Pope Celestine II

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Celestine II
Caelestinus II.jpg
Papacy began26 September 1143
Papacy ended8 March 1144
Predecessor Innocent II
Successor Lucius II
Personal details
Birth nameGuido di Castello
Born Città di Castello, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Died(1144-03-08)8 March 1144
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Other popes named Celestine
Papal styles of
Pope Celestine II
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous stylenone

Pope Celestine II (Latin : Caelestinus II; died 8 March 1144), born Guido di Castello, [1] was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 26 September 1143 [2] to his death in 1144. He is the first pope mentioned in the prophecy of Saint Malachy.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Papal States Territories mostly in the Appenine Peninsula under the sovereign direct rule of the pope between 752–1870

The Papal States, officially the State of the Church, were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the Pope, from the 8th century until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from roughly the 8th century until the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia successfully unified the Italian Peninsula by conquest in a campaign virtually concluded in 1861 and definitively in 1870. At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Romagna, and portions of Emilia. These holdings were considered to be a manifestation of the temporal power of the pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy.

Saint Malachy Irish bishop

Saint Malachy was an Irish saint and Archbishop of Armagh, to whom were attributed several miracles and an alleged vision of 112 Popes later attributed to the apocryphal Prophecy of the Popes. It is now believed by scholars that this document was a forgery created by Cardinal Girolamo Simoncelli. Saint Malachy was the first native born Irish saint to be canonised. His brother was Gilla Críst Ua Morgair who later became Bishop Christian of Clogher from 1126 to 1138.


Early life

Guido di Castello, possibly the son of a local noble, Niccolo di Castello, [3] was born either in Città di Castello, situated in Paterna Santa Felicità upon the Apennines, or at Macerata in the March of Ancona. [3] [4]

Città di Castello Comune in Umbria, Italy

Città di Castello is a city and comune in the province of Perugia, in the northern part of the Umbria. It is situated on a slope of the Apennines, on the flood plain along the upper part of the river Tiber. The city is 56 km (35 mi) north of Perugia and 104 km (65 mi) south of Cesena on the motorway SS 3 bis. It is connected by the SS 73 with Arezzo and the A1 highway, situated 38 km (23 mi) west. Città di Castello has an exclave named Monte Ruperto within Marche.

Macerata Comune in Marche, Italy

Macerata is a city and comune in central Italy, the county seat of the province of Macerata in the Marche region. It has a population of about 41,564.

March of Ancona

The March of Ancona was a frontier march centred on the city of Ancona and, then, Macerata in the Middle Ages. Its name is preserved as an Italian region today, the Marches, and it corresponds to almost the entire modern region and not just the Province of Ancona.

Guido had studied under Pierre Abélard, and eventually became a distinguished master in the schools. [3] Eventually Guido began his career in Rome as a subdeacon and a scriptor apostolicus under Pope Callixtus II. [3] He was created Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Via Lata by Pope Honorius II in 1127; [5] as such, he signed the papal bulls issued between 3 April 1130 and 21 December 1133. [6] In the double papal election of 1130 he joined the obedience of Pope Innocent II. In December 1133 Innocent promoted him to the rank of Cardinal-Priest of San Marco. [5] He signed the papal bulls as S.R.E. indignus sacerdos between 11 January 1134 and 16 May 1143. [7] As the cardinal of San Marco's, he supported Innocent's claims with regards to Monte Cassino, and as a mark of his confidence in him, Innocent made Guido the rector of Benevento. Afterwards, he made him a papal legate to France in 1140. [1]

Subdeacon is a title used in various branches of Christianity.

Pope Callixtus II Pope from 1119 to 1124

Pope Callixtus II or Callistus II, born Guy of Burgundy, was pope of the western Christian church from 1 February 1119 to his death in 1124. His pontificate was shaped by the Investiture Controversy, which he was able to settle through the Concordat of Worms in 1122.

Santa Maria in Via Lata church

Santa Maria in Via Lata is a church on the Via del Corso, in Rome, Italy. It stands diagonal from the church of San Marcello al Corso.

