Pope Honorius III

[painting of Pope Honorius] Born in Rome, Italy as Cencio Savelli; elected to the papacy on 31 August 1216 at Perugia, Italy; died on 18 March 1227 at Rome, Italy. He was papal chamberlain and cardinal-priest. As pope his two great aims were the recovery of the Holy Land and the spiritual reform of the Church. The Crusade, provided for by the Lateran Council of 1215, proved unsuccessful. Honorius, in an attempt to engage the aid of the emperor Frederick II approved the election of his son Henry as King of the Romans, thereby uniting the empire and the Sicilian Kingdom, a measure which was detrimental to the papacy. Frederick would not, however, fulfil his vow to engage in a Crusade and the pope abandoned the idea and set about making peace in Europe. His activities in behalf of peace brought him in touch with France, Bohemia, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Greece, and Spain. He induced the King of France to suppress the Albigenses, aided in the conversion of Prussia, confirmed the Dominican, Franciscan, and Carmelite rules, and bestowed privileges on the universities of Paris and Bologna. His letters are of great historic value, and in addition to a work on papal economics he wrote the lives of Celestine III, Gregory VII, and made the Fifth Collection of Decretals.

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