|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||5 July 1294|
|Papacy ended||13 December 1294|
|Consecration||19 August 1294|
by Hugh Aycelin
|Birth name||Pietro Angelerio|
Near Isernia, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||19 May 1296 (aged c. 81)|
Ferentino, Papal States
|Previous post||Superior-General of the Celestines (1274–1294)|
|Coat of arms|
|Feast day||19 May|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Canonized||5 May 1313|
by Pope Clement V
|Other popes named Celestine|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Celestine V
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
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.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 Lazio region, in order to prevent his potential installation as antipope. He died in prison on 19 May 1296 at the age of 81.
Celestine was canonized on 5 May 1313 by Pope Clement V. No subsequent pope has taken the name Celestine.
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 John the Baptist. Accounts exist of the severity of his penitential practices.
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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.
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,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.
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.The Celestinian forgiveness (Perdonanza Celestiniana) festival is celebrated in L'Aquila every 28–29 August in commemoration of this event.
With no political experience, Celestine proved to be an especially weak and ineffectual pope.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.
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.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. 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". 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.
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 Lazio, 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.Pietro was buried at Ferentino, but his body was subsequently moved 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.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.
Most modern interest in Celestine V has focused on his resignation.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). 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.
Celestine's remains survived the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake with one Italian spokesman saying it was "another great miracle by the pope".They were then recovered from the basilica shortly after the earthquake. 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.
To mark the 800th anniversary of Celestine's birth, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed the Celestine year from 28 August 2009 through 29 August 2010.Benedict XVI visited the Sulmona Cathedral, near Aquila, on 4 July 2010 as part of his observance of the Celestine year and prayed before the altar consecrated by Celestine containing his relics, on 10 October 1294.
His entry in the Martyrologium Romanum for 19 May reads as follows:
A persistent tradition identifies Celestine V as the nameless figure Dante Alighieri sees among those in the antechamber of Hell, in the enigmatic verses:
vidi e conobbi l'ombra di colui
che fece per viltade il gran rifiuto.
("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,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.
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.
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.
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.In 2013, HBO optioned the film rights.
Pope Celestine V is the subject of the poem "Che Fece...Il Gran Rifiuto" by the modern Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy.
The Celestines were a Roman Catholic monastic order, a branch of the Benedictines, founded in 1244. At the foundation of the new rule, they were called Hermits of St Damiano, or Moronites, and did not assume the appellation of Celestines until after the election of their founder, Peter of Morone, to the Papacy as Celestine V. They used the post-nominal initials O.S.B. Cel. The order was absorbed by Order of the Most Holy Annunciation from 1778 by order of Pius VI in 1776. In 1810 the last Celestines were transferred.
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 succeeded Pope Celestine V, a Benedictine, who had resigned from the papal throne. Boniface spent his early career abroad in diplomatic roles. In the College of Cardinals, he 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.
Abruzzo or Abruzzi is a region of Southern Italy with an area of 10,763 square km and a population of 1.2 million. It is divided into four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, and Chieti. Its western border lies 80 km (50 mi) east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically, Abruzzo is divided into a mountainous area in the west, which includes the Gran Sasso d'Italia, and a coastal area in the east with beaches on the Adriatic Sea.
The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by the Holy See upon metropolitans and primates as a symbol of their conferred jurisdictional authorities, and still remains papal emblems. Schoenig, Steven A., SJ. Bonds of Wool: The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8132-2922-5. In its present form, the pallium is a long and "three fingers broad" white band adornment, woven from the wool of lambs raised by Trappist monks. It is donned by looping its middle around one's neck, resting upon the chasuble and two dependent lappets over one's shoulders with tail-ends on the left with the front end crossing over the rear. When observed from the front or rear the pallium sports a stylistic letter 'y'. It is decorated with six black crosses, one near each end and four spaced out around the neck loop. At times the pallium is embellished fore and aft with three gold gem-headed stickpins. The doubling and pinning on the left shoulder likely survive from the Roman pallium. The pallium and the omophor originate from the same vestment, the latter a much larger and wider version worn by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic bishops of the Byzantine Rite. A theory relates origination to the paradigm of the Good Shepherd shouldering a lamb, a common early Christian art image — but this may be an explanation a posteriori, however the ritual preparation of the pallium and its subsequent bestowal upon a pope at coronation suggests the shepherd symbolism. The lambs whose fleeces are destined for pallia are solemnly presented at altar by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes and ultimately the Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere weave their wool into pallia.
L'Aquila is a city and comune in Central Italy, both the capital city of the Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila. As of 2013, it has a population of 70,967 inhabitants. Laid out within medieval walls on a hill in the wide valley of the Aterno river, it is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, with the Gran Sasso d'Italia to the north-east.
A papal renunciation occurs when the reigning pope of the Catholic Church voluntarily steps down from his position. As the reign of the pope has conventionally been from election until death, papal renunciation is an uncommon event. Before the 21st century, only five popes unambiguously resigned with historical certainty, all between the 10th and 15th centuries. Additionally, there are disputed claims of four popes having resigned, dating from the 3rd to the 11th centuries; a fifth disputed case may have involved an antipope.
The Province of L'Aquila is the largest, most mountainous and least densely populated province of the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. It comprises about half the landmass of Abruzzo and occupies the western part of the region. It has borders with the provinces of Teramo to the north, Pescara and Chieti to the east, Isernia to the south and Frosinone, Rome and Rieti to the west. Its capital is the city of L'Aquila.
Santa 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.
Pietro Colonna was an Italian cardinal.
The papal election of 1292–94, was the last papal election which did not take the form of a papal conclave. After the death of Pope Nicholas IV on 4 April 1292, the eleven surviving cardinals 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.
The papal conclave of 1294 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.
The Abbey of the Holy Spirit at Morrone, known by various titles, is a former monastery some five kilometers outside of the town of Sulmona, at the base of Monte Morrone, in the Province of L'Aquila, region of Abruzzo, Italy.
Bérard de Got was a French bishop and Roman Catholic Cardinal. He was the son of Bérard, Lord of Villandraut, and a brother of Bertrand de Got, who became Pope Clement V.
Tommaso d'Ocra, O.Celest., or Tommaso de Apruntio was an Italian monk and Roman Catholic Cardinal.
Landolfo Brancaccio was a Neapolitan aristocrat, friend of King Charles II of Naples, and Roman Catholic Cardinal.
Eremo della Madonna dell'Altare is an hermitage located in Palena, Province of Chieti.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
Morrone is a Scottish hill immediately southwest of the village of Braemar in Aberdeenshire. Morrone may also refer to:
Carl Borromäus Andreas Ruthart, also known as Carl Ruther and Karl Ruthard; in Italian as Carlo Borromeo Rutardo was a German painter who spent most of his career in Italy. During the last years of his life, he was referred to as Frà Andrea. He considered himself to be a follower of Peter Paul Rubens.
The Celestinian Forgiveness is a religious and historical annual event held in L'Aquila, Italy, at the end of August. It is a catholic jubilee celebration, established in 1294 by pope Celestine V with his bull Inter sanctorum solemnia.
De vita Solitaria petrarch.
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|Catholic Church titles|
| Pope |
5 July – 13 December 1294