Papacy - A Historical Perspective
Celestine IV : 1241 A.D.
179. Born in Milan. Elected October 28, 1241 - died November 10,
Because the cardinals did not come
to an agreement, for
this election, the
Roman Senate "locked" them into the Palace of the Settinozio sui Celio.
The word "Conclave" takes origin from this episode, and more
specifically from the Latin expression "cum clave".
After Celestine's death, the Holy See remained vacant for one
year, eight months and 17 days since
the cardinal, worried about the anger of Emperor Frederick II, who
imprisoned almost all of them, could not elect his successor.
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate was one of
the shortest: it lasted only 17 days.
Innocent IV : 1243-1254 A.D.
180. Born in Genoa. Elected June 28, 1243 - died July 7, 1254.
He was elected in Anagni after two
years of vacancy.
He was a distinguished canonist.
He called the 13th Ecumenical Council. He introduced the feast
of the Visitation.
He promoted the 7th Crusade together with St.Louis IX of
In 1245 he granted to the cardinals the insignia of the red
hat, as a symbol of their availability to give their blood for the
Paul II then granted them the biretta and the skull-cap of the
He proclaimed that the Coliseum was part of the dominion of the
He forbade the Jews to have Christian wet-nurses or servants.
He was buried in the Church of S. Restituita in Naples. His
pontificate lasted 11 years and 6 months.
Alexander IV : 1254-1261 A.D.
181. Born in Anagni. Elected December 20, 1254 - died May 25, 1261.
He wrote about popular jurisprudence.
He canonized Santa Chiara and confirmed the existence
of St. Francis stigmata.
He established the summary proceedings for heretics and condemned
the "flagellants", those
men who took their clothes off till the belt, put a cap on and took a
The Pope, worried about the diffusion of heretical sects, prohibited
processions, which ended in January 1261.
He is buried in the Cathedral of Viterbo. His pontificate lasted 6
years and 5 months.
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