23 June 2010

Blessed Innocent V

23 JUNE 2010. Today the Dominican Order remembers the feast day of Blessed Innocent V, friar and pope.

Pope Blessed Innocent V (Petrus A. Tarentasia) was the first of the Dominican Order to ascend to the papal throne. Born in about A.D. 1225 at, what is today, southeastern France, Blessed Innocent V joined the Dominican Order at a young age and gained fame as a preacher.

Joining the Dominican Order at the age of 16, Blessed Innocent V, graduated from the University of Paris as a Master of Sacred Theology in A.D. 1259. At the University of Paris he won great distinction and was sometimes referred to at the institution as the most famous doctor (Doctor famosissimus). He collaborated with Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Albert the Great to develop a rule of study for the Dominican Order.

After a period as the Dominican Provincial in France, Tarentasia became Archbishop of Lyons in A.D. 1272 and Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia in A.D. 1273. He played a prominent role in the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons, at which he delivered two discourses to the assembled council fathers and delivered the funeral oration for Saint Bonaventure.

After the death of Gregory X, Tarentasia was elected Pope on 21 January 1276, and took the name Innocent V. His papal motto was "My eyes are ever toward the Lord." But, Blessed Innocent V had a very short pontificate, dying just more than six months later on 22 June 1276. In  his short pontificate, he worked to restore union with the Eastern Church. He is the author of a number of scholarly works in philosophy, theology, and canon law, including a series of commentaries on the Letters of Saint Paul and his principle work, the "Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard."

Blessed Innocent V was beatified in A.D. 1898.


God of truth,
you bestowed on Blessed Innocent
the gifts of knowledge and prudence
and made him a promoter of peace and unity.
By the help of his prayers
may we cherish what is of heaven
and in perfect unity follow what is right.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


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