Early LifeMontagano, Italy. There, he began to pursue a life of solitude. In 1240, he moved into a cave on Mt. Morrone, from which he received his surname. At age 30, he moved to Mt. Majella with two other companions where he began to live a life of strict mortification rules. He fasted six days a week, said long prayers and wore hair shirts and iron chains. As so many people flocked to hear him, he founded the Order of the Celestines, which he named after himself. He continued his life there for the next fifty years and became well-known throughout most of Italy.
ElectionPope Nicholas IV (1288-1292) in 1292, bitter rivalries between the factions of the Orsini and Colonna families prevented a new pope from being crowned for over two years. In 1294, Charles II of Naples, impatient from waiting to be properly crowned King, went to Rome to rectify the stalemate. Finally, Cardinal Latino Orsini, Dean of the College of Cardinals, reported that Pietro del Morrone sent him a letter warning the cardinals that God revealed to him that if they did not elect a new pope within four months, they would all suffer punishment from God. Malabranca then proclaimed that the neutral Pietro should be pope. On July 5, 1294, Pietro was unanimously elected but when sent for, Pietro vehemently refused and even attempted to flee. Several dignitaries, along with a multitude of monks and laymen, ascended the mountain where he lived and pressured Pietro to accept. He accepted and was proclaimed the first legitimate pope since Constantine's Donation.
Resigned as Pope
DeathPope Clement V (1305-1314) in 1313 and his feast is celebrated on May 19th.
Dante's ReferenceIn Dante's Inferno, his line, "who made from cowardice the great refusal", has been ascribed by some scholars as a direct reference to Celestine's abdication.
1282-1328: Eastern Roman Emperor, Andronicus II
1285-1314: King of France, Philip IV (the Fair)
1292-1298: King of Germany, Adolf of Nassau-Weilburg