Pope Celestine V

Pope Celestine V (Latin: Caelestinus V; 1215 – 19 May 1296), born Pietro Angelerio (according to some sources Angelario, Angelieri, Angelliero, or Angeleri), also known as Pietro da Morrone, Peter of Morrone, and Peter Celestine, was pope for five months from 5 July to 13 December 1294, when he resigned. He was also a monk and hermit who founded the order of the Celestines as a branch of the Benedictine order.

He was elected pope in the Catholic Church's last non-conclave papal election, ending a two-year impasse. Among the few edicts of his to remain in force was the confirmation of the right of the pope to abdicate; nearly all of his other official acts were annulled by his successor, Boniface VIII.[1] On 13 December 1294, a week after issuing the decree, Celestine resigned, stating his desire to return to his humble, pre-papal life. He was subsequently imprisoned by Boniface in the castle of Fumone in the Campagna region, in order to prevent his potential installation as antipope. He died in prison on 19 May 1296 at the age of 81.[1]

Celestine was canonized on 5 May 1313 by Pope Clement V. No subsequent pope has taken the name Celestine.

Pope Saint

Celestine V
Pope Celestine V
Papacy began5 July 1294
Papacy ended13 December 1294
PredecessorNicholas IV
SuccessorBoniface VIII
Consecration19 August 1294
by Hugh Aycelin
Personal details
Birth namePietro Angelerio
Near Isernia, Kingdom of Sicily
Died19 May 1296 (aged c. 81)
Ferentino, Papal States
Previous postSuperior-General of the Celestines (1274–1294)
Coat of armsCelestine V's coat of arms
Feast day19 May
Venerated inCatholic Church
Canonized5 May 1313
by Pope Clement V
Other popes named Celestine
Papal styles of
Pope Celestine V
C o a Celestino V
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleSaint

Early life

According to tradition, Pietro Angelerio was born to parents Angelo Angelerio and Maria Leone in a town called Sant'Angelo Limosano, in the Kingdom of Sicilia (Sicily). Sant'Angelo Limosano is now part of Provincia di Campobasso, in Molise, Italy.

After his father's death he began working in the fields. His mother Maria was a key figure in Pietro's spiritual development: she imagined a different future for her deeply beloved son than becoming just a farmer or a shepherd. From the time he was a child, he showed great intelligence and love for others. He became a Benedictine monk at Faifoli in the Diocese of Benevento when he was 17. He showed an extraordinary disposition toward asceticism and solitude, and in 1239 retired to a solitary cavern on the mountain Morrone, hence his name (Peter of Morrone). Five years later he left this retreat, and went with two companions to a similar cave on the even more remote Mountain of Maiella in the Abruzzi region of central Italy, where he lived as strictly as possible according to the example of St. John the Baptist. Accounts exist of the severity of his penitential practices.

Founding of the Celestines

Eremo di Sant'Onofrio al Morrone1
Eremo di Sant'Onofrio al Morrone, Sulmona (Abruzzo)

While living like this he founded, in 1244, the order subsequently named after him, the Celestines. A new religious community was formed, and Pietro gave them a rule formulated in accordance with his own practices. In 1264 the new institution was approved by Urban IV. Having heard that it was probable that Pope Gregory X, then holding a council at Lyon, would suppress all such new orders as had been founded since the Lateran Council had commanded that such institutions should not be further multiplied, Pietro went to Lyon. There he succeeded in persuading Gregory to approve his new order, making it a branch of the Benedictines and following the rule of Saint Benedict, but adding to it additional severities and privations. Gregory took it under the Papal protection, assured to it the possession of all property it might acquire, and endowed it with exemption from the authority of the ordinary. Nothing more was needed to ensure the rapid spread of the new association and Pietro lived to see himself "Superior-General" to thirty-six monasteries and more than six hundred monks. Pietro, however, cannot be accused of ambition or the lust of power when a monastic superior, any more than when he insisted on divesting himself of the Papacy, to which he was subsequently raised.

As soon as he had seen his new order thus consolidated he gave up the government of it to a certain Robert, and retired once again to a still more remote solitude to give himself up more entirely to solitary penance and prayer. Shortly afterwards, in a chapter of the order held in 1293, the original monastery of Majella being judged to be too desolate and exposed to too rigorous a climate, it was decided that Abbazia Morronese in the plains of Sulmona should be the headquarters of the order and the residence of the General-Superior, as it has continued to be to the present day.

