Summary: A little-known pope of Rome, Pierre was born in Savoy or in La Salle around 1225. In either case, his overlord was the Holy Roman Emperor in the capacity of the King of Arles. Early in life, he joined the Dominican Order where he earned renown as a preacher. During his early years, he brushed shoulders with Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus who together reorganized the Dominican Order. At the University of Paris, he became a doctor famosissimus, a leading theologian. Pope Clement IV requested that Pierre preach the crusade beginning in 1268 and he did so with a passion. By 1273, Pierre had risen to the rank of cardinal-bishop of Ostia which he held until his papal election. When Pope Gregory X died in 1275, the papal conclave elected Pierre as the first Dominican pope, electing him on the first round of balloting. Pierre took the regnal title Innocent V.
Innocent reigned for only six months. During the first month of his reign, Innocent permitted the coronation of Rudolf of Habsburg as the king of Germany, thereby ending the interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire. He was a staunch supporter of a reunification with the Eastern Orthodox Church and he sent legates to Emperor Michael VIII in Constantinople in response to the decisions made at the Second Council of Lyons. Unfortunately, Innocent died in Rome before the legates ever returned. The pope was the author of several philosophical and theological works, and addressed numerous issues of canon law. His death in June 1276 was caused by an unknown illness. The next papal conclave elected Ottobuono de' Fieschi as Pope Adrian V, another pope who reigned for only a few months. It was a number of years before longer-reigning popes took control over the Papacy. Innocent V was beatified in 1898 and his memorial day is celebrated on June 22nd.
Date of Death: 22 June 1276
Successor: Adrian V