Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

St Peter of Morrone - Pope Celestine V

May 19th is also the feast day of St Peter of Morrone, who was briefly, in 1294, Pope Celestine V, and who died in 1296. The hermit Peter of the Morrone founded the Benedictine congregation of the Celestines. He became Pope as Celestine V in 1294 and abdicated within a year. His successor, Boniface VIII, imprisoned him in a castle in southern Lazio. Peter was canonized in 1313. This may have been in part, and not withstanding Peter's personal sanctity, part of the reaction against Boniface VIII following his death in 1303 at the height of his quarrel with Philip IV of France.There is more about Peter-Celestine here from Wikipedia and here from the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Here is a view of the castle of Fumone (near Alatri and Ferentino) where after his abdication Peter resided as Boniface's "guest".
This is the Italia nell'Arte Medievale page (views expandable) on the church of Santa Maria di Collemaggio at L'Aquila in Abruzzo, said to have been begun at Peter's behest in 1287 and his resting place since 1327, when most of his remains were surreptitiously brought from Ferentino to L'Aquila (Peter's heart is said still to remain at Ferentino in its chiesa di Santa Chiara).
Peter's tomb in that church is here and his effigy reliquary in the tomb is shown here, and here, and here. Peter's skull exhibits a rectangular hole in the left forehead that has provoked some suspicion about the manner of Peter's end; there is another photograph here.

The views of Santa Maria di Collemaggio were taken before the terrific earthquake of April 6th 2009 in which the church was seriously damaged. There are four pages of recent views beginning

Thanks perhaps to the power of the saint, his tomb survived undamaged.
In the weeks after the earthquake the present Pope visited L'Aquila on April 28th last year.
As the Zenit website said:
Benedict XVI next travelled to the Collemaggio Basilica in L'Aquila, where he prayed in front of the casket with the remains of Pope St. Celestine V. To emphasize his spiritual solidarity, the Pontiff left there the pallium which he received at the beginning of his pontificate.
One might be cynical and think that was a decent way of disposing of it, but then one might not...

The New Liturgical Movement website had these pictures - one of the rare occssions when you will see two Popes together in a photograph - note for pedants, not just those of cardinals who became Pope later- that does not count:

To mark the 800th anniversary of Peter's birth in 1209 Pope Benedict has proclaimed the Celestine Year from August 28th 2009 to August 29 2010.

Here is a view of a late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century fountain, said to have been erected in Peter's honour, in Isernia in Molise (Isernia is one of the candidates for the distinction of being Peter's birthplace):

This page offers a greatly enlargeable view of
Peter's portrait (before 1375) formerly in the abbey of Santa Maria at Casaluce (CE) in Campania and now in the cappella di Santa Barbara in the Castel Nuovo in Naples:

Based again on John Dillon's posting on the Medieval Religion discussion group, with my own additions of the visit of the present Pope last year.


MyronM said...

Celestine V, Benedict XVI and the Paraclete

In the Saint Malachi's prophecy, we find the mistical nickname of the Pope Celestine V (Pietro da Morrone):
'Ex eremo celsus' = The 'Sublime (Exalted) from the Desert'
Hermit, but not a misanthrope. He lived a harsh life like the second John the Baptist. More heavenly than earthly. And yet a practical man, the creator of the new branch of the Benedictines, originally called Brothers of the Holy Spirit. On the way to the Second Council of Lyon (convened on May 7, 1274), Abbot Peter of Morrone had the vision of the Holy Virgin in Collemaggio (L'Aquila), who asked him to build a temple in that place in Her honor. Peter's Benedictines quickly fulfilled Her wish, because already on August 25, 1288, the monumental church in open fields was consecrated.
At least from the council in Lyon, the hermit Peter was well known in the highest ecclesiastical circles, so when the conclave elected him on July 5, 1294, he was not made a joke for the pope. He took the name Celestine V, means 'The Heavenly' V.
Peter built the church in Collemaggio, where he himself later was crowned Pope on August 29, 1294, that is on the Passion of John the Baptist. To this circumstance, the new pope set up an annual jubilee indulgence on August 28/29, beginning with the feast of Saint Augustin, the Great Convert.
Celestine was nicer, however, spiritual life, heavenly than courtly, earthly: he abdicated on December 13, 1294, on Saint Lucy. In that era it was the winter solstice day. A hope for light! What light? Of which? From the Fire, about which the Lord Jesus spoke [Luke 12: 49]: 'I have come to throw fire on the earth, and how I long for it to burn!' Pope Celestine V following in the footsteps of John the Baptist, as the brother of the Holy Spirit, removed himself to make room for the Fire from Heaven, for the Paraclete - someone more heavenly than earthly, someone who is full of the Holy Spirit, though He is not the Holy Spirit.
Pietro da Morrone died on May 19, 1296, on the 7th day of the octave of the Pentecost and commemoration of Saint Pudentiana (= the 'Shy'), the foundress of the oldest church in Rome.
[...to be continued]

MyronM said...