Election as pope

The cardinals assembled at Perugia after the death of Pope Nicholas IV in April 1292. After more than two years, a consensus had still not been reached. Pietro, well known to the cardinals as a Benedictine hermit, sent the cardinals a letter warning them that divine vengeance would fall upon them if they did not quickly elect a pope. Latino Malabranca, the aged and ill dean of the College of Cardinals cried out, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, I elect brother Pietro di Morrone." The cardinals promptly ratified Malabranca's desperate decision. When sent for, Pietro obstinately refused to accept the papacy, and even, as Petrarch says, tried to flee, until he was finally persuaded by a deputation of cardinals accompanied by the king of Naples and the pretender to the throne of Hungary. Elected on 5 July 1294,[2] at age 79, he was crowned at Santa Maria di Collemaggio in the city of Aquila in the Abruzzo on 29 August, taking the name Celestine V.[3]


Papa Celestino V 01
Tomb of Celestine V

Shortly after assuming office, Celestine issued a papal bull granting a rare plenary indulgence to all pilgrims visiting Santa Maria di Collemaggio through its holy door on the anniversary of his papal coronation.[4] The Perdonanza Celestiniana festival is celebrated in L'Aquila every 28–29 August in commemoration of this event.[5]

With no political experience, Celestine proved to be an especially weak and ineffectual pope.[6] He held his office in the Kingdom of Naples, out of contact with the Roman Curia and under the complete power of King Charles II. He appointed the king's favorites to church offices, sometimes several to the same office. One of these was Louis of Toulouse, whom Celestine ordered given clerical tonsure and minor orders, although this was not carried out. He renewed a decree of Pope Gregory X that had established stringent rules for papal conclaves after a similarly prolonged election. In one decree, he appointed three cardinals to govern the church during Advent while he fasted, which was again refused.[7]

Realizing his lack of authority and personal incompatibility with papal duties, he consulted with Cardinal Benedetto Caetani (his eventual successor) about the possibility of resignation.[7] This resulted in one final decree declaring the right of resignation, which he promptly exercised after five months and eight days in office, thus on 13 December 1294, Celestine V resigned.[8] In the formal instrument of renunciation, he recited as the causes moving him to the step: "The desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, his longing for the tranquility of his former life".[9] Having divested himself of every outward symbol of papal dignity, he slipped away from Naples and attempted to retire to his old life of solitude.

The next pope to resign of his own accord was Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, 719 years later.[10][11]

Retirement, death, and canonization

Celestine V Castel Nuovo Napoli n02
St Peter Celestine by Niccolò di Tommaso, Castel Nuovo

The former Celestine, now reverted to Pietro Angelerio, was not allowed to become a hermit once again. Various parties had opposed his resignation and the new Pope Boniface VIII had reason to worry that one of them might install him as an antipope. To prevent this he ordered Pietro to accompany him to Rome. Pietro escaped and hid in the woods before attempting to return to Sulmona to resume monastic life. This proved impossible, and Pietro was captured after an attempt to flee to Dalmatia was thwarted when a tempest forced his ship to return to port. Boniface imprisoned him in the castle of Fumone near Ferentino in Campagna, attended by two monks of his order, where Pietro died after 10 months at about the age of 81. His supporters spread the allegation that Boniface had treated him harshly and ultimately executed Pietro, but there is no clear historical evidence of this.[12] Pietro was buried at Ferentino, but his body was subsequently removed to the Basilica Santa Maria di Collemaggio in Aquila.

Philip IV of France, who had supported Celestine and bitterly opposed Boniface, nominated Celestine for sainthood following the election of Pope Clement V. The latter signed a decree of dispensation on 13 May 1306 to investigate the nomination.[13] He was canonized on 5 May 1313 after a consistory in which Boniface's Caetani family was outvoted by members of the rival Colonna family.[14]


Most modern interest in Celestine V has focused on his resignation.[15] He was the first pope to formalize the resignation process and is often said to have been the first to resign. In fact he was preceded in this by Pontian (235), John XVIII (1009), Benedict IX (1045), and Gregory VI (1046).[16] As noted above, Celestine's own decision was brought about by mild pressure from the Church establishment. His reinstitution of Gregory X's conclave system established by the papal bull Ubi periculum has been respected ever since.

