Pope Benedict XI

Pope Benedict XI (Latin: Benedictus XI; 1240 – 7 July 1304), born Nicola Boccasini, (Niccolò of Treviso) was Pope from 22 October 1303 to his death on 7 July, 1304.[1] He was also a member of the Order of Preachers.

He was beatified with his cultus confirmed by Pope Clement XII in 1736. He is a patron of Treviso.

Pope Blessed

Benedict XI
B Benedikt XI
Papacy began22 October 1303
Papacy ended7 July 1304
PredecessorBoniface VIII
SuccessorClement V
ConsecrationMarch 1300
Created cardinal4 December 1298
by Boniface VIII
Personal details
Birth nameNicola Boccasini
Treviso, Italy
Died7 July 1304 (aged 64)
Perugia, Papal States
Previous post
MottoIllustra faciem Tuam super servum Tuum ("Let Your Face shine upon Your servant")
Coat of armsBenedict XI's coat of arms
Feast day7 July
Beatified24 April 1736
Rome, Papal States
by Pope Clement XII
Other popes named Benedict
Papal styles of
Pope Benedict XI
Coat of arms of Pope Benedict XI

Early life

Cardinal Boccasini

Niccolò Boccasini was born in Treviso to Boccasio, a municipal notary (died 1246), whose brother was a priest; and Ber(n)arda, who worked as a laundress for the Dominican friars of Treviso. Niccolò had a sister, Adelette.[2] The family lived outside the walls of Treviso, in a suburb called S. Bartolommeo.[3] In 1246, a Dominican friar left a sum of money in his will to Bernarda and her children, recently orphaned. A condition was that if Niccolò were to enter the Dominican Order he would receive half of the entire legacy.[4] From the age of six, it seems, Niccolò was destined for the monkish life. His first teacher was his uncle, the priest of S. Andrea.[5]

He entered the Order of Preachers in 1254, at the age of fourteen, taking the habit of a novice in his native Treviso.[6] He was taken to Venice by his Prior and presented to the Provincial, who assigned him to the convent of SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice. For the next seven years or so, Niccolò pursued his basic education in Venice. Toward the end of this period, he served as tutor to the young sons of Romeo Quirini of Venice, whose brother was a Canon in the Cathedral of Treviso.[7] In 1262, Niccolò was transferred to Milan, to the new studium of S. Eustorgio. He spent the next six years at S. Eustorgio.[8] By the end of his term at S. Eustorgio he must have become a professed member of the Order of Preachers; the actual date, however, is unknown. As a professed brother he served in the responsible position as a Lecturer in the studium in Venice, that is to say, he was in charge of the elementary education of the brothers in his convent. Each convent had its lector. He served as lector for fourteen years, from 1268 to 1282, according to Bernardus Guidonis. In 1276 he is attested as being lector at the Dominican convent in his native Treviso, a post he was still holding in 1280. In February, 1282, he is found at Genoa, again as lector. He was not a professor, since he had never taken a university degree, being one of the last popes who was not a university graduate.[9]

Office and Responsibility

In 1286, at the meeting of the Provincial Chapter, which took place that year in Brescia, Fr. Niccolò was elected Provincial Prior of Lombardy.[10] As Provincial of Lombardy, Fr. Niccolò's lifestyle changed considerably. Instead of being firmly attached to a single convent for years, he would instead become peripatetic, moving from one convent to another on visits of inspection, encouragement and correction. In Lombardy at the time there were some fifty-one convents.[11] He also had responsibility as an Inquisitor, a task for which popes considered Franciscans and Dominicans especially suited.[12] He also had the responsibility of convening the Provincial Chapters. In 1287, the Chapter was at Venice; in 1288, it was at Rimini; in 1289 at the General Chapter, which was held at Trier, Fr. Niccolò was released from the office of Provincial of Lombardy, having completed his three-year term. It is probable that, without office, he returned to a convent, possibly that of Treviso—though the evidence is scanty and based on wills and codicils.[13] He was elected Provincial Prior of Lombardy again, however, at the Provincial Chapter held at Brescia in 1293. In 1294 it was held at Faventia, in 1295 at Verona, and in 1296 at Ferrara, where Fr. Niccolò's successor was elected, since he had a new assignment.

