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1554–84, French prince, duke of Alençon and Anjou; youngest son of King Henry IIHenry II,
1519–59, king of France (1547–59), son of King Francis I. His robust physique contrasted with his weak and pliant disposition. Throughout his reign he was governed by Anne de Montmorency, by his mistress Diane de Poitiers, and by François and Charles
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 of France and Catherine de' MediciCatherine de' Medici
, 1519–89, queen of France, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. She was married (1533) to the duc d'Orléans, later King Henry II.
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. Although ill-shapen, pockmarked, and endowed with a curiously formed nose, he was considered (1572–73) as a possible husband for Queen Elizabeth I of England. During the Wars of Religion (see Religion, Wars ofReligion, Wars of,
1562–98, series of civil wars in France, also known as the Huguenot Wars.

The immediate issue was the French Protestants' struggle for freedom of worship and the right of establishment (see Huguenots).
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), he opposed the anti-Protestant policy of his mother and conspired with Huguenots and moderate Catholics against his mother and his brother, King Charles IXCharles IX,
1550–74, king of France. He succeeded (1560) his brother Francis II under the regency of his mother, Catherine de' Medici. She retained her influence throughout his reign.
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. By the peace of 1576, which ended the fifth war of religion, he obtained the appanages of Anjou, Touraine, and Berry. He led (1578) an expedition into the Netherlands, which was then in rebellion against Spain. In the same year, he was again prominent as Elizabeth's suitor. Offered (1580) the rule of the Low Countries by William the SilentWilliam the Silent
or William of Orange
(William I, prince of Orange), 1533–84, Dutch statesman, principal founder of Dutch independence. Early Life
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, leader of the rebellious states, he led a new invasion and was for a time the ruler of several provinces, but in 1583 was compelled to withdraw. His death opened the French succession to Henry of Navarre (later King Henry IVHenry IV,
1553–1610, king of France (1589–1610) and, as Henry III, of Navarre (1572–1610), son of Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne d'Albret; first of the Bourbon kings of France.
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1936–, pope (2013–), an Argentinian (b. Buenos Aires to Italian immigrants) named Jorge Mario Bergoglio; successor of Benedict XVIBenedict XVI,
1927–, pope (2005–13) and Roman Catholic theologian, a German (b. Marktl am Inn, Bavaria) named Josef (or Joseph) Alois Ratzinger; successor of John Paul II. He entered the seminary in 1939, but his training was interrupted by World War II.
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. Francis, the first non-European to assume the papacy in more than 1,200 years, is the first pope from the Americas and the first from the Society of Jesus (see Jesus, Society ofJesus, Society of,
religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. Its members are called Jesuits. St. Ignatius of Loyola, its founder, named it Compañia de Jesús [Span.,=(military) company of Jesus]; in Latin it is Societas Jesu (abbr. S.J.).
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). Born into a middle-class family, he earned a chemical technician's diploma, worked in industry, and later entered the seminary. He joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1969. From 1973 to 1979, he served as Argentina's Jesuit provincial, in charge of supervising his order's activities in the country, and he later was accused of complicity in crimes committed in the 1970s "dirty war" by Argentina's military. Francis has denied these charges, and others maintain that he saved or sheltered a number of regime opponents and that, although he did not actively oppose the junta, he never collaborated with it. Named auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and archbishop in 1998, he was created a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001. From 2005 to 2011, he was head of the Argentine Conference of Bishops; he opposed contraception, same-sex marriage (though he had argued, unsuccessfully, that the bishops accept same-sex civil unions), and adoption by gay parents, clashing with the Argentine government on these policies.

Considered a social moderate and doctrinal conservative, Francis is known for a personal style expressive of humility and for a devotion to social justice. As pope he has denounced the "idolatry of money" and structural economic inequality and exclusion, and called for a renewal of the Catholic pastoral ministry. His encyclical Laudato si' [Praise be to you] (2015) called on people to care for the earth and press for a solution to climate change, and placed this heightened concern for the environment in the context of his predecessors' concerns for the poor and human life and their protests against the effects of unrestricted capitalism and consumerism. These concerns subsequently continued to form a central focus of his papacy.