A 1966 visit by Pope Paul VI to Celestine's place of death in Ferentino along with his speech in homage of Celestine prompted speculation that the Pontiff was considering retirement.[17][18]

Celestine's remains survived the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake with one Italian spokesman saying it was "another great miracle by the pope".[19] They were then recovered from the basilica shortly after the earthquake.[20] While inspecting the earthquake damage during a 28 April 2009 visit to the Aquila, Pope Benedict XVI visited Celestine's remains in the badly damaged Santa Maria di Collemaggio and left the woolen pallium he wore during his papal inauguration in April 2005 on his glass casket as a gift.[21][22]

To mark the 800th anniversary of Celestine's birth, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the Celestine year from 28 August 2009 through 29 August 2010.[23] Benedict XVI visited the Sulmona Cathedral, near Aquila, on 4 July 2010[24] as part of his observance of the Celestine year and prayed before the altar consecrated by Celestine containing his relics, on 10 October 1294.[25]

His entry in the Martyrologium Romanum for 19 May reads as follows:

Ad Castrum Fumorense prop Alatrium in Latio, natalis sancti Petri Caelestini, qui, cum vitam eremeticam in Aprutio ageret, fama sanctitatis et miraculorum clarus, octogenarius Romanus Pontifex electus est, assumpto nomine Caelestini Quinti, sed eodem anno munere se abdicavit et solitudinem recedere maluit.
At Castrum Fumorense near Alatri in Lazio, the birth of Saint Peter Celestine, who, when leading the life of a hermit in Abruzzo, being famous for his sanctity and miracles, was elected Roman Pontiff as an octogenarian, assumed the name Celestine V, but abandoned his office that same year and preferred to return to solitude.

In literature

Opuscula omnia
Opuscula omnia, 1640

A persistent tradition identifies Celestine V as the nameless figure Dante Alighieri sees among those in the antechamber of Hell, in the enigmatic verses:

I saw and recognized the shade of him
who due to cowardice made the great refusal.

— Inferno III, 59–60

The first commentators to make this identification included Dante's son Jacopo Alighieri,[26] followed by Graziolo Bambaglioli in 1324. The identification is also considered probable by recent scholars (e.g., Hollander, Barbara Reynolds, Simonelli, Padoan). Petrarch was moved to defend Celestine vigorously against the accusation of cowardice and some modern scholars (e.g., Mark Musa) have suggested Dante may have meant someone else (Esau, Diocletian and Pontius Pilate have been variously suggested).

In 1346, Petrarch declared in his De vita solitaria that Celestine's refusal was a virtuous example of solitary life.[27]

Pope Celestine V is referenced in Chapter 88 of Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, where he is erroneously referenced as an example of a murdered pope. Celestine V is also mentioned in the film version.

The life of Pope Celestine V is dramatised in the plays L'avventura di un povero cristiano (The Story of a Humble Christian) by Ignazio Silone in 1968 and Sunsets and Glories by Peter Barnes in 1990.

Pope Celestine V's life is the subject of the short story Brother of the Holy Ghost in Brendan Connell's short story collection The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children.[28]

Pope Celestine V is the subject of Stefania Del Monte's book Celestino V. Papa Templare o Povero Cristiano?, published in 2009 and translated into English under the title The Story and Legacy of Celestine V in 2010.[29]

Pope Celestine V is the subject of a popular history by author Jon M. Sweeney, The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation, published by Image Books/Random House in 2012.[30] In 2013, HBO optioned the film rights.[31]

Pope Celestine V is the subject of the poem "Che Fece...Il Gran Rifiuto" by the modern Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy.

