Monday, May 19, 2014
St. Peter Celestine
Easter: May 19th
Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
The pious hermit and founder of the Celestine Order, Pietro di Morone, was born about the year 1215, the eleventh of twelve children. After the death of Nicholas IV, a conclave, which lasted more than two years elected him pope, on July 5, 1294. He became known as Celestine V. Only the chaotic condition of the age plus the intrigue of King Charles II of Naples can explain the selection of this holy man, who obviously was not conversant with the ways of men or of the world.
It soon became evident that the choice had not been a happy one. Feeling himself incapable of bearing the heavy burden, Celestine resigned on December 13, 1294, five months after receiving the tiara, and resumed the cherished, simple life of a monk. He was succeeded by Boniface VII, who had reason to fear that his opponents might use the former Pope to create a schism. To prevent such a calamity, Celestine was detained under careful guard in the castle of Fumone near Anagni, where a replica of his former monastic cell had been erected. Here he passed the remainder of his life in acts of holy penance.
— Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.