Pope Benedict XI
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2014)|
|Papacy began||22 October 1303|
|Papacy ended||7 July 1304|
|Created Cardinal||4 December 1298
by Boniface VIII
|Birth name||Nicola Boccasini|
Treviso, Italy, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||7 July 1304
Perugia, Papal States
|Coat of arms|
|Feast day||7 July|
|Beatified||24 April 1736 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Clement XII
by Pope Clement XIV
|Other popes named Benedict|
|Papal styles of
Pope Benedict XI
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Benedict XI (Latin: Benedictus XI; 1240 – 7 July 1304), born Nicola Boccasini, was Pope from 22 October 1303 to his death in 1304. He was beatified with his cultus confirmed by Pope Clement XII and formally beatified by Pope Clement XIV.
Born in Treviso, he succeeded Pope Boniface VIII, but was unable to carry out his policies. Benedict XI was a Dominican and when he was made Master of the Order in 1296, he issued ordinances forbidding public questioning of the legitimacy of Boniface VIII's election on the part of any Dominican. At the time of the seizure of Pope Boniface VIII at Anagni in 1303, Boccasini was one of only two cardinals to defend the papal party in the Lateran Palace itself. However, upon being elected Pope at the papal conclave of 1303, he released King Philip IV of France from the excommunication that had been laid upon him by Boniface VIII, and practically ignored Boniface's bull Unam sanctam, which asserted papal supremacy over secular rulers. Nevertheless, on 7 June 1304, Benedict excommunicated Philip IV's implacable minister Guillaume de Nogaret and all the Italians who had played a part in the seizure of Boniface VIII at Anagni.
Pontificate and death
After a brief pontificate of eight months, Benedict XI died suddenly at Perugia. As original reports had it, suspicion fell primarily on Nogaret with the suspicion that his sudden death was caused by poisoning. There is no direct evidence, however, to either support or disprove the contention that Nogaret poisoned the pope. Benedict XI's successor, Clement V removed the papal seat from Rome to Avignon, inaugurating the period sometimes known as the Babylonian Captivity. He and the French popes who succeeded him were completely under the influence of the kings of France.
Caesar Baronius wrote that on the Monday of Easter week in 1304, Pope Benedict XI was celebrating mass, but a pilgrim interrupted it, because he wanted the pope to hear this confession. Rather than telling him to find another time or another priest to have his confession, the Pope left the mass to hear his confession and then returned to continue the mass.
A note on the numbering: Pope Benedict X is now considered an antipope. At the time of Benedict's election, however, this status was not recognized, thus the man the Roman Catholic Church officially considers the tenth true Pope Benedict took the official number XI rather than X. This has advanced the numbering of all subsequent Popes Benedict by one. Popes Benedict XI-XVI are, from an official point of view, the tenth through fifteenth popes by that name.
- Leonard of Port Maurice. Counsels to Confessors. Loreto Publications, 2008
- Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1975). "Benedikt XI., Papst (Nicolaus Boccasini)". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 1. Hamm: Bautz. col. 486. ISBN 3-88309-013-1.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Benedict XI". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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- "St. Benedict XI., Pope and Confessor", Butler's Lives of the Saints
|Catholic Church titles|
Stephen of Besançon
|Master General of the Dominican Order
Albert of Chiavari
|Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia
22 October 1303 – 7 July 1304