Tommaso d'Ocra

Last updated

Tommaso d'Ocra
Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg
Church Santa Cecilia in Trastevere
Predecessor Jean Cholet (1281-1293)
SuccessorVacant, to 1312
Created cardinal18 September 1294
by Pope Celestine V
Personal details
Died29 May 1300
BuriedDuomo of Naples
OccupationBenedictine monk and abbot

Tommaso d'Ocra, O.Celest., or Tommaso de Apruntio [1] (born at a date unknown, [2] in a place unknown; died 29 May 1300 in Naples) was an Italian monk and Roman Catholic Cardinal.



His name, d'Ocra, does not refer to his birthplace ('from Ocra') but rather to his family, members of the family of the Counts of Ocra in the Abruzzi. Ocra was also the name of the fief. The modern Italian spelling is Ocre. [3] Tommaso had brothers named Rainaldo and Pietro, and nephews Luca, Matteo, Berardo, Bartolomeo Jacobo, (Domino) Tadeo de Barilibus and Giovanni de Rocca; he had a niece named Joannuccia, a daughter of Rainaldo; he had a sister named Gemma, and a sister named Margarita de Fossa who had several daughters, for whom the Cardinal provided money for their marriages. [4]

Monk and Abbot

Tommaso became a monk in the little congregation founded by Peter del Murrone. When Peter received papal approval from Pope Urban IV in 1264, he was required to associate his congregation with the Benedictine Order. After his death, however, the congregation was called the Celestine Order (O.Celest.). Tommaso d'Ocra became the Abbot of S. Giovanni in Piano — a community belonging to Peter del Murrone's congregation — just north-west of the city of Apricena, shortly after 1280. Abbot Tommaso is attested in a document of 1290 when his monastery received a gift from Joannes Bishop of Bojano, [5] and he continued to hold the abbey in commendam ('as administrator') while he was Cardinal. [6]


Tommaso d'Ocra was created cardinal by Pope Celestine V in the Consistory of 18 September 1294, and assigned the title of the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. [7] He was named Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church (Camerlengo) by Celestine V, and held the post until his death (1294-1300). He immediately received an annual retainer from the King of England for each of the six years that he was a cardinal. [8]

He participated in the Conclave which met in Naples after the resignation of Pope Celestine V on 13 December 1294. The ceremonies of the Conclave began with the Mass of the Holy Spirit on 23 December. Balloting began on Christmas Eve, 24 December. There was one scrutiny, in which Cardinal Benedetto Caetani received a majority of the votes, the rest going to another candidate (possibly Cardinal Matteo Rosso Orsini; later the same day, at the Accessio, [9] Caetani received the required two-thirds. There was, thus, only one scrutiny. Caetani took the throne name Boniface VIII. [10] After ex-Pope Celestine V died on 19 May 1296, Pope Boniface appointed Cardinal Tommaso to oversee his burial. [11]

His income was considerable. For the year 1295, as his share from the census alone, he received 1,000 florins, and for the year 1296 9,009 florins and 13 denarii. For the year 1297, he received 9.033 florins, 4 solidi and 4 denarii; and, for the year 1298, 3033 florins 4 solidi and 4 denarii. The income from 1299 was 2050 florins. He was not included in the distribution for 1300. [12]

From the Comtat Venaissin his share of the income for 1295 was 83 pounds Tournois (silver), 6 solidi (sols) and 8 denarii. [13] In 1296, he received as his share of the income from the Abbot of Cluny a total of 95 pounds Tournois, 4 sols, 9 denarii. [14] In May 1297, when Boniface VIII deposed the two Colonna cardinals, he redistributed their income, half to himself and half to the Cardinals. Cardinal Tommaso received a payment of 8 florins, 23 solidi, and 3 denarii. [15] On 5 September 1298, when the Papal Curia was resident at Reate, Cardinal Tommaso received 11 livres Tournois as his share of the offering sent by the Abbot of Majoris Monasterii (Marmoutiers) in Tours. [16]


The Cardinal died in Naples on 29 May 1300, probably in the hospitium (guest-house) of the Monastery of S. Demetrio where he had signed his Testament on 23 May. He was buried in the Cathedral of Naples, according to his testamentary wishes. [17]

In 1318, the successors of the late King Charles of Sicily finally paid assessments owed for many years from the census of the Kingdom of Cilicia. Cardinal Tommaso de Aquila tituli Sanctae Ceciliae presbiter, Ordinis Domini Celestinae pape, was credited with 165 gold ducats (reckoned at five ducats per ounce of gold), 156 florins, 11 solidi and 3 denarii of Tours. [18]

Related Research Articles

Pope Boniface VIII 193rd Pope of the Catholic Church

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 abdicated 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 abdication 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.

Pope Celestine V Catholic Pope (July–December 1294)

Pope Celestine V, born Pietro Angelerio, 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.

Sciarra Colonna

Giacomo Colonna (1270-1329), more commonly known by his bynames Sciarrillo or Sciarra, was a member of the powerful Colonna family. He is most famous for attacking Pope Boniface VIII and for crowning Louis IV of Germany as Holy Roman Emperor.