Master General of the Order of Preachers

At the Capitulum Generale of the Order of Preachers, which was held at Strasbourg in 1296, Frater Niccolò of Treviso was elected Master of the Order of Preachers,[14] and issued ordinances that forbade public questioning of the legitimacy of Pope Boniface VIII's papal election (which had taken place on Christmas Eve, 1295) on the part of any Dominican.


Boccasini was elevated to the cardinalate on December 4, 1298, by Boniface VIII, and assigned the title of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Sabina.[15] He entered the Roman Curia on March 25, 1299, and thus began to receive his share of the profits of the Chamber of the College of Cardinals.

He was promoted to the rank of Cardinal-Bishop of the See of Ostia on March 2, 1300, and also received episcopal consecration. On May 13, 1301 he was appointed Apostolic Legate to Hungary. He made his official departure on June 22, 1301, and returned on May 10, 1303.[16] He also served as papal legate to France.

When Pope Boniface VIII was seized at Anagni in September, 1303, Boccasini was one of only two cardinals to defend the Pope in the Episcopal Palace itself. The other was Pedro Rodriguez, Bishop of Sabina. They were imprisoned for three days.[17] On Monday, September 10, they were liberated by forces led by Cardinal Luca Fieschi, and on September 14, the Pope and his retinue returned to Rome, with an escort organized by Cardinal Matteo Rosso Orsini.[18]


Papal election

The conclave to elect the successor of Boniface VIII was held in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and the College of Cardinals desired an appropriate candidate who would not be hostile towards King Philip IV of France. After one ballot in a conclave that lasted a day, Boccasini was elected as pope.


He was quick to release King Philip IV from the excommunication that had been put upon him by Boniface VIII. Nevertheless, on 7 June 1304, Benedict XI excommunicated Philip IV's implacable minister Guillaume de Nogaret and all the Italians who had played a part in the seizure of his predecessor at Anagni. Benedict XI also arranged an armistice between Philip IV of France and Edward I of England.

After a brief pontificate that spanned a mere eight months, Benedict XI died suddenly at Perugia. As original reports had it, suspicion fell primarily on Nogaret with the suspicion that his sudden death was caused by poisoning.[19] There is no direct evidence, however, to either support or disprove the contention that Nogaret poisoned the pope. Benedict XI's successor, Clement V removed the papal seat from Rome to Avignon, inaugurating the period sometimes known as the Babylonian Captivity. He and the French popes who succeeded him were completely under the influence of the kings of France.

Pope Benedict XI also celebrated two Consistories for the purpose of creating new cardinals. The first, on December 18, 1303, elevated Fr. Nicholas Alberti da Prato, OP, the Bishop of Spoleto; and Fr. William Macclesfield (Marlesfeld), OP, of Canterbury, Prior of the English Province of the Dominicans.[20] On February 19, 1304, he elevated Walter Winterburn, OP, of Salisbury, the confessor of King Edward I of England, who did not want to part with him, and kept him in England for some time. By the time he arrived in Perugia on November 28, 1304, Pope Benedict was dead.[21] Cardinal Winterburn died at Genoa on September 24, 1305.[22] It cannot escape notice that all three new cardinals were members of the Dominican Order.

Benedict XI was the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Book of Revelation.[19][23]


Cardinal Caesar Baronius (1538–1607) wrote that, on the Monday of Easter week in 1304, Pope Benedict XI was celebrating Mass, but a pilgrim interrupted it, because he wanted the pope to hear his confession. Rather than telling him to find another time or another priest to have his confession, the Pope left the mass to hear his confession and then returned to continue the mass.[24] This appears to be an anecdote, appropriate for a sermon recommending frequent confession, placed in an age when twice annual confession was the norm. It is unlikely that a pilgrim would attempt to interrupt a Mass, that a priest would interrupt a Mass for some other function, or that the protocols of the papal Court would permit such an unfettered close approach to the pontiff during a sacred service.