The spiritual desire of Peter Celestine, or the 'Heavenly Rock', came true only in the pontificate of the last successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, that is pope Benedict XVI. As a result of the earthquake, on 5/6 April 2009 (Palm Sunday / Monday of the Holy Week) the basilica at Collemaggio collapsed, including the Celestine' V mausoleum, but his glass coffin did not suffer any damage. When pope Benedict XVI arrived on April 28, 2009 to L'Aquila and visited the basilica, he placed on Celestin's sarcophagus his pallium, which he received on the inauguration of his own pontificate on April 24, 2005. It was a greek-type pallium with 5 crosses. From June 29, 2008, Benedict XVI began using the roman pallium with 6 crosses. Pallium is the attribute of a metropolitan archbishop that express his patriarchal right to administer the episcopal consecration. With this symbolic act (pallium's giving) Benedict XVI has made a spiritual abdication to the unknown Patriarch, whom describes the names of both Pontiffs participating in this scene: one from heaven, Saint Celestine V, the other one from the earth, Benedict XVI, or Celestine '5' and Benedict '16', or simple the 'Blessed Heavenly' '1'5'6'. After the abdication, Celestine V was Peter again (he was the 'Rock' by birth!) and the liturgical calendar mentions him as Saint Peter Celestine. Therefore, we can consistently say about that unknown Patriarch: the 'Blessed Heavenly Rock CLVI'.
The 'Blessed Heavenly Rock' the Patriarch is the visible head of the Church on earth, vicar of Jesus Christ, coming out from the ruined Roman Catholic church (like the Collemaggio' Basilica due to the earthquake). This is the Stone rejected by the builders, that is, by church' freemasonry. They build a different community, not God's but Satan's one, humanistic, temporal. Why do they need a Heavenly Stone? He is a hindrance to them, the stumbling block. And yet, the Church of Christ continues and will be reborn on the earth thanks to this 'Blessed Heavenly Rock', identical with the Paraclete.
The confusion we see today in the Roman Catholic church is not a crisis but a breakthrough. The breakthrough of this rank, as the departure of Noah's Ark, the exit of Israel from Egypt under Moses, the exit of the Christ Church from Judaism. What is this contemporary breakthrough about? Of the many called, the elect (chosen) ones [Matt. 22, 14] will be introduced by the Paraclete and the Apocalyptic Woman to the Kingdom of God here on earth! We experience the great tribulation right now [Matt. 24, 21]. The pressure will increase further to separate the wheat from the chaff, the elect from the many called.
The Lord Jesus is the foundation [1Corinthians 3, 11] of the building which is the Church, in particular the militant one, and the Paraclete (is) the crowning of this Divine enterprise - the head of the corner [Matt. 21, 42]. The Paraclete, as a monarch and priest like Melchizedek, will be the visible Head of the Church on earth and will remain with us until the end of the world [John 14, 16]. Therefore, the last word of the paragraph about Peter the Roman, identical with the Paraclete, in the Saint Malachi's prophecy reads: FINIS.

MyronM said...

On Saint Peter Celestine' day [May 19, 2020] a dam in Michigan broke and the water flooded Edenville (Paradise Village); while ca. four hours later, F-35 Lightning II crashed in the Elgin Air Force Base in Florida. A specific combination of water and fire (lightning). What do these events have in common with each other and with the patron of the day? Elgin Base is located in the vicinity of Valparaiso, or Valley of Paradise. So water and fire appeared in the earthly paradise: it is a material confirmation of the meaning of my comment ("Celestine V, Benedict XVI and the Paraclete") and another announcement of the revelation of Paraclete and the coming of God's Kingdom to earth.
May 20, 2020; commemoration of saint Bernardine