Pope Innocent VI

Pope Innocent VI (Latin: Innocentius VI; 1282 or 1295 – 12 September 1362), born Étienne Aubert, was Pope from 18 December 1352 to his death in 1362. He was the fifth Avignon Pope and the only one with the pontifical name of "Innocent".


Innocent VI
Bishop of Rome
Papa Innocentius Sextus
Papacy began18 December 1352
Papacy ended12 September 1362
PredecessorClement VI
SuccessorUrban V
Created cardinal20 September 1342
by Clement VI
Personal details
Birth nameÉtienne Aubert
Beyssac, Kingdom of France
Died12 September 1362 (aged 79–80)
Avignon, Papal States
Other popes named Innocent
Papal styles of
Pope Innocent VI
C o a Innocenzo VI
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone

Early life

Villeneuve avignon chartreuse tombeau
Tomb of pope Innocent VI à the Chartreuse Notre-Dame-du-Val-de-Bénédiction (fr).

Étienne's father was Adhemar Aubert (1260-?), seigneur de Montel-de-Gelat in Limousin province. He was a native of the hamlet of Les Monts, Diocese of Limoges[1] (today part of the commune of Beyssac, département of Corrèze), and, after having taught civil law at Toulouse, he became successively Bishop of Noyon in 1338 and Bishop of Clermont in 1340.[2] On 20 September 1342, he was raised to the position of Cardinal Priest of SS. John and Paul.[1] He was made cardinal-bishop of Ostia and Velletri on 13 February 1352, by Pope Clement VI, whom he succeeded.[3]

His papacy

Etienne was crowned pope on 30 December 1352 by Cardinal Gaillard de la Mothe after the papal conclave of 1352.[4] Upon his election, he revoked a signed agreement stating the college of cardinals was superior to the pope.[2] His subsequent policy compares favourably with that of the other Avignon Popes. He introduced many needed reforms in the administration of church affairs, and through his legate, Cardinal Albornoz, who was accompanied by Rienzi, he sought to restore order in Rome. In 1355, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, was crowned in Rome with Innocent's permission, after having made an oath that he would quit the city on the day of the ceremony.[1]

It was largely through the exertions of Innocent VI that the Treaty of Brétigny (1360) between France and England was brought about. During his pontificate, the Byzantine emperor John V Palaeologus offered to submit the Greek Orthodox Church to the Roman See in return for assistance against John VI Cantacuzenus. The resources at the disposal of the Pope, however, were all required for exigencies nearer home, and the offer was declined.

Most of the wealth accumulated by John XXII and Benedict XII had been lost during the extravagant pontificate of Clement VI. Innocent VI economised by cutting the chapel staff (capellani capelle) from twelve to eight. Works of art were sold rather than commissioned. His pontificate was dominated by the war in Italy and by Avignon's recovery from the plague, both of which made draining demands on his treasury. By 1357, he was complaining of poverty.

Innocent VI was a liberal patron of letters. If the extreme severity of his measures against the Fraticelli is ignored, he retains a high reputation for justice and mercy. However, St. Bridget of Sweden denounced him as a persecutor of Christians.[4] He died on 12 September 1362 and was succeeded by Urban V. Today his tomb can be found in the Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction, the Carthusian monastery in Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Coulombe, Charles A. (2003). Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes. Citadel Press. p. 298. ISBN 9780806523705.
  2. ^ a b Musto, Ronald G. (2003). Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age. University of California Press. p. 308. ISBN 9780520233966.
  3. ^ Conrad Eubel, Hierarchia catholica Tomus I, editio altera (Monasterii 1913), p. 36; p. 18.
  4. ^ a b McBrien, Richard P. (2000). Lives of the Popes. HarperCollins. p. 242. ISBN 9780060878078.


