Monday 21st August 2017

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

May 16, 2017 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

After the death of Pope St. John Paul II, faithful Catholics rejoiced at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the next Vicar of Christ. The German prelate took the name of Benedict XVI for two reasons: in memory of Pope Benedict XV who led the Church during the turbulent times of World War I, seeking peace and harmony; and in memory of St. Benedict of Nursia who is the patron saint of Europe — a man also venerated by many Christian denominations.
Pope Benedict XVI was elected on April 19, 2005, the feast day of an important German Pope of the Middle Ages: Pope St. Leo IX. Nearly eight years later on February 11, 2013, he resigned as head of the Church.
Pope Celestine V was the last Pope to resign, having done so December 13, 1294 — over 700 years earlier.
Pietro Angelerio, the given name of Pope St. Celestine V, was born in Sant’Agnelo Limosano, Sicily, to Angelo Angelerio and Maria Leone. The year was 1215. Pietro was one of 12 sons born to the Angelerio family. His parents were pious, hardworking peasants who were generous to those who had even less than they did.
Angelo died when Peter was very young and then Peter began working in the fields. His mother, however, saw special qualities in him — piety and intelligence — so she tried to find a way to give him a literary education.
He applied himself diligently and made quick progress for which his friends and family greatly applauded him, expecting great achievements. Pietro, true to what his mother saw in him, downplayed such worldly expectations and told them he only wanted to work for the salvation of his soul.
Thus, when he was 17, he left his family and entered the Benedictine monastery at Faifoli in the Diocese of Benevento. There he excelled at the solitary life seeking isolation so as to better meditate on God and discern His will. His asceticism then motivated him to retire to an even more solitary location in 1239. With the permission of his abbot, he went to a cavern on the mountain of Morrone.
Peter and two companions retreated high into the hills, using branches from the trees and thorn bushes to build their shelters. This location and lifestyle brought a peace to these men that few ever find in the secular world.
Peter and his two friends lived much as St. John the Baptist did, with a meager diet and rough clothing. The simplicity of their lives left them more time and allowed them to focus on God.
Other men came to their retreat seeking advice and direction, which Peter refused in all humility. He told them he had no skill or knowledge to undertake such a responsibility. Eventually he did concede to their requests, but he admitted only the most pious men to join them.
These years of isolation found Peter spending most of the night in prayer and tears. When he did sleep, he slept on the hard ground with a stone to prop his head. He spent the days keeping his body and mind working by copying books or by doing physical labor.
He fasted every day except Sunday — not eating flesh at all. He kept four Lents throughout the liturgical year and on Fridays ate only bread and water. His penances were extreme: He wore a hair shirt and wrapped chains around his body. When he was warned in a dream not to destroy the body God had given him, he lessened the severity of his practices.
Thus he sacrificed physically to feed himself spiritually. Seeking the food of prayer and contemplation, he did not rebuff those asking for the same nourishment. He decided, however, to go even higher up the mountain to be removed from the disturbances. This time he went to Majella in Apulia around 1251.
Not surprisingly, the men followed him to his higher abode and so finally Peter agreed to return to his original location where the men lived in separate shelters. They lived together yet separately until Peter decided to gather them all into a monastery. He wrote to Rome seeking approval for this new order, and Pope Gregory X gave it in 1271.
For the next 23 years the order flourished and spread across Europe. Then a crisis in the Church changed Peter’s life dramatically. He would be torn from the quiet and solitude of his contemplative life.
On April 4, 1292, Pope Nicholas IV, died leaving the Church without a Pope for more than two years. The College of Cardinals was evenly divided, with members pitted against each other and both sides refusing to vote for a common nominee.
After some unusual prophecies the College of Cardinals feared a chastisement from God and quickly looked to Peter for their solution. Finally, both sides agreed on a candidate and unanimously elected Peter to be the next Pope on July 5, 1294.
When Peter was informed of the election, he was confused and stunned. Why him? He responded that he refused the election and would stay in his monastery. Then a delegation of cardinals headed by the king of Naples and a pretender to the throne of Hungary pleaded with Peter to accept the appointment. So many people came to congratulate the hermit on his election that when he tried to flee, he was unable to do so.
He was finally installed on August 29, 1294 at Santa Maria di Collemaggio in Aquila, taking the name Pope Celestine V. His papacy was troubled since his eremitical life did nothing to prepare him for the responsibilities and diplomatic requirements of being the head of Vatican City. His appointments caused conflicts, as he sometimes appointed two persons for the same position.
He tried to appoint three cardinals to run the Church while he took an Advent retreat, but his attempt failed. He made one final decree, the only one of his short reign that lasted, declaring the right for the Pope to resign. He immediately did so only five months and eight days after his installation.
On December 13, 1294, he resigned, stating his reasons for doing so: his desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience; the deficiencies of his own strength, his ignorance; the perverseness of the people, and his longing for the tranquility of his former life.
He tried to return to his mountain abode, but was not allowed to do so. The parties who opposed his resignation were a threat to the new Pontiff, Pope Boniface VIII. When Pope Boniface ordered him to Rome, Celestine tried to flee to Greece, but he was captured and imprisoned in the castle of Fumone near Ferentino in Campagna. He was treated cruelly and died on May 19, 1296. His feast is celebrated on May 19.
Dear Pope St. Celestine V, pray for unity in the Church as our Lord did at the Last Supper. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Cardinal Sarah urges faithful to resist ‘revolutionaries’ who attack faith and family

