Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pope venerates St. Celestine, hermit, who became Pontiff and resigned

Catholic World News - July 05, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Sulmona, in Italy’s Abruzzo region, on July 4, to join in celebrations there for the 700th anniversary of the death of St. Celestine V, the hermit who was elected Pope in 1294 but resigned after just five months.

At an outdoor Mass attended by about 25,000 people, the Pope spoke about St. Celestine’s dedication to contemplative prayer. While the monk-turned-Pontiff failed to gain control over the Vatican during a tumultuous period in Church history, Pope Benedict pointed out that he is remembered today “above all for his sanctity.” The Pope added that holiness of life “never loses it power to attract; it does not fall into oblivions; in never goes out of fashion.”

The particular form of prayer adopted by St. Celestine—the life of a hermit—does not mean flight from reality, the Pope said. On the contrary, the saint was determined to face the truth without the distractions of the self-indulgent society in which he lived. "We, too, who live in an epoch of greater comfort and possibilities, are called upon to appreciate a sober lifestyle," the Pope said. The hyperactive approach to modern life can distract us from what is essential, the Pope said. “Let’s not fear the silence inside and outside us.”

On Sunday afternoon, speaking to young people at the Sulmona cathedral, the Pope offered a similar message. A secular culture based on consumption can be disorienting, he said; it leads man to “lose his sense of the past, of history.” Christians should love history, he said, and their faith and prayer life should help them see the world in a broader context. He urged the young people to cultivate an active prayer life, saying that prayer would help them to see the world “with a new light and a new strength, in a manner worthy of man, more serenely and more effectively.”

During the Pope’s outdoor Mass, security officials stopped a man who was trying to approach the stage. The service was not disrupted.

After the Mass, and the visit to the cathedral, the Pope venerated the relics of St. Celestine before embarking on his return trip to Rome.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($26,341 to go):
$150,000.00 $123,658.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! 8 hours ago
Federal debt as a social-justice concern 10 hours ago
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17