|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||22 October 1303|
|Papacy ended||7 July 1304|
|Created cardinal||4 December 1298|
by Boniface VIII
|Birth name||Nicola Boccasini|
|Died||7 July 1304 (aged 64)|
Perugia, Papal States
|Motto||Illustra faciem Tuam super servum Tuum ("Let Your Face shine upon Your servant")|
|Coat of arms|
|Feast day||7 July|
|Beatified||24 April 1736|
Rome, Papal States
by Pope Clement XII
|Other popes named Benedict|
|Papal styles of|
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. He was also a member of the Order of Preachers.
The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.
The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Innocent III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans.
He was beatified with his cultus confirmed by Pope Clement XII in 1736. He is a patron of Treviso.
Pope Clement XII, born Lorenzo Corsini, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 12 July 1730 to his death in 1740.
Treviso is a city and comune in the Veneto region of northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Treviso and the municipality has 84,669 inhabitants : some 3,000 live within the Venetian walls or in the historical and monumental center, some 80,000 live in the urban center proper while the city hinterland has a population of approximately 170,000. The city is home to the headquarters of clothing retailer Benetton, Sisley, Stefanel, Geox, Diadora and Lotto Sport Italia, appliance maker De'Longhi, and bicycle maker Pinarello.
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.The family lived outside the walls of Treviso, in a suburb called S. Bartolommeo. 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. 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.
He entered the Order of Preachers in 1254, at the age of fourteen, taking the habit of a novice in his native Treviso.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. In 1262, Niccolò was transferred to Milan, to the new studium of S. Eustorgio. He spent the next six years at S. Eustorgio. 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.
In 1286, at the meeting of the Provincial Chapter, which took place that year in Brescia, Fr. Niccolò was elected Provincial Prior of Lombardy.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. He also had responsibility as an Inquisitor, a task for which popes considered Franciscans and Dominicans especially suited. 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. 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.
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,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.
The Master of the Order of Preachers is the Superior General of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominicans.
Pope Boniface VIII 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.
Boccasini was elevated to the cardinalate on December 4, 1298, by Boniface VIII, and assigned the title of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Sabina.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.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.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.
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.There is no direct evidence, however, to either support or disprove the contention that Nogaret poisoned the pope. Benedict XI's successor, Clement V was in France when elected and never journeyed to Rome. His successors resided principally in 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.
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.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. Cardinal Winterburn died at Genoa on September 24, 1305. 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.
Cardinal Caesar Baronius (1538–1607) wrote that, on the Monday of Easter week in 1304, 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.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.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.
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.
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 10th through 15th popes by that name.
Pope Innocent V, born Pierre de Tarentaise, was pope from 21 January to 22 June 1276. He was a member of the Order of Preachers and was a close collaborator of Pope Gregory X during his pontificate. He was beatified in 1898 by Pope Leo XIII.
Jacques Quétif was a French Dominican and noted bibliographer. His major work Scriptores ordinis praedicatorum was completed by his fellow Dominican Jacques Échard.
Blessed John of Vercelli, O.P., was the sixth Master General of the Dominican Order (1264-1283).
Nicolò Albertini, O.P., was an Italian Dominican friar, statesman, and cardinal.
Thomas of Jorz was an English Dominican theologian and cardinal.
Matteo Orsini was an Italian Dominican friar and Cardinal.
Giovanni Boccamazza was an Italian Cardinal. He was from the Roman nobility, and was a nephew of Cardinal Giacomo Savelli, who had been an important figure in the Roman Curia since his creation as cardinal in 1261.
Jean Lemoine, Jean Le Moine, Johannes Monachus 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.
Venturino of Bergamo was an Italian Dominican preacher.
William of Macclesfield 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.
The papal conclave of 1334 elected Jacques Fournier as Pope Benedict XII to succeed Pope John XXII.
The papal conclave of 1303 elected Pope Benedict XI to succeed Pope Boniface VIII.
Blessed Augustin Kažotić was a Dalmatian-Croatian Roman Catholic prelate and professed member from the Order of Preachers who served as the Bishop of Lucera from 1322 until his death. Kažotić was a humanist and orator who had served first as the Bishop of Zagreb from 1303 until 1322. Kažotić studied in Paris before returning to his homeland where he began working in the missions and preaching in modern Bosnia. He was one of the first humanist figures to appear in southern Croatia.
Pope Boniface VIII created 15 new cardinals in five consistories:
Niccolò Ridolfi was the Master of the Order of Preachers from 1629 to 1642.
Robert de Pontigny, O.Cist. was a French monk, abbot and Roman Catholic Cardinal.
Landolfo Brancaccio was a Neapolitan aristocrat, friend of King Charles II of Naples, and Roman Catholic Cardinal.
Pope Benedict XI created 2 cardinals in 2 consistories held during his pontificate. Both cardinals he appointed were Dominicans like the pope himself.
The Buda heresy was a Waldensian heretical movement from 1304 to 1307 in Buda, the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. In a political context, the heresy was a tiny segment of a wider conflict during the era of Interregnum following the death of King Andrew III of Hungary, when various claimants fought for the Hungarian throne.
Gentile Portino da Montefiore was an Italian Franciscan friar and prelate, who was created Cardinal-Priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. He served as Major Penitentiary of the Roman Curia from 1302 to 1305. Pope Clement V sent him to Hungary as a papal legate in 1308, with the primary task of assuring the Angevins the Hungarian throne. Gentile built the San Martino Chapel in the Lower Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. He was buried in the neighboring Chapel of St. Louis.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pope Benedict XI .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Benedict .|
|Catholic Church titles|
Stephen of Besançon
| Master General of the Dominican Order |
Albert of Chiavari
| Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia |
22 October 1303 – 7 July 1304