiguration, which he had
confirmed as a feast of the whole Roman church in honor of his victory at
Belgrade, in 1458.
Karen Rae Keck
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