Urban V, Pope, Bl.
URBAN V, POPE, BL.
Pontificate: Sept. 28, 1362 to Dec. 19, 1370; b. Guillaume de Grimoard, Grisac Lozère, France, c. 1310; d. Avignon. As a Benedictine monk, Guillaume studied law at Paris and Avignon, later teaching law at Montpellier and Avignon. In 1352, he became abbot of Saint-Germain in Auxerre; in 1361, abbot of saint-victor in marseilles. By the time of the conclave following the death of innocent vi (1362), Guillaume was a noted educator who had distinguished himself through his negotiations with Giovanni Visconti over the vicariate of Bologna (1352) and through his legations to Italy. When dissension among the cardinals made the election of one of them impossible, their choice fell on Guillaume. He was crowned without pomp at Avignon, November 6 (see avignon papacy).
As Urban V, he initiated a reform program in which he restrained the greed of the procurators and lawyers of the Avignon Curia, cut in half the tax of the tenth, curtailed the holding of a plurality of benefices, reorganized the apostolic camera, and encouraged the convening of provincial councils despite the Hundred Years' War.
He agreed to the crusade plans of Peter of Lusignan, king of Cyprus, against the ottoman turks who were threatening the Byzantine Empire. He hoped that the departure of the mercenary soldiers for the East would free Italy and France from their plundering. In preparation for this abortive crusade, he made peace with Bernabo Visconti (February 1364).
Urban determined to reestablish the seat of the papacy at Rome once Cardinal albornoz had reclaimed the states of the church. Despite violent objections from the French cardinals and contradictory pleadings from the king of France, but with the encouragement of Emperor Charles IV, Urban left Avignon, April 30, 1367, and disembarked at Corneto, Italy, June 3. Following a stay at Viterbo, he got through to Rome on October 15.
On Oct. 18, 1369, the Byzantine Emperor John V Palaeologus arrived in Rome, abjured the eastern schism, and explicitly recognized the Roman papacy. However, at the magnificent ceremony at St. Peter's on October 21, the representatives of the Byzantine Church did not appear. Urban had compromised the desired union of the Eastern and Western Churches by his refusal to hold a Greco-Roman council—something he considered dangerous to the faith. Furthermore, Urban wanted to organize a Latin Church within the Byzantine Empire while the Greeks intended to retain their customary rites. Urban satisfied himself with sending missionaries, especially Franciscans, to the East.
By 1370, renewed hostilities in the States of the Church, a revolt in Perugia, and the massing of Bernabo Visconti's troops in Tuscany compelled the pope to seek refuge within the walls of Viterbo. Simultaneously, the desire to end the Hundred Years' War suggested his return to Avignon; he arrived in September 1370.
Urban's body, first buried at Notre-Dame-des-Doms in Avignon, was brought to the Abbey of Saint-Victor in Marseilles in June 1372. His personal virtue and goodness led to his beatification, March 10, 1870.
Feast: Dec. 19.
Bibliography: urban v, Lettres secrètes et curiales du Pape Urbain V … se rapportant à la France, ed. p. lecacheux and g. mollat, 3 v. (Paris 1902–55); Lettres communes, ed. m. h. laurent (Paris 1954–). Documenti Vaticani … Pontificato di Urbano V, ed. t. leccisotti (Monte Cassino 1952) publication of 59 bulls. g. mollat, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 1903—50) 15.2:2295–2302; The Popes at Avignon, tr. j. love from 9th French ed. (New York 1963). É. delaruelle, "La Translation des reliques de saint Thomas d'Aquin à Toulouse (1369) …," Bulletin de Littérature Ecclésiastique 56 (1955) 129–146. d. knowles, The Religious Orders in England (Cambridge, Eng. 1948–60) v.2. m. balmelle, Bibliographie du Gévaudan (NS; Mende 1961–) v.2. j. meyendorff, "Projets de concile oecuménique en 1367 …," Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Harvard University 14 (1960) 147–177. p. amargier, Urban V. Un homme. Une vie (1310–1370) (Marseille 1987). f. r. celsi, "I rapporti tra la Santa Sede e la Republica di Venezia attraverso a la lettere di Papa Urbano V al doge Lorenzo Celsi (1363–1365)," Apollinaris 65 (Roma 1992), 609–25. m. harvey, "Preaching in the Curia: Some Sermons by Thomas Brinton," Archivum Historiae Pontificiae 33 (Roma 1995), 299–301. a.-m. hayez, ed., Le terrier avignonnais de l'évěque Anglic Grimoard (1366–1368) (Paris 1993); Urbain V (1362–1370). Lettres communes analyées d'après les registres dits d'Avignon et du Vatican (Rome 1985). j. kloczowski, "Avignon et la Pologne à l'époque d'Urbain V et de Grégoire XI (1362–1378)," La Pologne dans l'Eglise médiévale 14 (Aldershot 1993). d. le blÉvec, "L'aumône secrète de la papautè sous Urbain V," Histoire et sociètè. Mèlanges offerts à George Duby (Aix-en-Provence 1992) 209–19. d. le blÉvec, "Urbain V et las Chartreux," Die Ausbreitung karäusischen Lebens und Geistes im Mittelalter (Salzburg 1991) 33–53. f. petrarca, In difesa dell'Italia (Contra eum qui maledixit Italie) (Venice 1995). n. g. m. van doornik, Katharina von Siena. Eine Frau, die in der Kirche nicht schwieg (Freiburg 1980). l. vones, Urban V. (1362–1370): Kirchenreform zwischen Kardinalkollegium, Kurie und Klientel (Stuttgart 1998). j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 223.