There is also a story that, at the General Chapter of the Dominicans at Lucca in May, 1288, the Provincial of the Roman Province, Thomas de Luni predicted to Fr. Niccolò that he would someday be pope. On another occasion, when he was in Venice, a friar of Torcello predicted that he would be Provincial, Master General, Cardinal and Pope.[25] This is a sort of flattery often used upon, and then anecdotally reported about ecclesiastical persons, after they have reached the height of their eminence. The thousands of times when the prediction does not turn out to be true are not reported. One need not place much significance in such tales.


Lorenzo maitani (attr.), monumento di benedetto XI, 1305 circa, 01
Tomb of Benedict XI

Benedict XI earned a reputation for holiness and the faithful came to venerate him. His tomb gained a reputation for the amount of miracles that emerged from the site. Pope Clement XII approved his cultus on 24 April 1736 which acted as his formal beatification. Pope Benedict XIV extended his veneration to the Republic of Venice in 1748 after a request from the Venetians.

Papal numbering

A note on the numbering: Pope Benedict X (1058–1059) is now considered an antipope by the Catholic Church. At the time of Benedict XI's election, however, Benedict X was still considered a legitimate pope, and thus the man the Catholic Church officially considers the tenth true Pope Benedict, Niccolo Boccasini, took the official number XI rather than X. This has advanced the numbering of all subsequent Popes Benedict by one digit. Popes Benedict XI-Benedict XVI are, from an official point of view, the tenth through fifteenth popes by that name.

See also


  1. ^ Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii aevi I editio altera (Monasterii 1913), p. 13.
  2. ^ Mortier, II, p. 319-320.
  3. ^ Fietta, p. 222.
  4. ^ Mortier, p. 320 and n. 3.
  5. ^ Fietta, p. 225 and n. 1.
  6. ^ Mortier, p. 320. Fietta, p. 226, with notes 1 and 2.
  7. ^ Fietta, p. 226, n. 3; p. 228-229. One of these children, Bartolommeo Quirini later became Bishop of Trent, in 1304, at the hands of Pope Benedict.
  8. ^ Fietta, p. 229.
  9. ^ Mortier, 322-323. Fietta, p. 231-234.
  10. ^ Fietta, p. 236. Benedikt Maria Reichert (editor), Cronica ordinis praedicatorum ab anno 1170. usque ad 1333 Part 1 (Rome 1897), pp. 102-104.
  11. ^ Mortier, p. 323. Bernardus Guidonis, however, states that, when the Province of Lombardy was divided in 1303, there were thirty-three convents. Jacobus Echard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum recensiti Tomus primus (Paris 1719), p. vii. There were also convents of nuns which were under his jurisdiction.
  12. ^ On August 26, 1289, Pope Nicholas IV wrote to all the Inquisitors of the Dominican Order in Lombardy and the March of Genoa, urging them to pursue their work against heretics with energy: Augustus Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum II, no. 23053.
  13. ^ Fietta, p. 244.
  14. ^ Reichert, Cronica ordinis praedicatorum, p. 104.
  15. ^ Eubel, pp. 12-13.
  16. ^ Eubel, p. 13, note 1.
  17. ^ Augustinus Theiner (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus Vigesimus Tertius, 1286–1312 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1871), under the year 1303, § 41, p. 330-331; Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, p. 672.
  18. ^ Gregorovius V. 2, pp. 588-594.
  19. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Benedict XI" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
  20. ^ Macclesfeld may have been dead at the time that he was created cardinal.
  21. ^ Bernardus Guidonis, quoted in J. Catalano, Sacrarum Caeremoniarum sive Rituum Ecclesiasticorum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Libri Tres (Romae 1750), p. 59.
  22. ^ Eubel, p. 13.
  23. ^ Jacobus Echard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum recensiti Tomus I (Paris 1719), pp. 444-447.
  24. ^ Leonard of Port Maurice. Counsels to Confessors. Loreto Publications, 2008
  25. ^ Fietta, pp. 242-243: "Ce sont la bien entendu des legendes que ne prirent corps qu' après l' evénement, mais il ne serait pas impossible qu' elles aient eu pour origine quelque anecdote authentique."