Francis has increased supervision over and sought to overhaul the Vatican's finances, which have been the source of scandal and controversy, and sought to reform the Curia in general. In 2015 he approved the establishment of a tribunal to judge bishops accused of failing to respond properly to sexual abuse scandals. The issue of sexual abuse by priests continue to roil the church, however, and marred his visit to Chile in 2018; later that year he issued a letter strongly condemning such abuse and asking for forgiveness.

His meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Cuba in 2016 was the first between the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches, and he subsequently joined with Patriarch Bartholomew I and the head of the Greek Orthodox church in a visit to migrants on Lesbos. His first book as pontiff, The Name of God Is Mercy (2016), emphasizes the centrality of God's forgiveness and mercy to the message and mission of the Church, a theme echoed in his 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia [The Joy of Love], which called for the pastoral care of divorced and remarried Catholics to be less judgmental and more compassionate. While reaffirming traditional Catholic teaching on marriage, it noted that other relationships can have positive elements. Grounded in two sometimes contentious synods on the family held in 2014 and 2015, Amoris Laetitia was also notable for giving bishops flexibility in providing pastoral care as they support Catholic families. In 2018 he revised Catholic teaching on capital punishment, which had been considered permitted in certain cases, and declared it an attack on human dignity and unacceptable; he also called for the church to work for its abolition. In 2020, in a recorded interview in a documentary, he became the first pope to offer personal support for legal protections for same-sex couples. He decreed changes in canon law in 2021 that allowed women to serve in subsidiary roles, such as reader and altar server, during church services, but also reaffirmed that women were barred from ordination.


See biographies by E. Piqué (2014) and A. Ivereigh (2014).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



In the Holy Roman Empire:

Francis I. Born Dec. 8, 1708, in Nancy; died Aug. 18, 1765, in Innsbruck. Emperor (1745–65).

Francis was duke of Lorraine (as Francis III or Francis Stephen) from 1729 to 1736. When Lorraine was given to Stanislaw Leszczyński in 1737, Francis was compensated with the grand duchy of Tuscany. He married Maria Theresa in 1736; in 1740 he became coruler with her over the hereditary Austrian lands. Together they founded the Hapsburg-Lorraine line of the Austrian royal house. Francis became emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.

Francis II. Born 1768; died 1835. Last Holy Roman emperor (1792–1806). Emperor of Austria (as Francis I) from 1804.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Dick, full name Richard Stanley Francis. born 1920, British thriller writer, formerly a champion jockey. His books include Dead Cert (1962), The Edge (1988), and Come to Grief (1995)
2. Sir Philip. 1740--1818, British politician; probable author of the Letters of Junius (1769--72). He played an important part in the impeachment of Warren Hastings (1788--95)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
Fogg," pursued Sir Francis, "you run the risk of having some difficulty about this worthy fellow's adventure at the pagoda." Passepartout, his feet comfortably wrapped in his travelling-blanket, was sound asleep and did not dream that anybody was talking about him.
The next day Sir Francis Cromarty asked Passepartout what time it was; to which, on consulting his watch, he replied that it was three in the morning.
Captain Francis moved a step towards the huddled-up figure breathing heavily upon the floor, but Trent, leaning over, stopped him.
"Never mind my business," Captain Francis answered curtly; "what about yours?
'Our niece's position, or supposed position, is much changed by our brother Francis's death,' said Miss Lavinia; 'and therefore we consider our brother's opinions as regarded her position as being changed too.
Miss Lavinia was going on to make some rejoinder, when Miss Clarissa, who appeared to be incessantly beset by a desire to refer to her brother Francis, struck in again:
But still their hearts beat high during Sir Francis M 's address, which certainly was the finest oratorical success that the Royal Geographical Society of London had yet achieved.
"The doctor is at the disposition of the meeting," replied Sir Francis.
The person answerable for this premature departure was Francis Westwick.
Pondering over a new form of theatrical attraction for the coming winter season, Francis had determined to revive the languid public taste for the ballet by means of an entertainment of his own invention, combining dramatic interest with dancing.
The rights and wrongs of the story, presuming that they had some existence in fact, were no longer clearly known to his wife and children; but this disappointment had played a very large part in their lives, and had poisoned the life of Sir Francis much as a disappointment in love is said to poison the whole life of a woman.
It was upon a cold day in January in 1560 that Francis Bacon "came crying into the world."* He was born in a fine house and was the child of great people, his father being Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.