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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1241-1261 A.D.

Celestine IV : 1241 A.D.

179. Born in Milan. Elected October 28, 1241 - died November 10, 1241.

Because the cardinals did not come to an agreement, for this election, the Roman Senate "locked" them into the Palace of the Settinozio sui Celio.

The word "Conclave" takes origin from this episode, and more specifically from the Latin expression "cum clave".

After Celestine's death, the Holy See remained vacant for one year, eight months and 17 days since the cardinal, worried about the anger of Emperor Frederick II, who imprisoned almost all of them, could not elect his successor.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate was one of the shortest: it lasted only 17 days.

Innocent IV : 1243-1254 A.D.

180. Born in Genoa. Elected June 28, 1243 - died July 7, 1254.

He was elected in Anagni after two years of vacancy.

He was a distinguished canonist.

He called the 13th Ecumenical Council. He introduced the feast of the Visitation.

He promoted the 7th Crusade together with St.Louis IX of France.

In 1245 he granted to the cardinals the insignia of the red hat, as a symbol of their availability to give their blood for the church.

Paul II then granted them the biretta and the skull-cap of the same colour.

He proclaimed that the Coliseum was part of the dominion of the church.

He forbade the Jews to have Christian wet-nurses or servants.

He was buried in the Church of S. Restituita in Naples. His pontificate lasted 11 years and 6 months.

Alexander IV : 1254-1261 A.D.

181. Born in Anagni. Elected December 20, 1254 - died May 25, 1261.

He wrote about popular jurisprudence.

He canonized Santa Chiara and confirmed the existence of St. Francis stigmata.

He established the summary proceedings for heretics and condemned the "flagellants", those men who took their clothes off till the belt, put a cap on and took a whip.

The Pope, worried about the diffusion of heretical sects, prohibited the processions, which ended in January 1261.

He is buried in the Cathedral of Viterbo. His pontificate lasted 6 years and 5 months.

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