  • Ch. Grandjean (editor), Le Registre de Benoit XI (Paris 1905).
  • Jacobus Echard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum recensiti Tomus I (Paris 1719), pp. 444–447.
  • Bernard Guidone, "Vita Benedicti Papae XI," and "Vita Clementis Papae V," in Ludovicus Antonius Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Milan 1723), 672-679.
  • A. Touron, Histoire des hommes illustres de l' Ordre de Saint Dominique Tome premier (Paris 1743), pp. 655–704.
  • J.-B. Christophe, L' histoire de la papauté pendant le XIV. siècle Tome premier (Paris: L. Maison 1853) 78-175.
  • Lorenzo Fietta, Niccolò Boccasini e il suo tempo (Padova 1874).
  • Martin Souchon, Die Papstwahlen von Bonifaz VIII bis Urban VI (Braunschweig: Benno Goeritz 1888).
  • Charles Grandjean, "Benoît XI avant son Pontificat, 1240–1303," Mélanges d' archéologie et d' histoire 8 (1888), 219-291.
  • Paul Funke, Papst Benedikt XI. (Munster 1891).
  • Heinrich Finke, Aus den Tage Bonifaz VIII. Funde und Forschungen (Münster 1902).
  • Ferdinando Ferretton, Beato Benedetto XI Trivigiano (Treviso:Enrico Martinelli 1904).
  • Daniel Antonin Mortier, Histoire des Maîtres généraux de l' Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs II (Paris 1905), pp. 319–353.
  • Ferdinand Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906), Book X, chapter 6.
  • Heinrich Finke, Acta Aragonensia. Quellen zur deutschen, italianischen, franzosischen, spanischen, zur Kirchen- und Kulturgeschichte aus der diplomatischen Korrespondenz Jaymes II. (1291–1327) (Berlin und Leipzig 1908)
  • Ingeborg Walter, "Benedetto XI, bl." Enciclopedia dei Papi (2000).
  • Marina Benedetti, Benedetto XI, frate Predicatore e papa (Milano: Biblioteca francescana, 2007).
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1975). "Benedikt XI". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 1. Hamm: Bautz. col. 486. ISBN 3-88309-013-1.
  • Vito Sibilio: Benedetto XI. Il papa tra Roma e Avignone (= Dissertationes historicae. Band 30). Roma 2004. (Fachbesprechung)
  • Georg Schwaiger: Benedikt XI in: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Vol. 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich/Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8, Col. 1860–1861.
  • Ingeborg Walter: Benedetto XI,beato. In: Massimo Bray (ed.): Enciclopedia dei Papi, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Vol. 2  (Niccolò I, santo, Sisto IV), Rome, 2000, OCLC 313581688

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Stephen of Besançon
Master General of the Dominican Order
Succeeded by
Albert of Chiavari
Preceded by
Leonardo Patrasso
Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Nicolò Albertini
Preceded by
Boniface VIII
22 October 1303 – 7 July 1304
Succeeded by
Clement V

Year 1240 (MCCXL) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1300s (decade)

The 1300s was a decade of the Julian Calendar which began on January 1, 1300, and ended on December 31, 1309.

== Events ==

=== 1300 ===

==== January–December ====

February 22 – The Jubilee of Pope Boniface VIII is celebrated. It is at this celebration that Giovanni Villani decides to write his universal history of Florence, the Cronica.

June 15 – The city of Bilbao receives a royal foundation charter.

==== Date unknown ====

Money from Florence, Italy becomes the first international currency.

Philip IV of France begins his attempt to annex Flanders.

Wenceslas II of Bohemia becomes King of Poland.

A census in Imperial China finds that it has roughly 60 million inhabitants.

The Tuareg establish a state centered on Agadez.

Amsterdam is officially declared a city.

Jacob ben Machir is appointed dean of the medical school at Montpellier, France.

Aztec culture starts in Mesoamerica (approximate date).

The Dulcinian sect begins when Gherardo Segarelli, founder of the Apostolic Brethren, is burned at the stake in Parma, during a brutal repression of the Apostolics.

