World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pope Urban V

Article Id: WHEBN0000024297
Reproduction Date:

Title: Pope Urban V  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Papal conclave, 1370, Pope Gregory XI, Pope Innocent VI, Avignon Papacy, Papal conclave, 1378
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pope Urban V

Blessed Pope
Urban V
Papacy began 28 September 1362
Papacy ended 19 December 1370
Predecessor Innocent VI
Successor Gregory XI
Consecration 6 November 1362
by Andouin Aubert
Personal details
Birth name William de Grimoard
Born 1310
Grizac, Languedoc, Kingdom of France
Died 19 December 1370(1370-12-19)
Avignon, Papal States
Previous post
  • Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Victor (1361-1362)
  • Abbot Ordinary of Monte Cassino (1366-1369)
  • Administrator of Avignon (1366-1367)
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 10 March 1870
by Pius IX
Other popes named Urban
Papal styles of
Pope Urban V
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Blessed

Pope Urban V (Latin: Urbanus V; 1310 – 19 December 1370), born William de Grimoard,[1] was Pope from 28 September 1362 to his death in 1370. He was the sixth Avignon Pope. He was saintly and learned, and widely admired.[2] He was beatified in 1870.


Early life

He was born in 1310 in the Castle of Grizac in the French region of Languedoc (today part of the commune of Le Pont-de-Montvert, department of Lozère), the son of William de Grimoard, Lord of Bellegarde, and of Amphélise de Montferrand.

As a young man, Grimoard became a Benedictine monk in the small Priory of Chirac, near his home,[3] which was a dependency of the ancient Abbey of St. Victor near Marseille, and he was sent there for his novitiate. After his profession of monastic vows, he was ordained a priest in his own monastery in Chirac. Showing great academic talent, he was then sent to the great universities of Europe, earning a doctorate in Canon Law. He became acclaimed as a foremost canonist of the age, himself teaching at Montpellier, Paris and Avignon. In August 1361 he was elected as the abbot of the Abbey of St. Victor.[4]

Election and papacy

In September 1362, William was in Naples as a papal emissary when Pope Innocent died. After previously electing Pope Clement VI's brother, who declined,[5] in a surprise move, on the 28th of that month they elected William as Pope. he was not initially informed of the result, instead he was requested to return immediately to Avignon to "consult" with the conclave. The cardinals feared the reaction of the Romans to the election of another foreign pope, and so kept the results of the election secret until William's arrival 5 weeks later. The Romans had been clamoring for some time for a Roman, or at least Italian, pope, and it was feared they would interfere with William's travel had they known of his election. Upon his arrival, William learned of his election and took the name of Urban, the fifth pope of that name to rule the Church.

Grimoard was a compromise candidate who was elected due to the fact that none of the cardinals voting in the conclave wished to serve. He was not even a bishop at the time of his election, and had to be consecrated as one before his coronation. This was done on 6 November by Cardinal Andouin Aubert,[6] the nephew of his predecessor. He served as the sixth pope in the Avignon Papacy.

A bolognino of Urban V.

Reformer and patron of education

As Pope he continued to follow the discipline of the Benedictine Rule and to wear his monastic habit.[7] Known to disapprove of the pomp and luxury of the cardinals' lives, he continued the simony started by his predecessors by paying the cardinals that voted for him 40,000 florins.[8]

Pope Urban introduced considerable reforms in the administration of justice and liberally patronized learning. He founded a university in Hungary. In Toulouse, he saved the university of music. In Montpellier, he restored the school of medicine there and founded the College of Saint Benedict, whose church, decorated with numerous works of art, later became the cathedral of the city. He founded colleges in Quézac and Bédouès, and a church and library in Ispagnac. Urban issued a preliminary consent for the establishment of the University of Kraków, which by September 1364 had gained full papal consent.[9] He supported more than 1,000 students of all classes with food and lodging. Even during war they were nourished well. He provided them with books and the best professors. Around Rome, he also planted vineyards.

Military campaigns

His pontificate witnessed one of the last flickers of crusading zeal in the Alexandrian and the Savoyard crusades, whereby Christian armies retook Alexandria and Gallipoli, respectively. He also sent many missions to Bosnia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and even China.

The great feature of Urban V's reign was the effort to return the papacy to Rome and to suppress its powerful rivals for the temporal sovereignty there. In 1363 he excommunicated Bernabò Visconti,[10] the last great figure of Ghibellinism in northern Italy, who occupied the Papal city of Bologna and valiantly resisted the troops of Cardinal Gil de Albornoz, the Vicar of the Papal States at the time. Urban ordered a crusade to be preached throughout Italy against Visconti and his kindred, accused as robbers of the church's estate.

As Urban's greatest desire was that of a crusade against the Turks, however, he found it necessary to purchase peace in March of the following year. Thus, through the mediation of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, he lifted his excommunication against Bernabò, obtaining Bologna only after he signed a hasty peace that was highly favorable to Bernabò.

To Rome and back

Continued troubles in Italy, as well as pleas from figures such as Petrarch and St. Bridget of Sweden, caused Urban to set out for Rome, which he reached on 16 October 1367. Although greeted by the clergy and people with joy, and despite the satisfaction of being attended by the Emperor in St. Peter's, and of placing the crown upon the head of the Empress, it soon became clear that by changing the seat of his government he had not increased its power. In Rome he was otherwise able to receive the homage of King Peter I of Cyprus, Queen Joan I of Naples and the confession of faith by the Byzantine Emperor John V Palaeologus,[11] crowned Charles IV's queen as Empress[12] and established the Bridgettine order.[13]

Unable any longer to resist the urgency of the French cardinals, and with numerous cities of the Papal States in revolt, Urban boarded a ship at Corneto heading for France on 5 September 1370, arriving back at Avignon on the 24th of the same month. A few days later he fell severely ill. Feeling his death approaching, he asked that he might be moved from the Papal Palace to the nearby residence of his brother, Angel, whom he had made a cardinal, that he might be close to those he loved. He died there on 19 December 1370.[14]


Urban's status as a beatus (Blessed) was confirmed by Pope Pius IX in 1870.[15]


  1. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2000), 243.
  2. ^ C. W. Previte-Orton, A History of Europe: From 1198 to 1378, (1951), 242-3.
  3. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 243.
  4. ^ 'Catholic Encyclopedia'': Bl. Urban V"'". 1912-10-01. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  5. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 243.
  6. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 243.
  7. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 243.
  8. ^ George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes, (McFarland and Company Inc., 1998), 43.
  9. ^ Krakow, Julian Dybiec, Charters of Foundation and Early Documents of the Universities of the Coimbra Group, ed. Jos. M. M. Hermans, Marc Nelissen, (Leuven University Press, 2005), 60.
  10. ^ George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes, 34.
  11. ^ Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Vasiliev, History of the Byzantine Empire, 324-1453, Vol. 2, (University of Wisconsin Press, 1980), 671.
  12. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 244.
  13. ^ Franklin Daniel Scott, Sweden, the Nation's History, (Southern Illinois University Press, 1988), 79.
  14. ^ "American "Blessed Pope Urban V''". Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  15. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, 243.

External sources

  • Rendina, Claudio (1994). I papi. Storia e segreti. Rome: Newton Compton. 
  • From the 9th edition (1883) of an unnamed encyclopedia

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Innocent VI
28 September 1362 – 19 December 1370
Succeeded by
Gregory XI
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.