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Pope Eugenius III

From Academic Kids

The Blessed Eugenius III, né Bernardo Pignatelli (d. July 8, 1153) was pope from 1145 to 1153.

A native of Pisa, Pignatelli was elected pope in February 1145. When called to occupy this supreme position, he was only abbot of a Cistercian monastery just outside Rome, and he owed his elevation partly to the fact that none were eager to accept an office the duties of which were at the time so difficult and dangerous, but chiefly to his being the friend and pupil of Bernard of Clairvaux, the most influential ecclesiastic of the Western Church, and a strong assertor of the pope's temporal authority. The choice had not, however, the approval of Bernard, who remonstrated against the election on account of the "innocence and simplicity" of Eugenius; but after the choice was made he took advantage of the qualities in Eugenius which he objected to, so as to virtually rule in his name.

During nearly the whole of his pontificate Eugenius was unable to reside in Rome. Hardly had he left the city to be consecrated in the monastery of Farfa (about 40 km north of Rome), when the citizens, under the influence of Arnold of Brescia - the great opponent of the pope's temporal power - established the old Roman constitution, and elected Giordano to be "patrician". Eugenius appealed for help to Tivoli, Italy and to other cities at feud with Rome, and with their aid was successful in making such conditions with the Roman citizens as enabled him for a time to hold the semblance of authority in his capital; but as he would not agree to a treacherous compact against Tivoli, he was compelled to leave the city in March 1146. He stayed for some time at Viterbo, and then at Siena, but went ultimately to France.

On hearing of the fall of Edessa to the Turks, he had, in December 1145, addressed the bull Quantum praedecessores to Louis VII of France, calling on him to take part in another crusade; and at a great diet held at Speyer in 1146 the emperor Conrad III also, and many of his nobles, were, by the eloquence of Bernard, incited to dedicate themselves to the Crusade.

He held synods in northern Europe: at Paris, Reims, and Trier in 1147 and 1149 which were devoted to the reform of clerical life; he also considered and approved the works of Hildegard of Bingen. In 1149, Eugenius returned to Italy, and took up his residence at Viterbo. In 1150, through the aid of the king of Sicily, he was again able to enter Rome, but the jealously of the republicans soon compelled him to retire.

The emperor Frederick Barbarossa had promised to aid him against his revolted subjects, but the death of Eugenius at Tivoli, on July 8, 1153, prevented the fulfillment of the engagement. Though the citizens of Rome were jealous of the efforts of Eugenius to assert his temporal authority, they were always ready to recognize him as their spiritual lord, and they besides deeply reverenced his personal character. Accordingly he was buried at the Vatican with every mark of respect, and his tomb soon acquired an extraordinary fame for miraculous cures.


Preceded by:
Lucius II
Pope
1145–1153
Succeeded by:
Anastasius IV

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Original text from the 9th edition (1879) of an unnamed encyclopedia. Original referred to him as Eugene - modified to match spelling on Popes list. Please update article as needed.de:Eugen III. (Papst) fr:Eugène III it:Papa Eugenio III fi:Autuas Eugenius III

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