=== 1301 ===

January 14 – The death of Andrew III of Hungary ends the Arpad Dynasty in Hungary, resulting in a power struggle between Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, Otto III, Duke of Bavaria, and Charles Robert of Naples.

February 7 – Edward of Caernarvon (later King Edward II of England) becomes the first Prince of Wales.

March 3 – Emperor Go-Nijō succeeds Emperor Go-Fushimi on the throne of Japan.

November 1 – Charles, Count of Valois, enters Florence with the Black Guelphs, who in the next six days destroy much of the city, kill many of their enemies and install a new government under Cante dei Gabrielli da Gubbio as podestà, leading to the permanent exile of Dante Alighieri from the city.

=== 1302 ===

==== January–December ====

May 18 – Bruges Matins: The French garrison in Bruges is massacred at night, by members of the local Flemish militia.

June 12 – Rakvere, Estonia, receives Lübeck city rights.

July 11 – Battle of the Golden Spurs (also called the Battle of Courtrai): the County of Flanders gains a major victory over the Kingdom of France.

July 27 – Battle of Bapheus: The Ottoman Turks defeat the Byzantine Empire, heralding the Turkish conquest of Bithynia.

September 24 – Charles II of Naples makes peace with Frederick III of Sicily under the Treaty of Caltabellotta, ending the War of the Sicilian Vespers.

September 26 – Fall of Ruad: The last Crusader stronghold in the Levant is conquered.

October 4 – A peace treaty between the Byzantine Empire and the Republic of Venice ends the Byzantine–Venetian War (1296–1302).

November 18 – Boniface VIII publishes the Papal bull Unam Sanctam.

==== Date unknown ====

Roger de Flor founds the Catalan Company, with soldiers (Almogavars) jobless after the Treaty of Caltabellotta.

Castile occupies the harbor of Algiers.

Jičín, Bohemia is chartered as a city.

Pope Boniface VIII suppresses the Franciscans.

The Estates General of France meets for the first time.

Dante Alighieri is exiled from Florence by the Black Guelphs, as is Petrarch's father (see Guelphs and Ghibellines).

Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, reconciles with Edward I of England.

Philip IV of France confiscates Jewish property.

The Confucian Temple is erected in Beijing.

=== 1303 ===

==== January–December ====

February 24 – Battle of Roslin: The Scots defeat the English.

April 4 – Battle of Arques: The Flemings defeat the French.

April 20 – Pope Boniface VIII founds the University of Rome La Sapienza.

May 29 – The Treaty of Paris restores Gascony to the English.

August 8 – 1303 Crete earthquake: An earthquake destroys the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the world.

September 7 – Guillaume de Nogaret imprisons Pope Boniface VIII on behalf of Philip IV of France; Gregory Bicskei, archbishop of Esztergom, is killed in the incident.

October 22 – Pope Benedict XI succeeds Pope Boniface VIII, as the 194th pope.

==== Date unknown ====

Wars of Scottish Independence: Edward I of England resumes his campaign against William Wallace and others in Scotland, holding court in Dunfermline Abbey.

Battle of Dimbos: The Ottoman Turks under Osman I defeat the Byzantines.

The Khalji Dynasty under Alauddin Khalji conquers Chittorgarh in northern India, after taking the massive Chittor Fort.

The Avoirdupois system of weights and measures is introduced to England and Wales.

Siege of Amsterdam: Kennemers and Waterlanders lay siege against Amsterdam for a year.

=== 1304 ===

==== January–December ====

February 9 – Wars of Scottish Independence: John "Red" Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, negotiates a peace with the Kingdom of England.

July 20 – Fall of Stirling Castle: Edward I of England takes the last rebel stronghold in the Wars of Scottish Independence.

August 17 – The Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle is fought to a draw, between the French army and the Flemish militias.

October 24 – Sasa Bey of the Beylik of Menteşe conquers Ephesus from the Eastern Roman Empire, massacring and deporting its native population.

==== Date unknown ====

James II of Aragon reconquers Villena, Spain.