See also


  1. ^ a b Loughlin, JF (1908). "Pope St. Celestine V". The Catholic Encyclopedia . 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Jeffrey H. Denton, Robert Winchelsey and the Crown 1294-1313, Vol. 14, (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 66.
  3. ^ James Loughlin, "Pope St. Celestine V", The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 1 Jul. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03479b.htm>.
  4. ^ Pope John Paul II (23 August 2001). "Address of John Paul II to the Jury Members of the 'Premio Internazionale Perdonanza'". Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  5. ^ Abruzzo World Club (Summer 2002). "The Perdonanza". Abruzzo Heritage. Archived from the original on 26 August 2009.
  6. ^ Clement V's bull of canonization noted his "marvelous simplicity and inexperience[] in everything belonging to the rule of the Church"
  7. ^ a b McBrien, Richard P. (2000) Lives of the Popes
  8. ^ "Papal Resignations"', Olivier Guyotjeannin, The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, ed. Philippe Levillain, (Taylor & Francis, 2002), 1305.
  9. ^ Walker, Jesse (2013-02-11) The Ones Who Walk Away From the Holy See, Reason
  10. ^ Alpert, Emily (11 February 2013). "Scandal, speculation surround past popes who resigned". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  11. ^ de Souza, Raymond J. (12 February 2013). "The Holy Father takes his leave". The National Post. Archived from the original on 23 March 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  12. ^ Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1906) History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages vol. 5 part 2
  13. ^ "Nolite timere', il film su San Pietro Celestino all'auditorium". Isernia News. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  14. ^ Ronald C. Finucane, Contested Canonizations: The Last Medieval Saints, 1482-1523 (Catholic University of America Press, 2011), 19.
  15. ^ Johnston, Bruce; Jonathan Petre (8 February 2005). "Cardinal hints that ailing Pope may resign". The Telegraph.
  16. ^ "A History of Papal Resignations". History.com. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  17. ^ Cf. Pope Paul VI's speech of 1 September 1966
  18. ^ "Roman Catholicism: Retirement for 200 Bishops". Time Magazine. 30 September 1966. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  19. ^ "Pope's bones survive earthquake". United Press International. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  20. ^ Kington, Tom (14 April 2009). "Italy earthquake focus shifts to saving Abruzzo's heritage". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  21. ^ Owen, Richard (28 April 2009). "Pope Benedict XVI visits Abruzzo earthquake zone to pray for victims". The Times. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  22. ^ Donadio, Rachel (28 April 2009). "Pope visits devastated earthquake zone". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  23. ^ "Homily of Card. Tarcisio Bertone for the opening of the Holy Door on the occasion of the Feast of Celestinian Forgiveness and the beginning of the Celestinian Year" (in Italian). The Roman Curia. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  24. ^ "Benedict Praised courage of Celestine V, another Pope who resigned". Rome Reports. 12 February 2013. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Pastoral Visit to Sulmona". The Roman Curia. 4 July 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  26. ^ Alighieri, Jacopo (1848). Chiose alla cantica dell'Inferno (in Italian). Florence: Tipografica di Tommaso Baracchi. p. 12.
  27. ^ Petrarca, Francesco (1879). De vita Solitaria (in Italian). Bologna: Gaetano Romagnoli.
  28. ^ The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children. Chomu Press. 2011. ISBN 9781907681042.
  29. ^ "Stefania Del Monte". www.stefaniadelmonte.com. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  30. ^ Sweeney, Jon M. (2012). The Pope Who Quit. Singapore Books. ISBN 9780385531894.
  31. ^ Sweeney, Jon M. (15 February 2013). "Predicting the Pope Would Quit". HuffPo.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Nicholas IV
5 July – 13 December 1294
Succeeded by
Boniface VIII
1292–94 papal election

The papal election of 1292–94 (from April 5, 1292 to July 5, 1294), was the last papal election which did not take the form of a papal conclave (in which the electors are locked in seclusion cum clave—Latin for "with a key"—and not permitted to leave until a new Bishop of Rome has been elected). After the death of Pope Nicholas IV on April 4, 1292, the eleven surviving cardinals (a twelfth died during the sede vacante) deliberated for more than two years before electing the third of six non-cardinals to be elected pope during the Late Middle Ages: Pietro da Morrone, who took the name Pope Celestine V.

Contemporary sources suggest that Morrone was hesitant to accept his election when word of the cardinals' decision reached his mountain-top hermitage. His ascetic life left him largely unprepared for the day-to-day responsibilities of the papacy, and he quickly fell under the influence of the Neapolitan monarchy of Charles of Anjou, to the dissatisfaction of even the pro-Angevin cardinals within the College. Celestine V resigned on 13 December 1294.


Year 1294 (MCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1294 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1294 (23–24 December) was convoked in Naples after the resignation of Pope Celestine V on 13 December 1294. Celestine V had only months earlier restored the election procedures set forth in the papal bull Ubi periculum of Pope Gregory X, which had been suspended by Pope Adrian V in July 1276. Every papal election since then has been a papal conclave. It was the first papal conclave held during the lifetime of the preceding pontiff, an event not repeated until the papal conclave of 2013 following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.


