mercredi 19 décembre 2012

Bienheureux URBAIN V, Pape


Simone de Crocefissi. Le Pape Urbain V
vers 1375, Pinacotèque de Bologne
Bienheureux Urbain V

Pape

(1310-1370)

Le bienheureux Urbain V, de son nom de famille Guillaume de Grimoard, naquit près de Mende, sur un sommet des Cévennes. Il gravit rapidement les degrés successifs de l'échelle des lettres et des sciences. La vie religieuse s'offrit alors à lui comme l'idéal qui répondait le mieux aux tendances de son esprit et aux besoins de son coeur. Il alla frapper à la porte de l'abbaye de Saint-Victor, près de Marseille, et, à l'ombre paisible du cloître, il s'éleva chaque jour de vertu en vertu. On remarquait particulièrement en lui une tendre dévotion pour la Sainte Vierge.

La profession religieuse n'avait fait que développer son ardeur pour la science, les supérieurs crurent bientôt l'humble moine capable d'enseigner, et, en effet, il illustra successivement les chaires qui lui furent confiées à Montpellier, à Paris, à Avignon et à Toulouse. Quelques années plus tard, après avoir été peu de temps abbé de Saint-Germain d'Auxerre, il fut envoyé en Italie par le Pape Clément VI en qualité de légat. C'était, à son insu, un acheminement vers la plus haute dignité qui soit au monde.

Il fut élu Pape en 1361 et prit le nom d'Urbain V, parce que tous les Papes qui avaient porté ce nom l'avaient illustré par la sainteté de leur vie. C'est lui qui ajouta à la tiare papale une troisième couronne, non par orgueil, mais pour symboliser la triple royauté du Pape sur les fidèles, sur les évêques et sur les États romains.

Il se proposa, en montant sur le trône de saint Pierre, trois grands projets: ramener la papauté d'Avignon à Rome, réformer les moeurs, propager au loin la foi catholique. Le retour de la papauté à Rome fut un triomphe, et les poètes le saluèrent comme l'augure d'un nouvel âge d'or. Pendant ces grandes oeuvres, Urbain vivait en saint, jeûnait comme un moine, et rapportait toute gloire à Dieu. A sa mort, il demanda qu'on permît au peuple de circuler autour de son lit: "Il faut, dit-il, que le peuple puisse voir comment les Papes meurent."

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950



Bienheureux Urbain V

Guillaume de Grimoard, né en 1310 au château de Grisac en Gévaudan se trouvait à Naples quand il apprit que les cardinaux l’avaient élu pape le 28 septembre 1362. Dès son arrivée à Avignon, il fut intronisé le 31 octobre sous le nom d Urbain V, puis consacré évêque et couronné le 6 novembre dans la chapelle du Palais Vieux, sans aucun faste extérieur.

Guillaume de Grimoard, né en 1310 au château de Grisac en Gévaudan, eut pour parrain de baptême Elzéar de Sabran, apparenté à la famille de sa mère, qu’il aura la joie de proclamer saint le 15 avril 1369 à Rome. Étudiant à Montpellier puis à Toulouse, il entra chez les bénédictins de Chirac prés de Mende. Il fit sa profession monastique à l’Abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille et fut ordonné prêtre en 1334 Il enseigna brillamment le droit canon à l’université de Montpellier, puis il exerça la charge abbatiale à Saint-Germain d’Auxerre en 1352 et à Saint-Victor de Marseille en 1361. Il fut envoyé à plusieurs reprises en Italie comme légat par le pape Innocent VI et il se trouvait à Naples quand il apprit que les cardinaux l’avaient élu pape le 28 septembre 1362. Dès son arrivée à Avignon, il fut intronisé le 31 octobre sous le nom d’Urbain V, puis consacré évêque et couronné le 6 novembre dans la chapelle du Palais Vieux, sans aucun faste extérieur.

