Pope Innocent V

Pope Innocent V was the 185th Pope to reign the Papal States. He was born in 1224 A.D. in Savoy, France with the given name of Pierre De Tarentaise. As the first Dominican Order pope, he held the office of the papacy for only five months. Innocent worked closely with Thomas Aquinas and SS. Albertus Magnus in creating the Dominican Order’s rule of studies. During his brief pontificate he worked to establish peace between various kingdoms and realms of Christendom.

Brief History and Background of Pope Innocent V

Pope Innocent V Early Life and Election

Pope Innocent V first served the church as a Dominican starting in 1240 A.D. before becoming a student at the famous medieval center of learning the University of Paris during the years of 1255 A.D. through 1259 A.D. Innocent taught at the university during the years 1259 A.D. through 1264 A.D. and again from 1267 A.D. through 1269 A.D.

The church advanced him to become administrator of the Dominicans’ province in France from the years of 1264 A.D. through 1267 A.D. and again from 1269 A.D. to 1272 A.D. Next Pope Gregory X named Innocent the archbishop of Lyon in 1272 A.D. before making him Ostia Antica’s cardinal bishop in 1273 A.D.

Innocent V had a major role in the 1274 A.D. Second Ecumenical Council in Lyons. At this church conclave he gave two discourses to the gathered clergymen and also delivered the funeral address for St. Bonaventure. Two years later the church cardinals elected Innocent to succeed Pope Gregory X at Arezzo on January 21st of 1276 A.D.

The Brief Pontificate of Pope Innocent V

Pope Innocent V immediately began to pursue a peaceful pontificate upon election and for his brief five months in the office. During his short pontificate he worked to bring peace between Lucca and Pisa, to restore the Ghibellines and Guelphs’ relations in Italy, and to mediate conflicts between Charles of Anjou and Rudolph of the house of Hapsburg. Innocent also worked to bring consolidation and reunification of the Greek church in the east with that of Rome in the Council of Lyons.

Pope Innocent authored a number of writings on theology, philosophy, and canon law. While several of them were published in his day, a few of them remain officially unpublished. His primary work was the “Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard.”

Pope Innocent V Acts and Legacy

Pope Innocent V issued a few acts in his five months as head of the Catholic Church. He granted the privilege to keep the posts of Senator of Rome, Rector of Tuscia, and temporal head of the Roman city government to King Charles I of Sicily on March 2, 1276 A.D. Two days after this appointment, the pope wrote a letter in which he declared that King Charles had sworn fealty to him as King of Naples and Sicily.

In the remainder of his pontificate, Pope Innocent V continued the endeavors of his predecessor Pope Gregory to start another crusade and bring peace to numerous warring states and factions throughout Italy. His valiant efforts to reunite the estranged Eastern and Western churches ultimately failed.

Pope Innocent V Quick Facts

  • Born -1225 A.D., in Champagny-en-Vanoise, France
  • Birth Name – Pierre de Tarentaise
  • Died – June 22, 1276 A.D.
  • How he died
    Pope Innocent V died of natural causes on June 22, 1276 A.D. at the age of 51. The Catholic Church made him a saint on March 13, 1898 A.D. They named June 22nd to be Innocent’s feast day.
  • Papacy began – January 21, 1276 A.D.
  • Papacy ended – June 22, 1276 A.D.
  • Successor – Pope Adrian V

Interesting Facts About Pope Innocent V

  • Pope Innocent V joined up with the Dominican Order while only 16 years old.
  • Innocent V attended the University of Paris for his master’s degree in sacred theology.
  • During Innocent’s tenure as professor at the University of Paris he was so distinguished that he earned the honorific title of “the most famous doctor.”
  • Innocent V held a reputation for being an effective preacher while serving in the Order of the Preachers.
  • Pope Innocent V was the driving force behind the creation of the program of studies for the Dominican Order.
  • Innocent started the custom of the popes to wear the white cassock, which is the Dominican Order’s habit.