Holland and Zeeland are occupied by John II, Duke of Brabant and Guy of Dampierre. John II, Count of Hainaut recovers the counties.

Ala-ud-din Khalji, Sultan of Delhi, conquers Gujarat.

A peace treaty, signed between the khanates of the Mongol Empire, ends the Mongol civil war.

The Genoese Benedetto I Zaccaria takes control of Chios Island from the Byzantine Empire, establishing an autonomous lordship there.

The construction of Ypres Cloth Hall is completed.

=== 1305 ===

==== January–December ====

June 5 – Pope Clement V, formerly the Archbishop of Bordeaux Bertrand de Got, succeeds Pope Benedict XI as the 195th pope, and is crowned at Lyon.

July – Battle of Apros between the Catalan Company and the Byzantine Empire.

August 5 – English troops capture William Wallace.

==== Date unknown ====

Wenceslaus III becomes king of Bohemia.

Philip IV of France accuses the Knights Templar of heresy.

=== 1306 ===

==== January–December ====

February 10 – Scottish Wars of Independence: Before the high altar of Greyfriars Church in Dumfries, Robert the Bruce murders John Comyn, his leading political rival, sparking revolution.

March 25 – Robert the Bruce becomes King of the Scots.

May – Hugh the younger Despenser, favourite of Edward, Prince of Wales, marries heiress Eleanor de Clare.

May 15 – One of the first exchange contracts (cambium) to mention the city of Bruges involves two parties: Giovanni Villani, representing the Peruzzi Company, granting a loan to Tommaso Fini, representing the Gallerani Company of Siena.

June 19 – Battle of Methven: The forces of the Earl of Pembroke defeat Bruce's Scottish rebels.

June – The Knights Hospitaller conquer the islands of Kos (briefly) and Kastellorizo, and begin their conquest of Rhodes.

August - September – English army sacks Kildrummy Castle, captures and executes Nigel Bruce brother of Robert I and captures Queen Elizabeth de Burgh, Christina Bruce and Mary Bruce sisters of Robert I and Marjorie Bruce daughter of Robert I.

September 29 – The Hatuna Games are played in Sweden.

December 6 – The monetary policy of Philippe le Bel triggers a revolt in Paris. The provost's house is burned, and the king has to flee to the fortress of the Temple .

==== Date unknown ====

Philip IV of France exiles all the Jews from France, and confiscates their property.

In London, a city ordinance decrees that heating with coal is forbidden when Parliament is in session (the ordinance is not particularly effective).

The Mongols raid India.

=== 1307 ===

==== January–December ====

January 18 – King Albert I of Germany raises his son Rudolf to the throne, of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

July 7 – Edward II becomes King of England.

September 5 – Pope Clement V confirms the Knights Hospitaller possession of Rhodes, although only Feracle has fallen to their attacks.

October 13 (Friday the 13th, at dawn) – All Knights Templar in France are simultaneously arrested by agents of King Philip IV, to be later tortured into "confessing" heresy.

November 18 (according to legend) – William Tell shoots an apple off his son's head in Altdorf in Switzerland.

==== Date unknown ====

The Mongol raids on India end.

Januli I da Corogna seizes control of Sifnos and becomes its lord.

The village of Heerle was proclaimed an independent parish

=== 1308 ===

==== January–December ====

January 25 – King Edward II of England marries Isabella of France. They are both crowned a month later (on February 25).

March 8 – Póvoa de Varzim (then Varazim), Portugal gains a foral from Denis of Portugal.

April 15 – Abu Hammu I ascends to the throne of the Kingdom of Tlemcen after the death of his brother Abu-I Zayyan.

October 13 – Walter Reynolds is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, in England.

November 27 – Henry VII, King of Germany, is elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

December 28 – Emperor Hanazono ascends to the throne of Japan.

==== Date unknown ====

The Capet-Anjou family begins to rule Hungary.

The Sultanate of Rûm ends.

King Philip IV of France purchases the Hôtel de Nesle, and builds one of the earliest indoor tennis courts there.

approx. date – Dante Alighieri begins to write the Divine Comedy.