  • Modified text from the 9th edition (1879) of an unnamed encyclopedia
  • Tomasello, Music and ritual at Papal Avignon 1309–1403.
  • Louis XI (king of France),Josepf Frederic, Louis Vaesen,Etienne Charavay,Bernard Edouard de Mandrot-1905.(Googles livres)
  • Societe' d'etudes de la province de Cambrai,Lille-1907
  • Antoine Pellisier (1961). Innocent VI :le reformateur, deuxième pape Limousin (1352–1362)
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bertrand du Pouget
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Pierre Bertrand de Colombier
Preceded by
Clement VI
18 December 1352 – 12 September 1362
Succeeded by
Urban V
1352 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1352 (December 16–18) convened after the death of Pope Clement VI, elected as his successor cardinal Etienne Aubert, who became the fifth Pope of the period of Avignon Papacy under the name Innocent VI. This conclave is remarkable because during its celebration Cardinals for the first time in history subscribed the electoral capitulation, which limited the power of elect.

1362 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1362 elected William Grimoard as Pope Urban V to succeed Pope Innocent VI in the Palais des Papes of Avignon, continuing the Avignon Papacy.

1370 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1370 (December 29–30), held after the death of Pope Urban V, elected as his successor cardinal Pierre Roger de Beaufort, who under the name Gregory XI became seventh and the last Pope of the period of Avignon Papacy.

Alfonso Pérez Noya

Alfonso Pérez Noya (died 1366) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Ourense (1361–1366).

Andouin Aubert

Audouin Aubert (Aldouin Alberti, or Andouin) (died 1363) was a French jurist, bishop and Cardinal.

He was the son of Guy Aubert, a brother of Pope Innocent VI (Étienne Aubert, a Limousin) (1352-1362). His mother was Marguerite de Livron. His father had been ennobled by King Philip VI in March 1338. He had a brother named Gauthier, who predeceased him, and a sister Agnes, who was married to Ademar de Rebyeira. He had a niece named Gualiana, and another named Raymunda de Rossinhac. He had a nephew, Guy Aubert. He was baptized in the church in the village of Beyssac, near Brives in the diocese of Limoges.

He was Doctor in utroque iure (Civil Law and Canon Law). It is not known where he studied, but, given his interest in Toulouse in his Testament, that University must be considered a likely candidate. Pope Benedict XII (1334-1342) granted him a Canonicate in the Collegiate Church of Sainte-Radegonde in Poitiers.On 21 May 1342, Audouin was named Provost of Saint-Pierre d'Aire, and in 1344 he became Canon and Prebendary of Cambrai. He was also Prebendary at Limoges, and also Prebendary and then Dean of the Collegiate Church of Saint-Irieix in Limoges. He was rector of the parish church of Pluma (Plume) in the diocese of Condom; of Tilly (Thil) and Sainte-Foi (Sainte-Foy-de-Peyrolières), in the diocese of Toulouse. Andouin became an Apostolic Subdeacon, Apostolic Notary, and was appointed Archdeacon of Brabant at the end of 1348, with the privilege of visiting his Archdeaconry by proxy; and Canon and Prebend in the Church of Liége (1348-1349). He was also Archdeacon of Lincoln in England. He was made bishop of Paris by Pope Clement VI on 11 September 1349. On 31 March 1351, the Bishop's former Vicar-General, Jean de Lyons, created three scholarships in the Collège de Saint-Nicholas du Louvre on the Bishop's behalf.In the next year, on 20 December 1350, Audouin was appointed bishop of Auxerre, to fill the seat vacated by the new Cardinal Pierre de Cros.On 30 January 1353 Andouin Aubert was named bishop of Maguelonne by Pope Innocent VI. Three and a half months later he resigned as bishop, and took up residence in Avignon; his successor was appointed on 15 May.