Il assuma avec le plus grand sérieux ses hautes responsabilités, tout en demeurant un moine fidèle à son habit et aux moindres détails de la règle bénédictine. Il partageait son temps entre la prière, l’étude, le courrier et les audiences, attentif aux affaires de l’Église et aux misères du monde, très généreux envers les pauvres et les malades, se contentant d’employer ceux qui le méritaient sans favoriser sa famille. Il protégea les lettres et les sciences, développant les universités et en fondant de nouvelles. Il restaura l’abbaye de Saint-Victor et les églises romaines. Il s’attacha à l’expansion de la foi catholique avec les missions franciscaines, au rétablissement de l’unité de l’Église en Orient, à la réforme ecclésiastique et au retour du siège apostolique à Rome.

Malgré les instances du roi de France et les récriminations des cardinaux, pressé aussi par les menaces des Grandes Compagnies, Urbain V quitta Avignon pour Rome le 30 avril 1367. Il y fit son entrée solennelle le 16 octobre, après un long voyage par mer et un séjour mouvementé à Viterbe. Il fut accueilli avec une grande joie et y séjourna trois ans, y couronnant l’empereur d ’Occident Charles IV et y recevant l’acte de réconciliation de l’empereur byzantin Jean V Paléologue. Mais la situation romaine était toujours aussi troublée par la faute des factions rivales et faisait craindre pour la sécurité du pape. Alors, encouragé par la majorité des cardinaux, poussé par le désir de rétablir la paix entre la France et l’Angleterre, et malgré les supplications des fidèles, Urbain V s’embarqua de nouveau pour aborder à Marseille le 16 septembre 1370. Il fut reçu triomphalement à Avignon le 27 du même mois. Cependant, profondément marqué par son échec et atteint par une cruelle maladie, il mourut trois mois après, le 19 décembre 1370, dans la résidence de l’évêque d’Avignon, son frère Anglic. Il fut enterré à la cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms puis, selon son désir, transféré en 1372 à Saint-Victor de Marseille. A la faveur des nombreux miracles produits sur son tombeau, son procès de canonisation fut ouvert mais bientôt interrompu par la crise du Grand Schisme. C’est seulement le 10 mars 1870 qu’il fut déclaré bienheureux par le pape Pie IX

Le poète Pétrarque a écrit de lui : "O grand homme, sans pareil dans notre temps et dont les pareils en tous temps sont trop rares".



Bienheureux Urbain V

Pape (200 ème) de 1362 à 1370 (+ 1370)

D'abord moine bénédictin, il devint abbé de Saint-Germain-d'Auxerre, puis de Saint-Victor de Marseille. Élu pape en 1362, il fut l'un des sept papes résidant en Avignon. En 1367, il rétablit à Rome le Siège Apostolique, mais les luttes des factions romaines le forcèrent à revenir en Avignon trois ans plus tard, malgré les protestations de sainte Brigitte. Trois mois après, au moment de sa mort, il se fit porter dans une modeste maison, ouverte à tous, pour témoigner qu'un pape pouvait aussi mourir en bon chrétien.

- "Fils de Guillaume de Grimoard et d'Amphélise de Montferrand, Urbain V, prénommé comme son père, naquit en 1310 au château de Grisac, en Cévennes gévaudanaises. Après ses études à Montpellier et à Toulouse, il entra au couvent bénédictin du Saint-Sauveur de Chirac, qui a donné naissance à la localité du Monastier. Fondé en 1062 par l'évêque de Mende Aldebert 1er de Peyre, il dépendait alors de St. Victor de Marseille et avait pour prieur un oncle du jeune novice, Anglic de Grimoard. il y fut un modèle de régularité et de studiosité. Une fois les saints ordres reçus, il fit de hautes études de science sacrée. Celles-ci terminées, il enseigna à Montpellier, Toulouse, Paris, Avignon. Successivement Vicaire Général de Clermont et d'Uzès il devint Abbé de St. Germain d'Auxerre, puis de St. Victor de Marseille. Il fut désigné comme légat pontifical à Naples par le Pape Innocent VI. Après la mort de ce dernier, il fut élu pape le 28 septembre 1362. Il choisit le nom d'Urbain 'parce que les papes ayant porté ce nom avaient été des saints', il reçut l'ordination épiscopale à Avignon le 6 novembre.

