Post-classical history

The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death and Salvation

The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death and Salvation

The riveting story of Pope St. Celestine V, the pope who retired from the papacy.

At the close of the tumultuous Middle Ages, there lived a man who seemed destined from birth to save the world. His name was Peter Morrone, a hermit, a founder of a religious order, and, depending on whom you talk to, a reformer, an instigator, a prophet, a coward, a saint, and possibly the victim of murder. A stroke of fate would, practically overnight, transform this humble servant of God into the most powerful man in the Catholic Church. Half a year later, he would be the only pope in history to abdicate the chair of St. Peter, an act that nearly brought the papacy to its knees. What led him to make that decision and what happened afterward would be shrouded in mystery for centuries. The Pope Who Quit pulls back the veil of secrecy on this dramatic time in history and showcases a story that involves deadly dealings, apocalyptic maneuverings, and papal intrigue.

PROLOGUE

INTRODUCTION

PART I - WHEN THE UNEXPECTED HAPPENED

Chapter 1. A LETTER THAT CHANGED JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING

Chapter 2. THE BIZARRE PAPAL ELECTION OF 1292–94

Chapter 3. A MOST UNLIKELY DECISION

Chapter 4. SPREADING THE NEWS

Chapter 5. THEY CAME TO TAKE HIM AWAY

PART II - PETER OF MORRONE, 1209–93

Chapter 6. NOW I WILL TELL YOU OF MY LIFE

Chapter 7. I BECAME A MAN WHEN I BECAME A MONK

Chapter 8. A HERMIT LOVES HIS CAVE

Chapter 9. THE HUNDRED-METER FAST

Chapter 10. WALKING TO LYON

PART III - TURBULENT TIMES

Chapter 11. OBSESSED WITH SALVATION

Chapter 12. RIDING ON AN ASS

Chapter 13. THE COLORFUL KINGS OF NAPLES AND SICILY

Chapter 14. FIFTEEN DISASTROUS WEEKS

Chapter 15. AWKWARDNESS IN ROBES

PART IV - THE PASSION AND THE PITY, 1294–96

Chapter 16. I, PETER CELESTINE, AM GOING AWAY

Chapter 17. THE NEW ADVENT OF FRIAR PETER

Chapter 18. MURDERED BY A POPE

Chapter 19. THE WORLD IS FALLING APART

Chapter 20. IS SAINT ENOUGH?

NOTES