SIXTUS V 1585-1590
THE FIRST CROATIAN POPE
Pope Sixtus V was a decendant of a Dalmatian family that fled to Italy as many others had to escape the Turks during the 15th century. His family settled at Montalto in the Marches near the Adriatic Sea. They later moved to Grottammare and the Pope was born on December 13, 1520 as Felice Peretti. He was the son of a farm worker and became a Franciscan friar. He is listed in all Italian biographies as Italian.
He was responsible for the present Popeís apartments in the Vatican, the Vatican Library, the Lateran Palace, the Spanish Steps, he placed the obelisk from the Circus Maximus in the middle of St Peterís Square. He completed the gigantic cupola of St Peterís basilica. He organized the administration of the Church-State, eliminated bandits, and reformed church institutions. He also organized the Vatican Press and organized the Vatican Navy.
He built the Church of St Jerome with the proviso that the priests should be of Croatian origin. He created a Chapter in the church which later became an academic college for Croatians.
A number of books have been written about him. In a Cambridge History they mention he is from Illyria and that he erected the church and hospice of San Girolamo degli Schiavoni (Croatians-Slavonians). In The Life and Times of Sixtus V it states he did not forget his Slavonian origin and that other Slavonian refugees founded that miserable quarter called Schiavonia in Rome. In the book Elizabeth and Sixtus V, he published the Bull of Excommunication against Queen Elizabeth of England.
His family name and origin in Croatia has been written about by historians Vidov, Pandzic, Krasic, Mlivoncic and others. His coat of arms includes a lion, three golden pears, a castle and a star. It is said he is from Krusevica, Kruscica or Krusevo in Croatia. In Italian Pero means pear and in Croatian Kruska means pear and his name is Peretti. I do believe he came from Krusevica, Boka Kotor, Dalmatia and that the family name is not Peretich. I am certain the archives in Herceg Novi will reveal their true family name. It was common at that time to adopt your place of origin as your name such as many Dalmatians that settled in Venice would use Pero de Brazza (Brac) or Mateo de Lesina (Hvar). Pope Felice Peretti would be Srecko of Krusevica.
CROATIAN Pope Sixtus V wanted to expand his navy, a report was made: "Concerning the galley crews which the Pope desired, I have been informed from Rome that in the last few days His Holiness gave instructions to the chiefs at SEGNA-SENJ and FIUME-RIJEKA to make him in those regions some two thousand slaves subject to the Turk--who are called MORLACCHI- DALMATIANS-- so that he can use them as crews for his galleys." This was a report from Venice dated March 12, 1588.
He requested his own CROATIANS as he knew they were excellent mariners and