Celle-ci arrivait à une période sombre de l'histoire de l'Église. Le nouveau pape s'employa avec beaucoup de zèle à améliorer cette situation par ses efforts pour propager la foi catholique, réformer l'Église, apaiser les conflits, rétablir l'unité avec les Grecs, promouvoir les études ... ramener la papauté à Rome où il résida pendant trois ans, avant de revenir à Avignon où il mourut le 19 décembre 1370. D'abord inhumés en l'église N. D. des Doms, ses restes furent transférés, 18 mois après, dans l'Abbatiale de St. Victor de Marseille.

Ce pape 'de sainteté et d'érudition' ne tarda pas d'être vénéré en France et en Italie. Le 10 mars 1870 le pape Pie IX signa le décret de béatification.

L'abbé Chaillan, biographe d'Urbain V, a raison de dire que le Gévaudan 'a été inondé de ses faveurs et de ses bienfaits.' La montagnarde et croyante Lozère, fière de lui avoir donné le jour, s'en souvient toujours et a voulu lui témoigner sa gratitude par l'érection d'une belle statue en bronze devant la cathédrale qu'il avait fait construire. Cette statue a été solennellement bénie le 28 juin 1874." (les saints du diocèse de Mende)

- Guillaume de Grimoard... se trouvait à Naples quand il apprit que les cardinaux l’avaient élu pape le 28 septembre 1362. Dès son arrivée à Avignon, il fut intronisé le 31 octobre sous le nom d'Urbain V, puis consacré évêque et couronné le 6 novembre dans la chapelle du Palais Vieux, sans aucun faste extérieur. (Urbain V - diocèse d'Avignon)

- "Moine par vocation, Guillaume Grimoard, né en 1310 dans les Cévennes, appartenant à la congrégation bénédictine de Saint-Victor de Marseille, au terme d’une brillante carrière de professeur de Droit à l’université de Montpellier, fut élu abbé de Saint-Victor et, tôt après, élevé au souverain pontificat...” (source: Histoire du diocèse de Marseille)

- Le bienheureux Urbain V naquit au château de Grisac, près du Pont de Montvert (Lozère), vers 1310, de la puissante famille des Grimoard. Entré tout jeune chez les Bénédictins à Chirac, puis à Saint Victor de Marseille, il poursuit ses études à Montpellier, où il enseigne le droit canon. Son prestige s'affirme tellement dans les diverses missions apostoliques dont il est chargé qu'il est élu au souverain pontificat. Le siège apostolique était alors à Avignon, depuis le début du siècle. Urbain V fut un très grand pape, qui fit preuve d'une activité prodigieuse en des temps particulièrement troublés. A un amour passionné de la Sainte Église, il ajouta les vertus d'un saint. Après deux ans passés en Italie pour essayer d'y remettre la paix, il revint mourir en Avignon (19 décembre 1370). Son corps repose à Saint Victor de Marseille, dont il avait été l'abbé. (source: Les Saints du diocèse de Nîmes)

- Site de l'association 'les amis du bienheureux Urbain V'

À Avignon, en 1370, le bienheureux Urbain V, pape, qui était abbé de Saint-Victor de Marseille quand il fut élevé sur la chaire de Pierre. Sans rien changer à ses habitudes monastiques, il tourna aussitôt son esprit en premier lieu vers le retour du Siège apostolique à Rome et le rétablissement de l’unité de l’Église.

Martyrologe romain



Prière pour obtenir des grâces par l’intercession du Bienheureux Urbain V

Seigneur Notre Dieu, nous Vous rendons grâce pour le serviteur que Vous avez placé autrefois à la tête de l’Eglise, le Bienheureux Pape Urbain V, qui a vécu sous la motion de Votre Esprit Saint. Vous l’avez suscité pour qu’il soit le sage réformateur du clergé, qu’il défende les droits et la liberté de l’Eglise et propage l’évangile parmi les nations infidèles.

Faites que sa mission porte du fruit encore aujourd’hui ; nous Vous en supplions, accordez-nous la grâce que nous demandons par son intercession (…), et si telle est Votre volonté, daignez glorifier Votre serviteur par Jésus le Christ Notre-Seigneur,

Ainsi soit-il.

