Pope Victor III

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The Blessed Victor III, born as Dauferius (Benevento, 1026?—September 16, 1087), pope (May 24, 1086 until his death), was the successor of Pope Gregory VII. Son of Landolfo V, prince of Benevento, he was born circa 1026; in his thirtieth year he entered monastic life at Monte Cassino, changing his name of Dauferius to Desiderius. He soon became abbot of the monastery, and in 1059 Pope Nicholas II raised him to the cardinalate.

He rendered many important services to Pope Gregory VII, who accordingly, on his deathbed, recommended Desiderius to the cardinals of south Italy as his worthiest successor. He was elected on 1086-05-24, but showed genuine reluctance to accept the embarrassing honour thus thrust upon him, and after his tardy consecration, which did not take place till 1087-05-09, he withdrew at once to Monte Cassino. The countess Matilda of Tuscany soon afterwards induced him to return to Rome; but, owing to the presence of the antipope Clement III (Guibert of Ravenna), who had powerful partisans, Victor's stay there was short. That August, he held a synod of some importance at Benevento, at which Clement III was excommunicated, lay investiture forbidden, and a kind of crusade proclaimed against the Saracens in Africa. During the synod Victor fell ill, and withdrew to Monte Cassino, where he died on 1087-09-16. His successor was Urban II.


Preceded by:
Saint Gregory VII
Pope
1086–1087
Succeeded by:
Urban II

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