At a memorial Mass honoring the martyrs of the Vendée region in France, Cardinal Robert Sarah challenged Catholics to oppose “the modern persecutors of the Church,” and warned that today’s attack on the faith is centered on a bid to…Continue Reading

Calls for prayer amid ‘abhorrent’ violence in Charlottesville

Washington D.C., Aug 12, 2017 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.S. bishops conference called for prayers after one person was killed and over a dozen injured during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The abhorrent…Continue Reading

Knights of Columbus ‘modernize’ Fourth Degree uniforms

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 3, 2017 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The classic ceremonial hats and capes of Fourth Degree members of the Knights of Columbus that you may have seen at Mass or at parish events will now be…Continue Reading

Priest stabbed during Mass at Mexico City cathedral dies in hospital

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 3, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed in the neck and torso mid-May at the conclusion of Mass at the cathedral of Mexico City, died while at hospital on…Continue Reading

Abortionist praised by Pope speaks at Catholic church, pro-life protesters kicked out

BIELLA, Italy, July 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite vocal opposition, a notorious Italian abortionist was allowed to speak at a Catholic parish on Wednesday, while pro-life critics were locked out, silenced or kicked out. Despite her abortion advocacy, Emma Bonino was praised by Pope Francis in…Continue Reading

Gard family announces that Charlie has died

London, England, Jul 28, 2017 / 11:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A spokesperson for the parents of terminally ill British infant Charlie Gard has reported that their “beautiful little boy” has died. He had been taken into hospice care on July…Continue Reading

John McCain Burns Mitch McConnell Sides with Democrats

In a move that’s no surprise to anyone, John McCain voted against the embarrassingly named “Skinny Repeal”, voted against his party (or is it his party?) and voted to keep Obamacare going as is. Smarter people than me say that…Continue Reading

Catholic men’s conference in crosshairs of left-wing activists

Christine Niles, a Vietnamese immigrant who helps run a parachurch organization in Michigan that promotes Roman Catholic teaching, expected to spend this week preparing theological materials and getting ready for the group’s annual conference for men. Instead, Niles, who is…Continue Reading

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

Planned Parenthood is Spending $500,000 to Create an Army of Pro-Abortion Activists

Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups have long envied the grassroots power of the pro-life movement. Now, the nation’s largest abortion chain is trying to buy its own grassroots base, starting with half a million dollars. BuzzFeed News reports Planned Parenthood just kicked off a campaign to set up 600 volunteer-led teams to promote abortion across the United States. Each team in the abortion group’s “pink army” will be located near one of its 600-plus facilities,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: ‘We are called today to witness, which means martyrdom’

August 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — This evening, we offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the souls of all of the volunteers of the Puy-du-Fou who have died since the beginnings of this beautiful work, 40 years ago. Every night, all of you who are gathered here, awaken the memory of this place through your work. The castle of the Puy-du-Fou, with its hurting ruins, abandoned by man, seems to rise like a cry…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood CEO Claims President Trump Has “Both Barrels Aimed at Women” on Abortion

The CEO of America’s largest abortion business slammed President Donald Trump again this week for his pro-life policies. Cecile Richards, who makes nearly $1 million a year running the “non-profit” Planned Parenthood, claimed Trump is out to get women because he supports cutting off taxpayer funding to abortion groups. “The actions we’re seeing and what we’ve seen out of this administration from day one have had both barrels aimed at women,” Richards told Politico.

