Celestine V, Saint

Celestine V, Saint,

1215–96, pope (elected July 5, resigned Dec. 13, 1294), an Italian (b. Isernia) named Pietro del Murrone; successor of Nicholas IV. Celestine's election ended a two-year deadlock among the cardinals over a successor to Nicholas IV. He was known for his austere life as a hermit and for his extremist followers, who called themselves Celestines, but he proved a most ineffectual pope and an easy prey to opportunists. King Charles IICharles II
(Charles the Lame), 1248–1309, king of Naples (1285–1309), count of Anjou and Provence, son and successor of Charles I. In the war of the Sicilian Vespers between Charles I and Peter III of Aragón for possession of Sicily, Charles was captured
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 of Naples quickly dominated him and kept the pope in Naples. Celestine freely granted privileges and offices, turned the duties of his office over to a committee of three cardinals, and kept to his cell. His reign was so chaotic that he abdicated after only five months and ordered a new election. His successor, Boniface VIIIBoniface VIII,
1235–1303, pope (1294–1303), an Italian (b. Anagni) named Benedetto Caetani; successor of St. Celestine V.

As a cardinal he was independent of the factions in the papal court, and he opposed the election of Celestine.
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, canceled his official acts and, to avert possible schism among Celestine's ardent followers, kept Celestine in confinement until his death. Celestine was canonized in 1313. Feast: May 19.
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