Celestine V

1215-1296. Pope in 1294. A noted hermit, he had founded a community of disciples later called the Celestines.* His election as pope was a conscious attempt to raise the spiritual tone of the papacy, debilitated by political involvement in the War of the Vespers. The inexperienced Celestine, however, soon became the tool of Charles II of Naples, appointing twelve cardinals of Charles's choice, placing his nominees in the papal states, and taking up residence in Naples. Administratively the church slipped into great confusion. Having been made aware of his own failings, Celestine had the spirituality and humility to resign at the end of 1294. He was succeeded by an opposite in every way-Boniface VIII, who, fearing conspiracy around the former pope, had him imprisoned until he died in 1296. Celestine was canonized in 1313.