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Pope Celestine V

Pope Celestine V  192nd Roman Pontiff in 1294

192nd Pontiff (1294)

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.

Pope Celestine 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 corruption.

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. 

Pope Celestine V died in prison on May 19, 1296.  Some say he was assassinated by Pope Boniface VIII

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