Popes in a Year
#185 - Blessed Pope Innocent V
Pope from January 21, 1276 - June 22, 1276
Lived: c. 1225 - June 22, 1276
Birth name: Peter of Tarentaise
Who was this guy before he was pope?
Peter of Tarentaise joined the Dominicans as a teenager, and would eventually become a great preacher and teacher. He was as close to a contemporary to St. Thomas Aquinas as one could be, having been born in the same year and having called on Thomas to defend him when some of Peter’s work was called heretical. In later adulthood, Peter served as Archbishop of Lyons and Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, respectively, all the while serving Pope Gregory X as a close advisor until the pontiff’s death.
Give me the scoop on Innocent V.
Putting to its inaugural test Blessed Gregory’s new rules for the conclave, the College of Cardinals waited the required 10 days before gathering at the cathedral in Arezzo, where Gregory had died. Turns out, they didn’t need much longer. Innocent V was elected on the first ballot, becoming just the fourth “Peter” to serve as pope. A pope’s pope, Innocent beelined to Rome immediately, taking his rightful spot at the Lateran Palace. He barely had time to confirm Charles of Anjou as senator at Rome, before having to tell Emperor Rudolf to calm his authority-seeking jets down and delay (permanently) his own trip to Italy. Innocent died just 153 days into his papacy and was buried in the Lateran.
What was he known for?
Pope Innocent V was actually best known for things that occurred
his short papacy, having been called “
” (“the most famous teacher”) by many who knew him from his professorship at the University of Paris. He was a renowned preacher and author, writing on everything from canon law to philosophy during his career. Innocent’s reputation as a holy and saintly man preceded him, which led Pope Leo XIII to beatify him in 1898.
Blessed Innocent V was the first of four popes to hail from the Order of St. Dominic. The others are Blessed Benedict XI (1303-1304), St. Pius V (1566-1572), and Servant of God Benedict XIII (1724-1730). Pretty good track record.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In the same year of Innocent’s reign, a massive drought that would last 23 years hit the area around the Grand Canyon. It would ultimately drive the agriculture-dependent Anasazi people - or “Ancestral Puebloans” as they’re called today -- to migrate away from the region.
Coming Monday...Pope Adrian V
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 Bl. Innocent V -
Pope Innocent V -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Friday, September 8 at 2:00AM