Celestine, the name of five popes. I. Saint, a Roman, died April 0, 432. He was related to the emperor Valentinian II., was created cardinal deacon by Innocent I., and succeeded Pope Boniface, Nov. 3, 422. The heresy of Nestorius induced him to convoke the council of Ephesus in 431, at which there were 200 bishops assembled, and which was presided over by his three legates. Celestius, the chief of the Pelagians, having retired into Britain, he sent missionaries there, who in the space of two years brought back that country to the faith. Shortly after this he sent Palladius to Scotland, and St. Patrick to Ireland. Some epistles of this pope have been preserved, but those written to the bishops who had taken part in the election of Nestorius and to Fuen-gius have been lost. II. Guido di Castcllo, a disciple of Abelard, died March 8, 1144. He was created cardinal priest by Honorius II., and made governor of Benevento by Innocent II. at whose death he was elected pope, Sept. 20, 1143. As soon as he had ascended the pontifical throne he received ambassadors from Louis VII., who came to supplicate peace, and also absolution from the ecclesiastical censures under which the kingdom had been laid by his predecessors.
The pope granted their request in the presence of the nobles of Rome. He held the see five months. Only three epistles of his are extant. III. Giacinto Orsini, born in Rome in 1100, died Jan. 8, 1198. He was created cardinal by Honorius II., and elected pope when past 80 years of age, March 30, 1191. The day after his consecration he crowned the emperor Henry VI. and his empress Constance. After the coronation the emperor restored to the pope the city of Tusculum, which the latter gave to the Roman citizens, who, to avenge some former disputes, destroyed it. He afterward excommunicated the emperor, because he kept Richard Coeurde Lion in prison. Among other noteworthy events of Celestine's pontificate was his confirmation of the Teutonic military order in 1192. IV. Goffredo Castiglione, of Milan, elected pope, Sept. 20, 1241, died Oct. 8. 1241. He was appointed canon and chancellor of his native city, and afterward became a monk in the monastery of Altacomba. In 1227 Gregory IX. created him cardinal, and sent him as legate into Tuscany, and after this to Lombardy and to Monte Casino, where he found the emperor Frederick II. preparing to send succors to the Holy Land. Advanced in years at the time of his election, and with health much impaired, he died without having received consecration, and without having published any bull.
V. Pietro Amgelerier, born at Isernia, in Naples, died May 19, 1296. He was known as Pietro da Murrone, from a mountain near Sulmona, where he led a solitary life. When 17 years old he became a Benedictine monk in the monastery of Faifoli, in the diocese of Benevento. After performing extraordinary penances for many years, he went to Rome, where he was ordained priest in 1239. Having spent five years at Murrone, he afterward removed to Mount Majella, near Sulmona, where he lived with two other priests in a large cavern. He fasted every day except Sunday, and observed four Lents in the year, living on bread and water, working and praying during the entire day and most of the night. About 1254 he founded the religious order called Celestins, which prospered so much during his lifetime that it consisted of 600 monks and 36 monasteries. This order was approved by Urban IV., who incorporated it with the Benedictine order. Gregory X. confirmed it in 1274, in the second general council of Lyons. It spread throughout Italy, France, and Germany, and was suppressed in 1778. Pietro was elected pope July 5, 1294, after an interregnum which followed the death of Nicholas IV. The account of his election being forwarded to him in his retirement, he refused to accept the dignity, though the cardinals and Charles II. of Naples and Andrew III. of Hungary urged him strongly to do so.
He attempted to fly from his retreat, but was prevented by a vast concourse of people. At length he consented, and proceeded to Perugia accompanied by the kings of Naples and Hungary, and was crowned Aug. 29. He made his public entrance into the city amid the applause of more than 200,000 people. In the city of Aquila he appointed twelve cardinals, five of whom were Italians and seven French, and then went to Naples. He made two constitutions which provided for the cardinals entering into conclave on the election of a pope, thus renewing a constitution already made by Gregory X. in the council of Lyons; and also another respecting the pope resigning his office. After occupying the pontifical see during five months, he renounced the tiara, Dec. 13, 1294, on finding that he was but little acquainted with temporal matters, and still retained his unconquerable love for solitude. The see remained vacant ten days, when Boniface VIII. was elected his successor. Celestine then retired again to his solitude at Majella, to devote himself altogether to prayer and to mortification.
Boniface VIII., fearing difficulties might be caused by artful persons, who would turn his simplicity to their own account, wished to keep him under his control, and at first confined him in a house in Anagni near his own residence, and afterward transferred him to Fumone, near Ferentino in the Campagna, where he languished for ten months in a climate so sickly that the religious who waited on him were obliged to be changed every two months. He finally died there, and was canonized at Avignon by Pope Clement V., May 5, 1313. He wrote the following treatises, which were published at Naples in 1040: Relatio Vitae sure; fie Virtutibus; fie Vitiis; fie Ilominis Vanitate; De Exemplis; fie Sententiia Patrum. Several lives of this pope have been written; among them one by LelioMarini (Milan, 1630).