=== 1309 ===

==== January–December ====

March 9 – Pope Clement V settles the papal seat in Avignon, following a visit.

August 15 – The city of Rhodes surrenders to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island, and rename themselves as the Knights of Rhodes.

September 12 – Ferdinand IV of Castile captures the town of Gibraltar, in his campaign against the Emirate of Granada.

==== Date unknown ====

The first known historical records are made, of the village of Lukáčovce, Slovakia.

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, is bought by the Percy Family, later Earls of Northumberland, in England.


Year 1303 (MCCCIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1303 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1303 elected Pope Benedict XI to succeed Pope Boniface VIII.


Year 1304 (MCCCIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 1305 (MCCCV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Avignon Papacy

The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon (then in the Kingdom of Arles, part of the Holy Roman Empire, now in France) rather than in Rome. The situation arose from the conflict between the papacy and the French crown, culminating in the death of Pope Boniface VIII after his arrest and maltreatment by Philip IV of France. Following the further death of Pope Benedict XI, Philip forced a deadlocked conclave to elect the French Clement V as Pope in 1305. Clement refused to move to Rome, and in 1309, he moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon, where it remained for the next 67 years. This absence from Rome is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy".A total of seven popes reigned at Avignon, all French, and all under the influence of the French Crown. In 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome (arriving on January 17, 1377). But after Gregory's death in 1378, deteriorating relations between his successor Urban VI and a faction of cardinals gave rise to the Western Schism. This started a second line of Avignon popes, subsequently regarded as illegitimate. The last Avignon antipope, Benedict XIII, lost most of his support in 1398, including that of France; after five years besieged by the French, he fled to Perpignan in 1403. The schism ended in 1417 at the Council of Constance, after two popes had reigned in opposition to the papacy in Rome.

Bernard Délicieux

Bernard Délicieux (c. 1260-1270 – 1320) was a Spiritual Franciscan friar who resisted the Inquisition in Carcassonne and Languedoc region of southern France.

Cardinals created by Benedict XI

Pope Benedict XI (r. 1303-04) created 2 cardinals in 2 consistories held during his pontificate. Both cardinals he appointed were Dominicans like the pope himself.

Giacomo Benefatti

Blessed Giacomo Benefatti (died 19 November 1332) was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and professed member of the Order of Preachers who ascended to the position of Bishop of Mantua. Benefatti became noted for his tender care of the ill during epidemics of plague and both Pope Benedict XI - a close personal friend - and Pope John XXII held him in high esteem.Benefatti's reputation for personal holiness endured in the centuries after his death and the confirmation of his local 'cultus' - or popular devotion - allowed for Pope Pius IX to confirm the late bishop's beatification on 22 September 1859.

Jean Lemoine

Jean Lemoine, Jean Le Moine, Johannes Monachus (born 1250 at Crécy-en-Ponthieu, died 22 August 1313 at Avignon) was a French canon lawyer, Cardinal, bishop of Arras and papal legate. He served Boniface VIII as representative to Philip IV of France, and founded the Collège du Cardinal Le Moine, in Paris. He is the first one to formulate the legal principle of the presumption of innocence.

Perugia Papacy

Perugia was a long-time papal residence during the 13th century. Five popes were elected here: Pope Honorius III (1216–1227), Pope Clement IV (1265–1268), Pope Honorius IV (1285–1287), Pope Celestine V (1294), and Pope Clement V (1305–1314). These elections took place in the Palazzo delle Canoniche adjoining the Perugia Cathedral.

The Cathedral contained the tombs of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216), Pope Urban IV (1261–1264), and Pope Martin IV (1281–1285). These were destroyed by Gérard du Puy, the cardinal-nephew of Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378).During du Puy's tenure as papal governor during the War of the Eight Saints he pillaged the Duomo construction site for materials for his private fortress. According to Heywood, due to du Puy's construction, "so certain did it appear that the Papal Curia was about to be transferred to Perugia that foreign merchants began to negotiate for the hire of shops and warehouses in the city." The tomb of Pope Benedict XI (1303–1304) is still extant in S. Domenico.

