#165 - Pope Celestine II
Pope from September 26, 1143 - March 8, 1144
Died: March 8, 1144
Birth name: Guido di Castello
Give me the scoop on Celestine II.
Pope Celestine II was Tuscan by birth, and may have hailed from a noble family to boot. Guido, as he was known before the papacy, served under Pope Callistus II as a clerk in the papal chancery, as a cardinal-deacon under Honorius II, then as papal legate to France under his predecessor, Innocent II. He was advanced in years by his election on September 26, 1143, which explains his mere half-year reign. Guido chose “Celestine” presumably because he shared a scholarly background with pope No. 43, St. Celestine I. One of his only notable acts as pope was a collection he undertook to support both the Order of Malta and the Knights Templar in their quest to defend Holy Land Christians. Celestine died March 8, 1144 and is buried in the south transept of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.
What was he known for?
Celestine was best known for having a relatively uneventful papacy (something no one complained about, by the way). He intervened and helped resolve a dispute between the French king, Louis VII and Archbishop Pierre of Bourges, with the support of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. He also sided with Empress Matilda of England in her quest for the throne, following the death of her husband. That’s about it.
The election of Pope Celestine II was the first in over a half century to go off without a hitch. Apparently, the thirty cardinal electors were all in agreement that Guido was their man. And no one complained. It was an early Christmas miracle.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
After the October 5, 1143 Treaty of Zamora, the nation of Portugal was officially recognized as an independent kingdom by the Spanish kingdom of León. León’s king, Alfonso VII, and King Alfonso I of Portugal -- two cousins who both liked the name Alfonso -- signed the treaty, in which both promised peace toward each other and Portugal pledged support for papal supremacy.
Coming Monday...Pope Lucius II
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Guruge, A. (2010). The Next Pope. New Hampshire: WOWNH
Pope Celestine II -
Pope Celestine II -
Treaty of Zamora -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 2:00AM