Saint of the day 20141219

19 December

BLESSED URBAN V
Pope
(1310-1370)

Born Guillame de Grimoard in 1310, Urban studied at Montpellier and Toulouse before becoming Benedictine at Marseilles. He earned a doctorate in law and became the abbot of the monasteries of St.-Germain in Auxerre and St.-Victor in Marseilles.

Elected pope in 1362, he was the sixth pope to reside in Avignon instead of in Rome. The year after his election, he preached a crusade, which John II of France led but which was not much supported in Europe.

In 1367, he returned to Rome but found that civil strife made the city unlivable. Ignoring the pleas of Petrarch and the prophecy of Bridget of Sweden, he returned to Avignon in 1372, where he died three months after he arrived.

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