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The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation

By Jon M. Sweeney

The riveting tale of Pope St. Celestine V, the pope who retired from the papacy.

At the shut of the tumultuous heart a while, there lived a guy who appeared destined from beginning to save lots of the area. His identify used to be Peter Morrone, a hermit, a founding father of a non secular order, and, counting on whom you seek advice from, a reformer, an instigator, a prophet, a coward, a saint, and doubtless the sufferer of homicide. A stroke of destiny might, virtually in a single day, rework this humble servant of God into the main robust guy within the Catholic Church. part a 12 months later, he often is the in simple terms pope in heritage to abdicate the chair of St. Peter, an act that just about introduced the papacy to its knees. What led him to make that call and what occurred in a while will be shrouded in secret for hundreds of years. The Pope Who Quit pulls again the veil of secrecy in this dramatic time in heritage and showcases a narrative that consists of lethal dealings, apocalyptic maneuverings, and papal intrigue.

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In modern instances trendy Catholics range relatively significantly from Dante of their evaluate of Celestine. They have been quoted in Italian newspapers bearing on the invention of the unhurt continues to be as one more miracle on the hand of Saint Celestine V (he used to be canonized seventeen years after his dying, and miracles of every kind were attributed to his intercession over the past 600 years). 4 years prior, within the wintry weather of 2004–5, Celestine used to be additionally mentioned in media through the international while the Vatican’s secretary of country hinted that the ill Pope John Paul II was once contemplating retirement. Celestine was once featured in print and cinema because of Dan Brown’s blockbuster Angels & Demons (chapter 88 of the booklet, released in 2000; after which within the movie, 2009). but Brown wasn’t the 1st smooth author to say Celestine. The angelic pope was once the topic of a ancient novel via Ignazio Silone, released in Italian in 1968 and in English because the tale of a Humble Christian in 1970. The London playwright Peter Barnes wrote approximately Celestine in Sunsets and Glories, which premiered in Leeds, England, in June 1990. and that i suspect that the tale of Peter should have encouraged Morris West to jot down his blockbuster novel The Clowns of God (1981) a couple of fictional twentieth-century pope who abdicates lower than duress. The Clowns of God spent twenty-two weeks at the manhattan occasions bestseller record while it was once published in hardcover. after which there's one ultimate cause that the subject of this booklet should still curiosity readers today—and this emerged after i started writing. Pope Benedict XVI has lately aligned himself with the reminiscence and legacy of this hermit pope from the medieval Catholic previous. On April 29, 2009, whilst Pope Benedict visited Celestine’s tomb within the aftermath of the earthquake that struck L’Aquila past within the month he did greater than say an easy prayer and pay his respects on the Italian saint’s shrine. with no clarification the pope paused for numerous mins, got rid of the pallium from round his shoulders, and laid it lightly on Celestine’s glass-encased tomb. A pallium is a non secular garment that's formed like a Y and resembles an extended, stiff shawl. it's one of many important symbols of a pope’s episcopal authority. it sounds as if Pope Benedict used to be speaking that whatever lies unfinished within the around the world Catholic Church, and it really is in some way hooked up with Celestine V. There are only a few firsthand bills of the lifetime of the well-known guy who left the Chair of St. Peter empty. the center a long time is a time for which we don't have any attendance files at colleges, no physician’s files or census documents. the main trustworthy assets of knowledge are court docket and church annals, yet these files that experience no longer been misplaced to fireside or the weather will be unreliable. there's frequently nearly not anything to firmly position somebody on the earth in these days. Illiteracy was once universal, and few humans wrote approximately themselves and others. in truth, one of many purposes that Celestine V’s election as pope was once so arguable was once that he used to be obvious as unschooled in comparison to the privileged males who held vital ecclesiastical workplaces.

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