Pietro Angeleri, a Benedictine monk, was
born in 1215, the eleventh of twelve children of a peasant family in
Isernia, Italy. At first Pope Celestine V
refused the papacy (his internal struggle is described in Ignazio Silone's
book, The Adventure of a Poor Christian) because he liked the
hermit life of a monk.
V was elected pope on July 5, 1294, and abdicated on December
13, 1294, because Pope Celestine V did not like having power
over others. He felt power was a temptation which could lead to
Before he abducted, Pope Celestine V issued a papal bull/edit
granting a plenary indulgence to anyone who was "truly repentant and
had confessed" and who entered the Basilica of Santa Maria di
Collemaggio in L'Aquila, Italy, between the nights of August 28 and August
29. Each year thousands participate in the annual
Procession and Mass.
After his abdication, Pope Celestine V intended to return to the
monestery, but instead was arrested by his successor, Pope Boniface VIII,
for fear Pope Celestine V would reclaim the papacy.
V died in prison on May 19, 1296. Some say he was
assassinated by Pope