(prière éditée avec la permission de Mgr Cattenoz, archevêque d’Avignon)

SOURCE : http://leblogdumesnil.unblog.fr/2010/12/18/2010-54-le-septieme-centenaire-du-bienheureux-urbain-v-1310-1370/


Enluminure dans "Miscellanea historica", Le Pape Urbain V et deux cardinaux (dont Pierre de La Jugie),  voyageant vers Rome, seconde moitié du XIVe siècle
Pope Bl. Urban V

Guillaume de Grimoard, born at Grisac in Languedoc, 1310; died at Avignon, 19 December, 1370. Born of aknightly family, he was educated at Montpellier and Toulouse, and became a Benedictine monk at the little prioryof Chirac near his home. A Bull of 1363 informs us that he was professed at the great Abbey of St. Victor atMarseilles, where he imbibed his characteristic love for the Order of St. Benedict; even as pope he wore its habit. He was ordained at Chirac, and after a further course of theology and canon law at the universities of Toulouse,Montpellier, Paris, and Avignon, he received the doctorate in 1342. He was one of the greatest canonists of his day; was professor of canon law at Montpellier, and also taught at Toulouse, Paris, and Avignon; he actedsuccessively as vicar-general of the Dioceses of Clermont and Uzès, was at an unknown date (before 1342) affiliated to Cluny, became prior of Notre-Dame du Pré (a priory dependent on St. Germain d'Auxerre), and in 1352 was named abbot of that famous house by Clement VI. With this date begins his diplomatic career. His first mission was to Giovanni Visconti, Archbishop and despot of Milan, and this he carried out successfully; in 1354 and 1360 he was employed on the affairs of the Holy See in Italy; in 1361 he was appointed by Innocent VI to the Abbacy of St. Victor at Marseilles, but in 1362 was once more dispatched to Italy, this time on an embassy to Joanna of Naples. It was while engaged on this business that the abbot heard of his election to the papacy.Innocent VI had died on 12 Sept. The choice of one who was not a cardinal was due to jealousies within theSacred College, which made the election of any one of its members almost impossible. Guillaume de Grimoard was chosen for his virtue and learning, and for his skill in practical affairs of government and diplomacy. He arrived at Marseilles on 28 Oct., entered Avignon three days later, and was consecrated on 6 November, taking the name of Urban because, as he said, "all the popes who had borne the name had been saints". The general satisfaction which this election aroused was voiced by Petrarch, who wrote to the pope, "It is God alone who has chosen you".

On 20 November King John of France visited Avignon; his main purpose was to obtain the hand of Joanna ofNaples, ward of the Holy See, for his son Philip, Duke of Touraine. In a letter of 7 November Urban had already approved her project of marriage with King James of Majorca, a king without a kingdom; by so doing the popesafeguarded his own independence at Avignon, which would have been gravely imperilled had the marriage of Joanna, who was also Countess of Provence, united to the Crown of France the country surrounding the littlepapal principality. The letter written by Urban to Joanna on 29 Nov., urging the marriage with Philip, was probably meant rather to appease the French king than to persuade the recipient. The betrothal of the Queen ofNaples to James of Majorca was signed on 14 Dec. The enormous ransom of 3,000,000 gold crowns, due toEdward III of England from John of France by the treaty of Bretigny, was still in great part unpaid, and John now sought permission to levy a tithe on the revenues of the French clergy. Urban refused this request as well as another for the nomination of four cardinals chosen by the king. John also desired to intervene between the popeand Barnabò Visconti, tyrant of Milan. He was again refused, and when Barnabò failed to appear within the three months allowed by his citation, the pope excommunicated him (3 March, 1363). In April of the same year Visconti was defeated before Bologna. Peace was concluded in March, 1364; Barnabò restored the castles seized by him, while Urban withdrew the excommunication and undertook to pay half a million gold florins.

