Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Pope Celestine V

Pope Celestine as depicted by
the 14th century Italian artist
Niccolo di Tommaso.
Pope Saint Celestine V came into focus again recently after centuries since, until Benedict XVI, he was the most recent Pope to voluntarily abdicate. A previous post discusses this connection. At the splendid The History Blog, there was a most interesting post about the death of Pope Celestine, which is a most interesting read.

Recently, the skeletal remains were subject to intense scrutiny, during which process, through the wonders of modern technology, a facial reconstruction was digitally produced.  This image formed the basis of a Death Mask, which has been placed in the tomb of Saint Celestine.

The mask is shewn below, with the saint's remains clad in pontificals and - most interestingly - in the pallium of Pope Benedict XVI.

Remains of Pope Saint Celestine V.