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Pope St. Celestine V

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Saint Celestine V

Pope & Confessor

Peter Celestine, as he is also known because of his birth name, was born in the year of Our Lord 1215 to a poor family in the Kingdom of Sicily. After taking the Benedictine habit at a very young age, he eagerly adopted the life of a hermit, keeping austere fasts throughout the year. Yet his widespread reputation for holiness attracted many followers, and a now-defunct order was eventually approved that became known as the Celestines. In July of the year of Our Lord 1294, the humble hermit was shocked by the news that he had been elected Pope as a compromise candidate, after over two years in which the Chair had sat empty, thanks to political divisions between the cardinals. Peter reluctantly accepted the tiara, taking the name Celestine, and immediately became a target of political manipulation. Quickly realizing his ineptitude in the office, Celestine resigned the papacy after just four months. He attempted to return to his hermitage, but his successor Boniface VIII imprisoned him, mainly to avoid further manipulation of the humble man. Celestine happily accepted the involuntary cell in place of his voluntary one, and died a holy death in the year of Our Lord 1296.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 19th

THE birthday [into heaven] of St. Peter of Moroni, who, while leading the life of an anchoret, was created Sovereign Pontiff and called Celestin V. Having abdicated the pontificate, he led a religious life in solitude, where, renowned for virtues and miracles, he went to God.

At Rome, the saintly virgin Pudentiana, who, after numberless tribulations, after burying with great respect many martyrs, and distributing all her goods to the poor for Christ’s sake, departed from this world to go to heaven.

In the same city, St. Pudens, senator, father of the virgin just mentioned, who, being clothed with Christ in baptism by the apostles, preserved unspotted the robe of innocence until he received the crown of life.

Also, at Rome, on the Appian road, the birthday [into heaven] of the Saints Calocerus and Parthenius, eunuchs. The former was chamberlain to the wife of the emperor Decius, and the latter chief officer in another department. For refusing to offer sacrifice to idols, they were put to death.

At Nicomedia, the martyr St. Philoterus, son of the proconsul Pacian, who after much suffering under the emperor Diocletian, received the crown of martyrdom.

In the same city six holy virgins and martyrs. The principal one, named Cyriaca, having freely reproved Maximian for his impiety, was most severely scourged and lacerated, and then consumed with fire.

At Canterbury, St. Dunstan, bishop.

In Bretagne, St. Ives, priest and confessor, who, for the love of Christ, defended the interests of orphans, widows, and the poor.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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