- Peter Celestine
- Peter Morrone
- Pietro del Morrone
At 20 Peter became a hermit, praying, working, and reading the Bible. He followed the Benedictine Rule, and so many other hermits came to him for guidance, that he founded the Holy Spirit Community of Maiella (Celestines).
Following a two year conclave during which the cardinals could not decide on a pope, Peter came to them with the message that God was not pleased with the long delay; the cardinals chose Peter as the 192nd Pope.
The primary objective of Celestine’s pontificate was to reform clergy, many of whom were using spiritual power to obtain wordly power. Celestine sought a way to bring the faithful to the original Gospel spirit, and he settled on “Pardon” – he called for a year of forgiveness of sins, and return to evangelical austerity and fidelity.
He reigned a mere five months, and the members of the Vatican Curia took advantage of him. This led to much mismanagement, and great uproar in the Vatican. Knowing he was responsible, Celestine asked forgiveness for his mistakes, and abdicated on 13 December 1294, the only pope to do so. His successor, Boniface VIII, kept Celestine hidden for the last ten months of his life in a small room in a Roman palace. Celestine may have appreciated it – he never lost his love of the hermit‘s life, and spent his last days in prayer.
- 19 May 1296 in Rome, Italy of natural causes
- buried in the church of Saint Agatha, Ferentino, Italy
- re-interred in the Church of Saint Maria di Collemaggio, Aquila, Italy
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Under the Hood
- Discovery: Medieval Hermit Pope Not Murdered, as Believed
- Katherine Rabenstein
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- Popes Through the Ages, by Joseph Brusher
- “Pope Saint Celestine V“. Saints.SQPN.com. 8 May 2013. Web. 25 May 2013. <>