Born Pietro Angelerio, Pope Celestine V was known for his unique ways of leading the Church. He served as pope for only five months—from 5 July to 13 December 1294—until he decided to resign and live a modest life.
A humble and simple Santo Papa, Celestine V has reportedly been taken advantage of by many. Because he found it hard to reject those who were asking for favors from him, Pope Celestine V soon found himself in great confusion. To avoid further problems that could possibly affect the Church, Pope Celestine V decided to give up his position as Santo Papa and spend the rest of his years in a cell, where wicked people could not reach him.
Celestine was canonized on May 5, 1313 by Pope Clement V. His feast day is celebrated every 19th of May.
Prayer for the Intercession of St. Celestine
St. Celestine, you were pope for only five months, for in that short amount of time it was apparent that although you were very holy, you were not a natural leader, as you could not say no to anyone. You went again to the cardinals and begged that the position be taken away from you. They were deeply impressed by your humility. They chose a new pope, who decided to keep you in a cell so that no one could take advantage of you and make you into an anti-pope. In this prison you lived out the rest of your days in prayer.
St. Celestine, you were not the slightest ambitious for clerical power. Please pray that we may grow in humility as you did and not yearn for worldly honors. St. Celestine, you realized you were incapable of governing the people through the duties of a pope and resigned. The next pope to resign of his own accord was our Benedict XVI. Please pray for all our popes, for you know how terribly burdensome and stressful this position is. We thank you for your gentle intercession.