Apricena (Foggiano: La Prucìne) is an Apulian town in the province of Foggia. It is 42 kilometres (26 mi) from its provincial capital, Foggia, Italy, and a few kilometres inland from the Adriatic Sea.

This territory is mainly plain, cultivated with olives, cereals and wine. The economy is focused on quarrying the local rock, the Stone of Apricena, and exporting it to Germany, Japan, and China.


Celestine may refer to:


Pope Celestine I (died 432)

Pope Celestine II (died 1144)

Pope Celestine III (c. 1106–1198)

Pope Celestine IV (died 1241)

Pope Celestine V (1215–1296)

Antipope Celestine II, antipope for one day: December 16, 1124

Celestine Babayaro (born 1978), Nigerian former footballer

Celestine Damiano (1911-1967), American Roman Catholic prelate

Célestine Galli-Marié (1840–1905), French mezzo-soprano who created the title role in the opera Carmen

Célestine Guynemer de la Hailandière (1798–1882), French-born American Roman Catholic prelate

Celestine Tate Harrington (1956–1998), quadriplegic street musician known for playing the keyboard with her lips and tongue

Célestine N'Drin (born 1963), Côte d'Ivoire runner who specialized in the 400 and 800 metres

Celestine Omehia (born 1959), Nigerian politician

Celestine Sibley (1914–1999), Southern American author, journalist, and syndicated columnist

James Celestine (born 1973), Bermudian cricketerFictional characters:

Célestine (Mirbeau), main character and narrator of the French novel The Diary of a Chambermaid, by Octave Mirbeau

Celestine Tavernier, on the BBC soap opera EastEnders

Celestine (comics), in the Image Comics universeOther uses:

Celestines, a branch of the Benedictine Order of monks

Celestine (mineral), a mineral, also known as celestite, found worldwide

Celestine, Indiana, a town in Dubois County, Indiana

La Celestine (Carlota Valdivia), a 1904 painting from Picasso's Blue Period

Celestine (album) by Filipino singer Toni Gonzaga, released in May, 2014

Ernest and Celestine, animated French film, 2012


Fumone is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Frosinone in the Italian region of Lazio, located about 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Rome and about 12 kilometres (7 mi) northwest of Frosinone.

Guillaume de Ferrières (cardinal)

Guillaume de Ferrières (Latin: Guilelmus de Ferrariis, de Fornariis) (born in Provence, at a date unknown; died 7 September 1295 in Perpignan) was a Provençal French bureaucrat in the service of King Charles II of Naples, and a Roman Catholic Cardinal.

Guillaume held the academic rank of Magister. He was Professor of Law at the University of Toulouse, ca. 1284.He was Provost of the Church of Marseille, 1289-1295, and papal Chaplain. He also held the titles of Consiliarius and Familiaris of King Charles.He was Vice-Chancellor of King Charles II of Naples, 1290-1295, in Provence. In a letter written at Aix-en-Provence on 24 November 1290, the Provost Guillaume states that he was operating with the authority of the King by virtue of a special commission.On the request of King Charles II, Guillaume de Ferrières was created cardinal-priest by Pope Celestine V at a Consistory held at L'Aquila on 18 September 1294; Guillaume was assigned the titular Church of San Clemente in Rome.He participated in the Conclave of 1294, following the resignation of Pope Celestine V on 13 December 1294. On 24 December, the cardinals elected Benedetto Caetani, Cardinal Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino, who took the name Boniface VIII.Cardinal Guillaume was appointed Legate of Boniface VIII on 30 June 1295, and sent to France to de-fuse a quarrel which was beginning between Philip IV of France, Charles II of Sicily, and Charles of Alençon and Valois. He was then sent on to Spain to confirm the peace between Charles II of Sicily and King James II of Aragon, and to carry out the investiture for the Kingdom of Valencia and the Kingdom of Aragon. Useful details of the mission are provided by the Register of Guillaume de Mandagot, Archbishop of Embrun. Mandagot had just been consecrated a bishop by Boniface VIII himself on Easter Day, 1295, and he headed north very soon thereafter. He was in Embrun in the third week of June, where he was received, installed, and offered homage. He then immediately held a synod. But he received a special order from the Pope to proceed to Catalonia, with Cardinal Guillaume de Ferrieres and King Charles II of Naples. He wound up his affairs and on 30 July set off to meet the party travelling north from Rome. The party proceeded to Catalonia, joined by the Archbishop of Arles, Rostagne de Capre. The party met with King James, and the negotiations were concluded. The agreement was later sealed by the marriage of King James II with the daughter of King Charles II, Blanche of Anjou, on 29 October or 1 November 1295, in the Catalan town of Vilabertran.Business concluded, the party began its return journey. Cardinal Guillaume only got as far as Perpignan where he fell ill, and died on 7 September 1295. He was buried in the Franciscan church in that city. Unaware as yet of his death, Pope Boniface wrote a letter to Cardinal Guillaume on 19 September, in which he remarks on Guillaume's illness and his frustration that the negotiations with King James of Aragon were being delayed.On 25 November 1295, the Treasury of the College of Cardinals paid out to the estate of Cardinal Guilelmus de Fornariis his share of a donation made by the Abbot of the Monastery of S. Giorgio in Venice. The estate did not, however, share in the distribution of money from the Rector of the Comtat Venaissin because Cardinal Guillaume had died before Michaelmas. The estate was still receiving distributions from money owed during Cardinal Guillaume's lifetime but not paid until well after his death; on 12 March 1296, he received money given by the Abbot of Cluny, and at Eastertide money given by the Archbishop of Tours.

Illiterate popes

Several popes are regarded by historians as illiterate, including:

Pope Zephyrinus (199–217); St. Hippolytus of Rome wrote "Pope Zephyrinus was illiterate" (Hippol. p. 284, ed. Miller).

Pope Adrian IV (1154–1159); George Washington Dean writes: "Adrian IV., the only English Pope, had been an illiterate servant in a monastery at Avignon."

Pope Celestine V (1294); Sir Maxwell Herbert writes of Celestine V: "On the commemoration day of S. Paul, Celestinus the Fifth was created Pope, who, albeit illiterate, was the priest and confessor of his predecessor."

Pope Innocent VI (1352–1362); It was written of Innocent VI that "the new pope was so illiterate that he looked upon Petrarch as a magician, and this disfavor is supposed to have caused the poet's return to Italy.

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 Boniface VIII

Pope Boniface VIII (Latin: Bonifatius VIII; born Benedetto Caetani, c. 1230 – 11 October 1303) was pope from 24 December 1294 to his death in 1303. Caetani was of baronial origin with family connections to the papacy. He spent his early career abroad in diplomatic roles.

He succeeded Pope Celestine V, a Benedictine, who had resigned from the papal throne. In the College of Cardinals, Boniface discriminated not only against the Benedictines but also members of the Colonna family, some of whom had contested the validity of the 1294 papal conclave that elected him following the unusual resignation of Pope Celestine V. The dispute resulted in battles between troops of Boniface and his adversaries and the deliberate destruction and salting of the town of Palestrina, despite the pope's assurances that the surrendering city would be spared.

Boniface VIII was a pope who put forward some of the strongest claims of any pope to temporal as well as spiritual power. He involved himself often with foreign affairs, including in France, Sicily, Italy and the First War of Scottish Independence. These views, and his chronic intervention in "temporal" affairs, led to many bitter quarrels with Albert I of Germany, Philip IV of France, and Dante Alighieri, who wrote his treatise De Monarchia to dispute Boniface's claims of papal supremacy and placed the pope in the Eighth Circle of Hell in his Divine Comedy, among the simoniacs.

Boniface systematized canon law by collecting it in a new volume, Liber Sextus (1298), which continues to be important source material for canon lawyers. He organized the first Catholic "jubilee" year to take place in Rome in order to gain political clout over Philip IV of France or make up for loss of funds from him. Boniface had first entered into conflict with Philip IV of France in 1296 when the latter sought to reinforce the nascent nation state by imposing taxes on the clergy and barring them from administration of the law. The conflict escalated when the French arrested and convicted papal legate Bernard Saisset for insurrection. The pope issued a bull, Ausculta Fili, in which he declared that both spiritual and temporal power were under the pope's jurisdiction, and that kings were subordinate to the power of the Roman pontiff. Philip disobeyed and had Ausculta Fili publicly burnt in Paris in 1302. Boniface excommunicated Philip and all others who prevented French clergy from traveling to the Holy See, after which the king sent his troops to attack the pope's residence in Anagni on 7 September 1303 and capture him. Boniface was held for three days and beaten badly.

Boniface died a month later, on 11 October 1303, of high fever and was buried in a special chapel. Philip IV pressured Pope Clement V of the Avignon Papacy into staging a posthumous trial to Boniface. He was accused of heresy and sodomy. Pope Clement V referred the process to the 1311 Council of Vienne, where two knights challenged the claim to a trial by combat. With no one willing to fight them, the Council declared the matter closed. His body was accidentally exhumed 1605 and was found to be in relatively good condition, dispensing the legend that he had become frenzied, gnawing his hands and bashing his brains out against the wall.

Pope Celestine

There have been five Popes Celestine of the Roman Catholic Church:

Pope Celestine I (422–432)

Antipope Celestine II (1124)

Pope Celestine II (1143–1144)

Pope Celestine III (1191–1198)

Pope Celestine IV (1241)

Pope Celestine V (1294)

San Pietro a Majella

San Pietro a Majella is a church in Naples, Italy. The term may also refer to the adjacent Naples music conservatory, which occupies the premises of the monastery that used to form a single complex with the church.

The church stands at the western end of Via dei Tribunali, one of the three parallel streets that define the grid of the historic center of Naples; the church is considered one of the most significant examples of Angevin architecture in Naples and was built at the wishes of Giovanni Pippino da Barletta, one of the knights of Charles II of Anjou and the one responsible for destroying the last Saracen colony on the southern peninsula, in Lucera.

San Pietro a Majella was built in the early 14th century and was named for and dedicated to Pietro Angeleri da Morone, a hermit monk from Maiella (near Sulmona) who became Pope Celestine V in 1294. He was the founder of the Celestine monastic order, which occupied the church until 1799, when monasteries were suppressed by the Neapolitan Republic. After the restoration of the monarchy, the monastery was reopened, but in 1826 was converted to house the San Pietro a Maiella Conservatory, a function it preserves. The church underwent restoration in the 1930s and remains an open and active house of worship.

As was the case with much Angevin architecture in Naples, San Pietro a Majella underwent a Baroque make-over by the Spanish in the 17th century, but 20th-century restoration attempted to "undo" that and to restore the building to its original Gothic appearance.

San Pio delle Camere

San Pio delle Camere is a comune and town in the province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

Santa Maria di Collemaggio

S. Maria di Collemaggio is a large medieval church in L'Aquila, central Italy. It was the site of the original Papal Jubilee, a penitential observation devised by Pope Celestine V, who is buried there. The church, which therefore ranks as a basilica because of its importance in religious history, sits in isolation at the end of a long rectangular sward of grass at the southwest edge of the town.

The church is a masterpiece of Abruzzese Romanesque and Gothic architecture and one of the chief sights of L'Aquila. The striking jewel-box effect of the exterior is due to a pattern of blocks of alternating pink and white stone; the interior, on the other hand, is massive and austere. Outbuildings include a colonnaded cloister, with the central fountain typical of many other similar Italian cloisters, and the former monastic refectory.

Parts of the structure were significantly damaged in the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila. While the church's front is intact, its cupola, transept vaults and the triumphal arches have collapsed

Story of a Humble Christian

Story of a Humble Christian (Italian: L'avventura d'un povero cristiano, 1968) is a historical novel by the Italian writer Ignazio Silone, translated to English in 1970. It tells the story of Pope Celestine V.

Sunsets and Glories

Sunsets and Glories is a play by noted playwright and Academy Award nominated screenwriter Peter Barnes. The play is based on the brief reign of Pope Celestine V. First directed by Stuart Burge who had directed Barnes' Ruling Class at the Nottingham Playhouse 22 years earlier, and starring Freddie Jones as Pope Celestine V, Sunsets and Glories premiered at the 1990 opening of the new West Yorkshire Playhouse on the Quarry Hill site, Leeds, UK.

Tommaso d'Ocra

Tommaso d'Ocra, O.Celest., or Tommaso de Apruntio (born at a date unknown, in a place unknown; died 29 May 1300 in Naples) was an Italian monk and Roman Catholic Cardinal.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
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Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
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21st century
History of the papacy
Virgin Mary
See also

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