Paul III, Pope 1534-1549
Muntoni 3; Berman 901, PCGS graded MS-62
Rome. PAVLVS III PONT MAX, bust of Pope Paul III left. Reverse: SANCTVS PETRVS ALMA ROMA, St. Peter fishing from a boat.
Alessandro Farnese was elected as Pope Paul III on October 13, 1534. Prior to his election he had a reputation for leading a dissolute life, keeping a mistress upon whom he fathered five children. Pope Paul III was the first pope to take active reform measures in response to the Protestant Reformation, but when these failed to impress, he recognized Francis of Loyola and the Society of Jesus who would become important combatants of Protestantism and instituted the Roman Inquisition. In 1545, He convened the council of Trent with the purposes of both condemning Protestantism and bringing Protestants back in union with the Catholic Church. Pope Paul III died in 1459, after years of using his position to advance the members of the Farnese family and its fortunes.