Did you know that Pope Clement XIV, in addition to suppressing the Jesuits in 1773, made Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart a knight of the Order of the Golden Spur on 4 July 1770? A singular papal honor! By the way, his full name was Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart. There is a portrait of him wearing the medal.
When Mozart was 14 his ambitious father Leopold took him to Rome in 1770. As the story goes, in April, during Holy Week, they managed to get through the guards and into the Gardens where they found Pope Clement serving food to the poor. Thus, introductions were made. It was during that Holy Week that young Wolfgang heard Allegri’s Miserere in the Sistine Chapel. That piece had been reserved to that chapel and forbidden elsewhere under pain of excommunication. Mozart, however, had the gift of remembering what he heard, so he wrote it down. Clement, true to his name, was pretty impressed. It is said that, thereafter, the Pope personally gave Mozart a guided tour of important places in the City. In July Papa Ganganelli knighted Mozart on his return to Rome from the south.
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