Leo XI: The 'Lightning' Pope
The Medici family in Florence produced a grand total of three popes; two are very famous, Leo X (r. 1513-21) and Clement VII (r. 1523-34), but the third is much less well-known. Perhaps, one of the reasons why so few people have heard of Leo XI is that he died within a month of being elected.
Cardinal Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici (1535-1605), the great-nephew of Pope Leo X, was elected Pope Leo XI on April 1st 1605, only to die twenty-six days later on April 27th. His reign is one of the shortest in papal history. (The record is held by Pope Urban VII, who reigned from September 15th to September 27th, 1590.)
During his long tenure as the archbishop of Florence, Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici was responsible for the rebuilding of the Palazzo Arcivescovile (Archbishop's Palace), which is situated opposite the baptistery in Piazza di San Giovanni. The coat of arms of Pope Leo XI graces the north-east corner of the palace.
The three roses and the inscription SIC FLORVI (thus I flourished), which one sees at the base of the coat of arms, refer to the brevity of the pope's reign. Pope Leo XI, like the rose, only bloomed for a short time, which led to him being known as Papa Lampo (the Lightning Pope).