1240 - Pope 22 October 1303-7 July 1304
A brief biography.
Benedict XI (Nicholas Boccasini) was born at Treviso,
He entered the Dominican Order at the age of fourteen. After fourteen years of study, he became lector of theology. In 1296 he was elected Master General of the Order.
As at this time hostility to Boniface VIII was becoming more pronounced, the new General issued an ordinance forbidding his subjects to favour in any way the opponents of the reigning pontiff; he also enjoined on them to defend in their sermons, when opportune, the legitimacy of the election of Boniface.
On behalf on his loyalty the Pope showed Boccasini him many marks of favour and confidence. Thus with the two Cardinal-legates, the Dominican General formed the important embassy, In 1298 Boccasini was elevated to the Cardinality; he was afterwards appointed Bishop of Ostia and Dean of the Sacred College. As at that time Hungary was rent by civil war, the Cardinal-Bishop was sent thither by the Holy See as legate a latere to labour for the restoration of peace.
At the time of the return of the legate to Rome, the famous contest of Boniface VIII with Philip the Fair had reached its height. When, in 1303, the enemies of the Pope had made themselves masters of the sacred palace, of all the Cardinals and Prelates only the two Cardinal-Bishops of Ostia and Sabina remained at the side of the venerable Pontiff to defend him from the violence of William of Nogaret and Sciarra Colonna.
A month after this scene of violence, Boniface having died, Boccasini was unanimously elected Pope, 22 October, taking the name of Benedict XI. The principal event of his pontificate was the restoration of peace with the French court. Immediately after his election Philip sent three ambassadors to the Pope bearing the royal letter of congratulation. The King, while professing his obedience and devotion, recommended to the benevolence of the Pope the Kingdom and Church of France.
Benedict, judging a policy of indulgence to be necessary for the restoration of peace with the French court, absolved Philip and his subjects from the censures they had incurred and restored the King and Kingdom to the rights and privileges of which they had been deprived by Boniface. The Colonna Cardinals were also absolved from their censures, but not reinstated in their former dignities.
After a brief pontificate
of eight months, Benedict died suddenly 7 July 1304 at Perugia. It was
suspected, not altogether without reason, that his sudden death was caused by
poisoning through the agency of William of Nogaret.
Benedict XI was beatified in 1773.
He is the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on a part of the Gospel of Saint Matthias, on the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Apocalypse.
Pope Benedict XI has a medallion in the basilica minor ad Sanctam Mariam Rotondam of the priory in Wien, Austria.
On the pillar in the basilica minor 'ad Sanctam Mariam
Wien, the medallion of Benedict XI.
Austria 1966, Mi 1202, Sc 757.
of the church 'San Paolo fuori de mura' at Rome.
In this church a series medallions with a picture of the Popes.
Also the Dominican Popes:
Innocent V, Pope 21.01.1276-22.06.1276;
Benedict XI, Pope 22.10.1303-07.07.1304;
Pius V, Pope 07.01.1566-01.05.1572;
Benedict XIII, Pope 29.05.1724-21.02.1730.
Vatican City 2000, Mi 1326, Sc 1140.
Gambia 2000, Mi 3742, Sc 2258. Michel-sere 3729-3746.
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