He participated in the papal election of 1143, the first undisturbed papal election that Rome had seen for eighty-two years, [8] and was elected pope two days after the death of Innocent II, [9] on 25 September 1143, [1] taking the name of Celestine. [8]


Celestine II governed the Church for only five months and thirteen days from his election until his death on 8 March 1144. Upon his accession he wrote to Peter the Venerable and the monks of Cluny, asking them to pray for him, while he was congratulated by Arnulf of Lisieux. [10] Regardless of the brevity of his reign, he was prepared to chart a very different course from that of his predecessor. He was opposed to Innocent II's concessions to King Roger II of Sicily [11] and refused to ratify the Treaty of Mignano ("a foolish policy, which he survived - just - long enough to regret" [12] ). He was in favor of the House of Plantagenet’s claim to the English throne, thus opposed to King Stephen of England. To emphasise this shift, he refused to renew the legatine authority that Innocent II had granted to King Stephen's brother, Henry of Blois. [11] Celestine also favored the Templars, ordering a general collection for them, as well as the Hospitallers, giving them control of the hospital of Saint Mary Teutonicorum in Jerusalem. [13]

Peter the Venerable French abbot and saint

Peter the Venerable, also known as Peter of Montboissier, was the abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Cluny. He has been honored as a saint but has never been formally canonized. The Catholic Church's Martyrologium Romanum, issued by the Holy See in 2004 regards him as a Blessed.

Cluny Commune in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Cluny is a commune in the eastern French department of Saône-et-Loire, in the region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. It is 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Mâcon.

Arnulf of Lisieux was a medieval French bishop who figured prominently as a conservative figure during the Renaissance of the 12th century, built the Cathedral of Lisieux, which introduced Gothic architecture to Normandy, and implemented the reforms of Bernard of Clairvaux.

The principal act of his papacy was the absolution of Louis VII of France. [11] King Louis had refused to accept the nomination of Pierre de la Chatre as the Archbishop of Bourges, who went to see Innocent II to have his nomination confirmed. [14] When Pierre returned to France in 1142, Louis refused him permission to enter his Episcopal city, causing Pierre to flee to the court of Theobald II, Count of Champagne. Innocent responded by placing France under an interdict. [14] For two years, the various parties remained at loggerheads while Bernard of Clairvaux attempted to mediate the dispute. [15] With the election of Celestine, both Bernard and Theobald appealed to the pope, while Louis sent ambassadors to have the interdict lifted. [16] Louis agreed to accept Pierre as the legitimate Archbishop of Bourges, and in return, Celestine removed the sentence of interdict. [13]

Louis VII of France King of France

Louis VII, called the Younger or the Young, was King of the Franks from 1137 to 1180. He was the son and successor of King Louis VI, hence his nickname, and married Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe. The marriage temporarily extended the Capetian lands to the Pyrenees, but was annulled in 1152 after no male heir was produced.

France Republic with majority of territory in Europe and numerous oversea territories around the world

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Theobald II, Count of Champagne Count of Blois and Champagne

Theobald the Great (1090–1152) was Count of Blois and of Chartres as Theobald IV from 1102 and was Count of Champagne and of Brie as Theobald II from 1125.

Celestine died on 8 March 1144 [1] in the monastery of Saint Sebastian on the Palatine hill and was buried in the south transept of the Lateran. [13] Celestine's heraldic badge was a lozengy shield of argent and gules. [9]

Celestine II is the first pope listed in the Prophecies of St Malachy.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Thomas, pg. 91
  2. http://www2.fiu.edu/~mirandas/bios1127.htm#Castello
  3. 1 2 3 4 Mann, pg. 105
  4. According to Mann (pg. 104), there is a local tradition that Celestine II, when he became pope, presented the cathedral in Città di Castello with a sculptured silver altar-front.
  5. 1 2 Mann, pg. 106
  6. J.M.Brixius, Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130–1181, Berlin, 1912, p. 35 no. 19
  7. J.M.Brixius, Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130–1181, Berlin, 1912, p. 35 no. 19 and p. 43 no. 23, indicates that Guido del Castello and Guido S.R.E. indignus sacerdos were two different persons; but see L. Spätling, Kardinal Guido und seine Legation in Böhmen-Mähren (1142–1146) in: Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung , Wagner'sche Universitäts-buchhandlung, 1958, p. 310
  8. 1 2 Mann, pg. 103
  9. 1 2 Mann, pg. 102
  10. Mann, pgs. 106–107
  11. 1 2 3 Mann, pg. 108
  12. NORWICH, JOHN JU (2012). The Popes: A History. London: Vintage. ISBN   9780099565871.
  13. 1 2 3 Mann, pg. 111
  14. 1 2 Mann, pg. 109
  15. Mann, pgs. 109–110
  16. Mann, pgs. 110–111


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Innocent II
Succeeded by
Lucius II