The Benedictine pope was a lover of peace, and much of his diplomacy was directed to the pacification of Italyand France. Both countries were overrun by mercenary bands known as the "Free Companies", and the popemade many efforts to secure their dispersal or departure. His excommunication was disregarded and the companies refused to join the distant King of Hungary in his battles with the Turks although the Emperor Charles IV, who came to Avignon in May, 1365, guaranteed the expenses of their journey and offered them the revenuesof his kingdom of Bohemia for three years. War now broke out between Pedro the Cruel of Navarre and his brother Henry of Trastamare. Pedro was excommunicated for his cruelties and persecutions of the clergy, andBertrand Duguesclin, the victor of Cocherel, led the companies into Navarre; yet they visited Avignon on their way and wrung blackmail from the pope. The Spanish war was quickly ended, and Urban returned to his former plan of employing the companies against the Turk. The Count of Savoy was to have led them to the assistance of the King of Cyprus and the Eastern Empire, but this scheme too was a failure. Urban's efforts were equally fruitless in Italy, where the whole land was overrun with bands led by such famous condottieri as the GermanCount of Landau and the Englishman Sir John Hawkwood. In 1365, after the failure of a scheme to uniteFlorence, Pisa, and the Italian communes against them, the pope commissioned Albornoz to persuade these companies to join the King of Hungary. In 1366 he solemnly excommunicated them, forbade their employment, and called on the emperor and all the powers of Christendom to unite for their extirpation. All was in vain, for though a league of Italian cities was formed in September of that year, it was dissolved about fifteen months later owing to Florentine jealousy of the emperor.

Rome had suffered terribly through the absence of her pontiffs, and it became apparent to Urban that if he remained at Avignon the work of the warlike Cardinal Albornoz in restoring to the papacy the States of the Church would be undone. On 14 September, 1366, he informed the emperor of his determination to return toRome. All men rejoiced at the announcement except the French; the king understood that the departure fromAvignon would mean a diminution of French influence at the Curia. The French cardinals were in despair at the prospect of leaving France, and even threatened to desert the pope. On 30 April, 1367, Urban left Avignon; on 19 May he sailed from Marseilles, and after a long coasting voyage he reached Corneto, where he was met byAlbornoz. On 4 June the Romans brought the keys of Sant' Angelo in sign of welcome, and the Gesuati carrying their branches in their hands and headed by their founder, Blessed John Colombini, preceded the pope. Five days later he entered Viterbo, where he dwelt in the citadel. The disturbed state of Italy made it impossible for Urbanto set out to Rome until he had gathered a considerable army, so it was not till 16 Oct. that he entered the city at the head of an imposing cavalcade, under the escort of the Count of Savoy, the Marquess of Ferrara, and other princes.

The return of the pope to Rome appeared to the contemporary world both as a great event and as a religiousaction. The pope now set to work to improve the material and moral condition of his capital. The basilicas andpapal palaces were restored and decorated, and the Papal treasure, which had been preserved at Assisi since the days of Boniface VIII, was distributed to the city churches. The unemployed were put to work in the neglected gardens of the Vatican, and corn was distributed in seasons of scarcity; at the same time the discipline of theclergy was restored, and the frequentation of the sacraments encouraged. One of Urban's first acts was to change the Roman constitution, but it may be questioned whether "the sacrifice offered to the Pontiff as the reward of his return was the liberty of the people" (Gregorovius).

On 17 October, 1368, the emperor joined the pope at Viterbo. Before leaving Germany he had confirmed all therights of the Church, and Urban hoped for his help against the Visconti, but Charles allowed himself to be bribed. On 21 Oct. the pope and emperor entered Rome together, the latter humbly leading the pontiff's mule. On 1 Nov.Charles acted as deacon at the Mass at which Urban crowned the empress. For more than a century pope and emperor had not appeared thus in amity. A year later the Emperor of the East, John V Palaeologus, came toRome seeking assistance against the infidel; he abjured the schism and was received by Urban on the steps ofSt. Peter's. These emperors both of West and East were but shadows of their great predecessors, and their visits, triumphs as they might appear, were but little gain to Urban V. He felt that his position in Italy was insecure. The death of Albornoz (24 Aug., 1367), who had made his return to Italy possible, had been a great loss. The restlessness of the towns was exemplified by the revolt of Perugia, which had to be crushed by force; any chance storm might undo the work of the great legate. At heart, too, the pope had all a Frenchman's love for his country, and his French entourage urged his return to Avignon. In vain were the remonstrances of the envoys ofRome, which had gained "greater quiet and order, an influx of wealth, a revival of importance" from his sojourn; in vain were the admonitions of St. Bridget, who came from Rome to Montefiascone to warn him that if he returned to Avignon he would shortly die. War had broken out again between France and England, and the desire to bring about peace strengthened the pope's determination. On 5 Sept., 1370, "sad, suffering and deeply moved", Urban embarked at Corneto. In a Bull of 26 June he had told the Romans that his departure was motived by his desire to be useful to the Universal Church and to the country to which he was going. It may be, too, that the pope saw that the next conclave would be free at Avignon but not in Italy. Charles V joyfully sent a fleet of richly adorned galleys to Corneto; the pope did not long survive his return (24 Sept.) to Avignon. His body was buried in Notre-Dame des Doms at Avignon but was removed two years later, in accordance with his own wish, to the Abbey Church of St. Victor at Marseilles. Miracles multiplied around his tomb. His canonizationwas demanded by King Waldemar of Denmark and promised by Gregory XI as early as 1375, but did not take place owing to the disorders of the time. His cultus was approved by Pius IX in 1870.