The Apostolic Chancery was a dicastery of the Roman Curia at the service of the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. The principal and presiding official was the Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church who was always Cardinal-Priest of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Damaso. The original, principal function of the office was to collect money to maintain the Papal Army. Pope Pius VII reformed the office when Emperor Napoleon I of France obviated the need for Papal armies. In the early 20th century the office collected money for missionary work. Pope Paul VI abrogated the Cancellaria Apostolica on 27 February 1973. Its obligations were transferred to the Secretariat of State.

Giacomo Gaetani Stefaneschi Catholic cardinal

Giacomo Gaetani Stefaneschi was an Italian cardinal deacon.

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 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 Lemoine, in Paris. He is the first canon lawyer to formulate the legal principle of the presumption of innocence.

1292–1294 papal election 1290s papal election

The 1292–1294 papal election, 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.

1294 papal conclave

The 1294 papal conclave 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.

Pope Celestine V created thirteen new cardinals in two consistories:

Pope Boniface VIII created 15 new cardinals in five consistories:

Pedro Rodríguez de Quexada or Petrus Hispanus was an ecclesiastic from Castile.

Matteo Rosso Orsini (cardinal)

Matteo Rosso Orsini, was a Roman aristocrat, politician, diplomat, and Roman Catholic Cardinal. He was the nephew of Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280).

Pietro Peregrosso was a Roman Catholic legal scholar, ecclesiastical bureaucrat, and Cardinal (1288-1295). He had a sister, who was a nun at the convent of S. Agnete de Archagniago at the Porta Vercellina in Milan. He had a nephew, Belviso de Perego, to whom he left a legacy.

Guillaume de Ferrières was a Provençal French bureaucrat in the service of King Charles II of Naples, and a Roman Catholic Cardinal.

Bérard de Got

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.

Simon de Beaulieu was a French bishop and Roman Catholic Cardinal. He was the son of Guy, Sieur de Beaulieu and of Agnes. Simon's brother, Jean, was Abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Notre Dame-de-Jouy in the diocese of Sens. Simon had another brother, Raoul, who was also buried (1286) at Jouy along with their mother.

Robert de Pontigny, O.Cist. was a French monk, abbot and Roman Catholic Cardinal.

Nicolas de Nonancourt. He was a French university Chancellor, Dean of a Cathedral, and Roman Catholic Cardinal.

Landolfo Brancaccio was a Neapolitan aristocrat, friend of King Charles II of Naples, and Roman Catholic Cardinal.


  1. He was not a member of the family of the Counts of Apruzio (Apruntio), as some scholars (Brunetti and Palma) conjectured: F. Savio, La contea di Apruzio e i suoi conti (Roma 1905), p. 169.
  2. There was an old tradition that he was born at Teramo in the Abruzzi. Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie delle cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa II (Roma 1792), p. 42, without himself endorsing the idea.
  3. Savini, pp. 87-89. Savini points out that, in a letter of Celestine V of September 1294, confirms a grant by King Charles II to Rainaldo and Pietro d'Ocra, who were Tommaso's full brothers. F. Ughelli and N. Colet, Italia sacra I (Venice 1717), pp. 385-386.
  4. Savini, p. 97
  5. Alfonsus Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae pontificum Romanorum et S.R.E. Cardinalium (ed. Augustinus Olduin) II (Rome 1677), p. 286.
  6. Palma, Storia ecclesiastica, p. 12. City of Apricena, San Giovanni in Piano. retrieved 02/28/2016. The monastery of S. Giovanni in Piano was amalgamated with the monastery of S. Spirito in Sulmone, the mother-house of the Celestines, by Celestine V on 20 October 1294.
  7. Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii aevi I, editio altera (Monasterii 1913), pp. 11 and 40.
  8. Palma, p. 13.
  9. opportunity to change vote after the scrutiny, before the final announcement of the count
  10. J. P. Adams, Sede Vacante and Conclave, December 1294. retrieved 02/27/2016.
  11. Ciaconius, p. 287. Cardella, p. 42. Cf. Giacomo Caetani Stefaneschi, De canonizatione Sancti Petri Coelestini I, 125-130, in Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores III. 1, p. 659: Inde Ferentinum delatum corpus, honesto Ingeritur tumulo manibus sub dogmate Fratrum, inque loco stanti digne solleniter actis exequiis, dum Cardo preest a praesule missus.... (...a Cardinal, sent by the Pope, presided...) Luigi Tosti, Storia di Bonifazio VIII e de' suoi tempi I (Montecassino 1846), p. 110.
  12. Baumgarten (1898), p. 130-132.
  13. Baumgarten (1898), pp. 150-151.
  14. Baumgarten (1898), p. 186.
  15. Kirsch, p. 102.
  16. Kirsch, p. 123-124.
  17. Savini, p. 100. The Cardinal had left six ounces of gold for his tomb, as well as 100 gold florins for the funeral expenses.
  18. Baumgarten (1898), p. 107. This may be due to an error on the part of one of the copyists, however, since the next entry in the accounts is sometimes P. de Aquila, that is, Petrus de Aquila, OSB, Cardinal of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Cf. e.g. Kirsch, p. 121. The entry was made, after all, seventeen years after the Cardinal's death.