Pietro da Macerata

Pietro da Macerata was a Franciscan missionary to Lesser Armenia in the late 13th century. He was sent with Angelo Clareno and four other monks by Raymond Gaufridi sometime after 1289. However, the hostility of the "fratres communes" forced Pietro da Macerata and Clareno to return to Italy, where they were refused by every abbey they approached. They met pope Celestine V at L'Aquila - he split them from the Franciscans and set up a new order of "pauperes Eremitae" (poor hermits), to be resident in Celestine monasteries. Pietro then changed his name to "Fra Liberato"

The formation of the new order drew a hostile reaction from the "fratres communes", who even tried to kidnap Fra Liberato. After Celestine V's abdication, it was vulnerable and moved to Thessaly around 1298. Pope Boniface VIII remained hostile to it despite two embassies by Fra Liberato himself. Fra Liberato thus decided to return to Italy permanently to defend the order before pope Benedict XI. However, the inquisitor Tomaso d'Aversa ordered his arrest and Fra Liberato was only able to escape him by retreating to the hermitage of San Angelo della Versa, where he died.

Pope Benedict

Benedict has been the regnal name of sixteen Roman Catholic popes. The name is derived from the Latin benedictus, meaning "blessed"

Pope Benedict I (575–579)

Pope Benedict II (684–685)

Pope Benedict III (855–858)

Pope Benedict IV (900–903)

Pope Benedict V (964)

Pope Benedict VI (972–974)

Pope Benedict VII (974–983)

Pope Benedict VIII (1012–1024)

Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045–1046 & 1047–1048)

Pope Benedict XI (1303–1304)

Pope Benedict XII (1334–1342)

Pope Benedict XIII (1724–1730)

Pope Benedict XIV (1740–1758)

Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922)

Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) – Now pope emeritus (born 1927)Additionally, four antipopes have used the name Benedict:

Antipope Benedict X (1058–1059) – Several cardinals alleged that his election was irregular and he was deposed. His papacy, though later declared illegitimate, has been taken into account in the conventional numbering of subsequent Popes who took the same name.

Antipope Benedict XIII (1394–1423)

Antipope Benedict XIV (1424–1429) & (1430–1437) – Two individuals

Uguccione Borromeo

Uguccione Borromeo (died 1329) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Novara (1304–1329).

Walter of Winterburn

Walter of Winterburn (13th century – August 26, 1305) was an English Dominican, cardinal, orator, poet, philosopher, and theologian.

He entered the Dominican Order when a youth, and became renowned for learning, prudence, and sanctity of life. Edward I, King of England, chose him as his confessor and spiritual director. He was provincial of his order in England from 1290 to 1298, and was created cardinal on February 21, 1304, by Pope Benedict XI.

In 1305, after having taken part in the election of Clement V, Walter set out from Perugia with several other cardinals to join the pope in France, but at Genoa he was seized with his last illness, during which he was attended by the dean of the Sacred College, Nicholas de Prato. His remains were first buried in the church of his order at Genoa, but were later transferred to London, as he had ordered, and interred in the convent to which he had formerly been assigned.

Nicholas Trivet, an English Anglo-Norman chronicler who was a close friend, wrote that Walter of Winterburn was a man endowed with many superior qualities, natural and supernatural. According to Trivet, he was thoroughly versed in knowledge, graced with rare modesty and a kindly disposition—a model of religious piety and of mature erudition who despite numerous duties in the cloister and at the imperial Court never shortened his hours of prayer.

He left several works on philosophy and theology, chief among them:

Commentarium in IV sententiarum libros

Quaestiones theologicae, much in use at that time

Sermones ad clerum et coram rege habiti

William Greenfield

William Greenfield (died 6 December 1315) served as both the Lord Chancellor of England and the Archbishop of York. He was also known as William of Greenfield.

William of Macclesfield

William of Macclesfield (died 1303–04) was an English Dominican theologian, with the nickname Doctor Inclytus. He was created Cardinal in December 1303 by Pope Benedict XI; it is unclear whether this was before his death.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
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21st century

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