Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Not such a surprise perhaps?
Most modern interest in Celestine V has focused on his resignation. He was the first pope to formalize the resignation process and is often said to have been the first to resign. In fact several popes had previously resigned under pressure to do so, including Pontian (235) and Benedict IX (1045). As noted above, Celestine's own decision was brought about by mild pressure from the Church establishment. His reinstitution of Gregory X's conclave system has been respected ever since.
A 1966 visit by Pope Paul VI to Celestine's place of death in Ferentino along with his speech in homage of Celestine prompted speculation the pontiff was considering retirement.
Celestine's remains survived the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake with one Italian spokesman saying it was "another great miracle by the pope". They were then recovered from the basilica shortly after the earthquake. While inspecting the earthquake damage during a 28 April 2009 visit to the Aquila,Pope Benedict XVI visited Celestine's remains in the badly damaged Santa Maria di Collemaggio and left the woolen pallium he wore during his papal inauguration in April 2005 on his glass casket as a gift.