Urban V was a man whose motives cannot be called in question: his policy aimed at Eurpoean peace; shortly before his death he had given orders that preparations should be made to enable him personally to visit and reconcile Edward III and Charles V. He had shown great zeal for the Crusade. On 29 March, 1363, Pierre deLusignan, King of Cyprus and titular King of Jerusalem, appeared at Avignon to appeal for assistance against theTurks, and on 31 March (Good Friday) Urban preached the Crusade and gave the cross to the Kings of France,Denmark, and Cyprus; the chivalrous King John, who was to have been chief commander, died a quasi-prisoner at London in 1364, and though the King of Cyprus captured Alexandria (11 Oct., 1365), he was unable to hold the city. The crusading spirit was dead in Europe. In an age of corruption and simony Urban stood for purity and disinterestedness in church life: he did much for ecclesiastical discipline and caused many provincial councils to be held; he refused to bestow place or money on his relatives, and even caused his own father to refund apension bestowed on him by the French king. His brother, whom he prompted to the cardinalate, was acknowledged by all to be a man most worthy of the dignity. The pope's private life was that of a monk, and he was always accessible to those who sought his aid.


But Urban was a patriotic Frenchman, a defect in the universal father of Christendom. He estranged the Englishking by the help given to his rival, and aroused hostility in Italy by the favour shown to men of his own race whom he made his representatives in the States of the Church. He was a great patron of learning, foundeduniversities at Cracow (by a Bull of 1364) and at Vienna (by a Bull of 1365), and caused the emperor to createthe University of Orange; he revised the statutes of the University of Orléans; and gave great assistance to theuniversities of Avignon and Toulouse. At Bologna he supported the great college founded by Albornoz and paid the expenses of many poor students whom he sent thither. He also founded a studium at Trets (later removed toManosque), but his greatest foundations were at Montpellier. His buildings and restorations were considerable, especially at Avignon, Rome, and Montpellier. He approved the orders of Brigittines and Gesuati, and canonizedhis godfather, St. Elzéar of Sabran.

Webster, Douglas Raymund. "Pope Bl. Urban V." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company,1912. 19 Dec. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15214a.htm>.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15214a.htm


Urbain V reçoit à Rome Jean V Paléologue, empereur de Constantinople

Pope Bl. Urban V

Blessed Pope Urban V was born Guillaume de Grimoard at Grisac in Languedoc, 1310. He studied canon law and theology in Avignon and became a Benedictine monk. He was named abbot of his monastery in 1352, served as a papal diplomat and was sent as an ambassador to various locations. He also served as a bishops around Italy and throughout Europe.

He was elected pope in 1362 while on diplomatic business, even though he was not a cardinal. A Benedictine monk and canon lawyer, he was deeply spiritual and brilliant. He lived simply and modestly, which did not always earn him friends among clergymen who had become used to comfort and privilege. Still, he pressed for reform and saw to the restoration of churches and monasteries.

His reign was blessed by his peacekeeping activity between the French and Italian kings, the founding of many universities, his zeal for the crusades and his decision to return the papacy to Rome and end the Avignon exile of the popes.

However, the breakout of war between England and France, forced him to return to Avignon on a peacekeeping mission. On his return to Avignon he died, and his body, which had been buried at Avignon was then transferred to Marseille according to his own wishes, and his tomb became the site of many miracles. He died on December 19, 1370.