He was the first and only cardinal created by his Uncle, Innocent VI, in the Consistory of 15 February 1353. He was named cardinal priest of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo on Monte Celio in Rome. He succeeded his uncle, who had become pope.Aubert was promoted to the suburbicarian See of Ostia by his uncle Innocent in 1361, following the death of Cardinal Petrus Bertrandi on 13 July 1361. From 1361 to 1363 he held a Prebend and was Archdeacon of Dunois in the Church of Chartres.In 1362 Cardinal Aubert, as Bishop of Ostia, had the right and privilege of consecrating Guillaume Grimoard, the new Pope Urban V, a bishop.The Cardinal drew up his Last Will and Testament in Avignon on 3 and 5 May 1363. Later in the day he added a codicil, granting money to the cardinals who would be Executors of his Will, and to the Notaries. He had obtained the privilege of making a Will from his Uncle Innocent on 15 May 1353.He died in Avignon on 10 May 1363. He was buried, along with his uncle, in the Chartreuse at Villeneuve-les-Avignon, which Pope Innocent had founded.In his Testament, Cardinal Andouin Aubert founded the residential Collège de Maguelone in the city of Toulouse, for the benefit of ten poor scholars and a priest to care for them. He made the college his universal heir (residual legatee). Cardinal Jean de Blauzac, his executor, obtained letters from King Charles VI of France to finance the college, and Pope Gregory XI granted him the necessary powers to draw up the Statutes for the college. The College was to be for students in grammar, logic, and the other liberal arts. He left a silver chalice and a gilded paten to each of his benefices. He wrote his own epitaph:

Lapide sub hoc modico iacent omnia viscera OstiensisAudoini dum vivebam in vita mea.

Antonio de' Saluzzi

Antonio de' Saluzzi (died 1401) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Milan (1376–1401) and Bishop of Savona (1355–1376).

Arnaud Aubert

Arnaud Aubert (died 11 June 1371) was nephew of Pope Innocent VI, who appointed him Bishop of Agde (1354), then Bishop of Carcassonne (1354–57) and finally Archbishop of Auch (from January 1357 until his death). He was Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church from March 1361 and exercised that post during sede vacante in 1362 and 1370. Vicar and administrator of the see of Avignon 1366–1367. He died at Avignon.

Ave verum corpus

"Ave verum corpus" is a short Eucharistic chant that has also been set to music by various composers. It dates from the 14th century and has been attributed to Pope Innocent VI.During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the sacramental bread during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The poem is a meditation on the Catholic belief in Jesus's real presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to the Catholic conception of the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.

Bernard (bishop of Płock)

Bernard was a medieval bishop, Dominican friar and confessor of Pope Innocent VI.

Gómez Manrique (bishop)

Gómez Manrique (died 19 December 1375) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Archbishop of Toledo (1362–1375), Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (1351–1362), and Bishop of Tui (1348–1351).

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.

John Luce

John Luce († 1370) was a 14th-century bishop of Dunkeld. He had been a precentor of Dunkeld before being appointed to the bishopric by Pope Innocent VI on 18 May 1355. John had been elected to the bishopric some months before by the diocese's chapter, but the pope had reserved the see for himself. Thus the pope declared the election null and void, but still appointed John. Soon afterwards John was consecrated by Cardinal Peter de Pratis, bishop of Palestrina. John's episcopate is rather unnotable, and most of his legacy consists of a few charters. He was a witness to the 14-year truce signed between Scotland and England on 20 July 1369.

John probably died early in 1370.

Juan Sierra

Juan Sierra (died 16 February 1374) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Segovia (1370–1374) and Bishop of Orense (1367–1370).

List of French popes

Seventeen popes have had French ancestry, all in the second half of the medieval era. The seven popes of the Avignon Papacy were French and are bolded. Since the end of the Avignon Papacy, no French person has been elected pope.

French is the most common non-Italian papal ancestry.

Pope Silvester II, 999–1003: Gerbert of Aurillac

St. Pope Leo IX, 1049–1054: Bruno, Count of Dagsbourg

Pope Stephen IX, 1057–1058: Frederick of Lorraine

Pope Nicholas II, 1058–1061: Gerard of Burgundy

Bl. Pope Urban II, 1088–1099: Otho of Lagery (or Otto or Odo)

Pope Callistus II, 1119–1124: Guido of Vienne

Pope Urban IV, 1261–1264: Jacques Pantaléon

Pope Clement IV, 1265–1268: Guy Foulques

Bl. Pope Innocent V, 1276: Pierre de Tarentaise

Pope Martin IV, 1281–1285: Simon de Brie

Pope Clement V, 1305–1314: Bertrand de Got

Pope John XXII, 1316–1334: Jacques d'Euse

Pope Benedict XII, 1334–1342: Jacques Fournier

Pope Clement VI, 1342–1352: Pierre Roger

Pope Innocent VI, 1352–1362: Stephen Aubert

Bl. Pope Urban V, 1362–1370: Guillaume de Grimoard

Pope Gregory XI, 1370–1378: Pierre Roger de Beaufort

Nicola Capocci

Nicola Capocci (died 1368) was an Italian Cardinal.He studied law at the University of Perugia; later, in 1362, he founded there the Collegium Gregorianum (later called the Sapienza vecchia).He was proposed as bishop of Utrecht in 1341, but the appointment in a situation of conflict lasted only a year. He was in Spain as bishop of Urgel, 1348-1351.He acted as papal legate in France, attempting to broker a peace with the English. In 1356 he was there with Hélie de Talleyrand-Périgord, just ahead of the battle of Poitiers. He quarreled with Talleyrand, later that year, and operated independently from Paris. He was in England in June 1357, back again with Talleyrand. By mid-1358 the legates and Pope Innocent VI had despaired of an effective treaty: the complete failure of the longest papal peacemaking mission of the fourteenth century.

Pierre de Corneillan

Pierre de Corneillan (died 24 August 1355) was the Grand Prior of Saint-Gilles and 4th Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, in Rhodes, from 1353 to 1355. His Blazon was : "Gules on a bend argent three Cornish choughs sable"

De Corneillan spent most of his brief rule (18 months) successfully resisting the intentions of Pope Innocent VI, who planned to move the seat of the Order from Rhodes, to somewhere even closer to Palestine and the Mamluk possessions. His marble sarcophagus is preserved at the main hall of the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.

Primacy of Ireland

The Primacy of Ireland was historically disputed between the Archbishop of Armagh and the Archbishop of Dublin until finally settled by Pope Innocent VI. Primate is a title of honour denoting ceremonial precedence in the Church, and in the Middle Ages there was an intense rivalry between the two archbishoprics as to seniority. Since 1353 the Archbishop of Armagh has been titled Primate of All Ireland and the Archbishop of Dublin Primate of Ireland, signifying that they are the senior churchmen in the island of Ireland, the Primate of All Ireland being the more senior. The titles are used by both the Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops. The distinction mirrors that in the Church of England between the Primate of All England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Primate of England, the Archbishop of York.

Robert Briquet

Robert Briquet was a mercenary captain during the Hundred Years War.

After the Treaty of Brétigny in the Robert Briquet and his men found themselves unemployed and so become one of the 30 so-called Tard-Venus bandits, that ranged the French country side pillaging town. Leading to Avignon, Pope Innocent VI preaching a crusade against the robbers.

His story is mentioned in the Chronicles of Froissart In mid-Lent 1362 his group, in company with up to 2000 other Tard-Venus Robert Briquet and his men were attacking the counties of Macon, Lyon and Forez.

Then mid, year Robert Briquet with Naudon de Bageran,Francois Hennequin, Espiote, John Creswey, and Camus bour, separated from the main group of brigands and marched on the wealthy and largely undefended papal city of Avignon to make ransom of the Pope and cardinals.

But on 3 June 1362, this army was cut to pieces by 400 Spaniard and Castilians soldiers under the orders of Henry of Trastamara (King of Castile and León) at Montpensier.

Thomas MacDowell

Thomas MacDowell (Scottish Gaelic: Tòmas MacDhùghaill) was Bishop of Galloway (1359–1363). He had previously been rector of the parish of "Kyrteum" (perhaps Kirkcolm?), and so was certainly a native of Galloway, as his Gaelic name further suggests. He was provided to the see by Pope Innocent VI sometime before December 1359. He was consecrated at Avignon by Cardinal Peter, Bishop of Ostia. He appeared in the records for the last time in a document dating to September, 1362, along with the Bishop of Dunkeld and the Bishop of Brechin as an arbitrator in a dispute between the chapter of Glasgow and its bishop. His successor, Adam de Lanark, was provided to the see in November 1363, so it is probable that Thomas died sometime in the early part of 1363.

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