Australian bishops oppose forcing priests to reveal details of confession

Vatican City, Aug 14, 2017 / 07:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Australia have indicated that they will resist the Royal Commission’s proposal that priests be legally obligated to disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional, facing criminal charges if they don’t. “Confession in the Catholic Church is a spiritual encounter with God through the priest,” Archbishop Denis J Hart of Melbourne said in an Aug. 14 statement.

A bishop’s plea: Don’t forget victims of war and cholera in Yemen

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug 11, 2017 / 04:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen could continue indefinitely without an end to the civil war, says a bishop in the region who has pleaded for the faithful to pray and for an end to arms sales to the parties. “As I believe in the power of prayer, I can only ask the faithful around the world, to keep in mind the…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Jean Vanier… To Love And Be Loved

By DONALD DeMARCO Jean Vanier was born on September 10, 1928 in Geneva, Switzerland. His father, Major-General Georges Vanier, served as the 19th governor general of Canada. Jean received a broad education in Canada, England, and France. He served with the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. He earned a doctorate in philosophy and…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima… The July Apparition And Subsequent Controversies

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Part six, because of its length, has appeared in two separate issues of The Wanderer. This is the…Continue Reading

Dissonance, The New Normal

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Almost daily, the media report on instances of radical dissension in America. People are split on numerous political, social, and religious issues, show no inclination to compromise, and increasingly rely on obstruction to pursue their positions. The result is discord, confusion, outrage, greater polarization, and violence. In the absence of national…Continue Reading

Religion Is Not Simple

By JOHN YOUNG Some people claim that true religion is very simple, and that if we delve into difficult theological questions we will lose that simplicity. Jesus said we must become as little children if we are to enter God’s Kingdom; He didn’t say we must become theologians. Frank Sheed’s response to the claim that…Continue Reading

Rose Of Lima, A First For The Americas

By RAY CAVANAUGH The first saint born in the Americas, Rose of Lima practiced both charity and asceticism with extreme intensity until her death at age 31. She is now the patroness of South America, and churches across the world bear her name. This August 24 marks the 400th anniversary of her death. The future…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Silence Is Human And Divine

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Perhaps you, like me, have sometimes been left with the sudden and awkward realization that you are in fact speaking to yourself when, confronting another human being with whom you thought you were communicating, you were met with total silence and completely ignored. More and more, the ubiquitous earphones have become mandatory equipment for many…Continue Reading

What Is Divine Grace?… Sanctifying Grace: Light Excludes Darkness

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In the previous article, we investigated the nature, purpose, and work of actual grace. In this article, we will look at sanctifying grace. We have seen that actual grace, although supernatural, is transient, not permanent. It is like an electric current which, passing for an instant through the wire wound around an iron…Continue Reading

Celebration Of The Sacrament Of Penance

By DON FIER The doctrine of indulgences, as we have seen over the past two weeks, is an important part of the life of the Church. Although the Catholic understanding of indulgences has been clouded by abuses, most notably in the 16th century when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses, its roots go back to the beginning of the Church…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. You have expressed your disagreement in the past with the practice of omitting “hard sayings” from the Mass readings or giving the option of using the “shorter version” of a reading, which usually means leaving out a strong passage. I noticed that this happened with the Gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Is this what you had…Continue Reading

God’s Inscrutable And Unsearchable Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 22:19-23 Romans 11:33-36 Matt. 16:13-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul marvels at the depth of the riches, the wisdom, and the knowledge of God. He proclaims that God’s judgments are inscrutable and His ways are unsearchable. Of course, in our humanness, we often seem to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a priest, Blessed Karl Leisner, who heard his call to the priesthood during a Schoenstatt Retreat. The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, a Marian movement founded in Germany in 1914 by a Pallottine priest, Fr. Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). Members of the Schoenstatt were formed for a renewal in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many different churches that are in full communion with Rome. One of these is in India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, India — once called the St. Thomas (the Apostle) Christians. From this tiny group of Catholics have come a growing number of holy men and women recognized by Rome. So far, there are…Continue Reading