He always had a Benedictine spirit and even wore his monk’s habit as pope. His virtue and honesty were noted, especially in a Europe plagued by scandal and corruption. It is said that as he lay dying he called the people to surround his deathbed saying “the people must see how popes die.”

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/pope-urban-v/

Blessed Urban V OSB, Pope (RM)

Born in Grisac, Languedoc, France, 1310; died in Avignon, France, December 19, 1370; cultus confirmed by Pope Pius IX on March 10, 1870. William (Guillaume) de Grimoard, later Pope Urban V, was born in a chateau and given his name by his godfather Elzear de Sabran. His mother, Amphelise de Montferrand, remarked: "My son, I don't understand you! . . . But God does."



William had a most distinguished academic career, both studying philosophy, letters and law at Montpellier and Toulouse, and teaching canon law at four universities: Montpellier, Toulouse, Avignon, and Paris. The Benedictines pleased him. He entered the Chirac abbey and followed his vocation, which included ordination as a priest. His serious smile won all hearts; his diplomas opened doors. He was vicar general at Clermont and Uzés. Pope Clement VI appointed him abbot of St. Germain, Auxerre, in 1352, and nine years later Pope Innocent VI appointed him abbot of St. Victor, Marseilles, and legate to Queen Joanna of Naples. He retained such fond memories of St. Victor's that he asked to be buried there.

Popes Clement VI and Innocent VI used his services as a diplomat. The latter sent him all over as papal legate to obtain the submission of the Italian cities and the little republics that had so clamorously broken loose and, in the disorder of temporal authority, more and more contested the authority of the Holy See.

William succeeded, not by the ruses of diplomats or severity, but by negotiations and candor. He had no enemies. On September 28, 1362, he was on a papal mission to Naples when he learned that Innocent VI had died and that he himself had been elected pope, though he was not a cardinal. Together with his new name Urban, he took on his new mission without any pomp for he had a horror of all display. He prayed the way everyone prayed. He ate and died as the common folk.

He immediately began to reform the Church. Because his studies had served him well, he came to the aid of students with all his might, creating thousands of scholarships, reforming or creating new universities. He said, "The first sin of Christians is their ignorance." He restored churches and monasteries that had fallen into disorder. He made peace with Barnabo Visconti in 1364, though he was unsuccessful in his attempts to suppress the marauding condottieri in France and Italy. Through Peter de Lusignan, Urban temporarily occupied Alexandria in 1365, but his crusade against the Turks did not succeed.

For 50 years the papacy had been based at Avignon but in 1366 Urban decided to bring back the papacy to Rome. Unfortunately, the French court and cardinals opposed this move. Once in Rome, he set about restoring the dilapidated city, tightening clerical discipline, and reviving religion. The Emperor Charles IV was won over to a new treaty with the papacy. After Urban crowned Charles' consort German Empress, Charles agreed to respect the rights of the Church in Germany.

Because the split church seemed to him a permanent injury to Jesus Christ, he made advances to the Christians of the East. Even the Greek emperor, John V Palaeologus, was reconciled to Rome, in an attempt to heal the deep rift between the Eastern and Western Church. It is sad that the emperor was unable to win over the hearts of his people to reconcile with Rome.

But many princes remained hostile. Because he knew how to live modestly, Urban demanded the same of his entourage. Because he did not value money, he made no economies and condemned the clergy who made profit and business from their positions. If the goodness of Pope Urban has any defect, it is that he didn't hide it under his hat. He did everything in all innocence. Though he was pope, he remained a monk and continued to follow the Benedictine Rule.

The condottieri, led by Barnabo Visconti, were once again his implacable enemies. The Perugians rose against him. The leaders of France threatened the stability of the Church. Sadly, Urban left Rome on September 5, 1370, and returned to Avignon, despite the prediction of Saint Bridget that he would die an early death if he left Rome. He died less than four months later.


SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1219.shtml

On Tuesday Urban had a premonition that he would not finish his mission and that he was not the man to reconcile the French and the British. He made them remove him from the Papal Palace at Avignon to his brother's house at the foot of the hill. He did not want to die in fine sheets. He had all the door to the street opened, for many of the people whom he used to help wanted to say goodbye to him (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia).