March 16, 2019

Celestine V

Pope St. Celestine V was elected to the papacy in 1294. The vote occurred in the last election that did not take the form of a papal conclave, an event in which the cardinals are actually locked in seclusion until a decision is reached. That was one of the reasons the election took two years and its eventual choice was something of an act of desperation. Celestine, however, found the rigors of his office too dramatic and wished to step down. Late in 1294, he did, but his successor, Pope Boniface VIII, feared that he might be installed as an antipope and, therefore, had him kept captive in a castle.

Celestine still said Mass within his confines and, one day, his guards were astonished at a sight present before their eyes. Celestine, bathed in light, was suspended in mid-air.

Source: Cruz, Caroll, Eucharistic Miracles (Charlotte, North Carolina, Tan Books, 2010) p. 290.


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