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Saint Celestine: The Pope Who Quit

This is the riveting and mysterious story of Pope St. Celestine V, the pope who retired from the papacy after a very short reign. At the close of the tumultuous Middle Ages, this future monk and pope seemed destined from birth to save the world. His birth name was Peter Morrone, who became a hermit, and the founder of a religious order. The hidden designs of divine providence would, practically overnight, transform this humble servant of God into the most powerful man in the Catholic Church. Half a year later, he would be the only pope in history til then to abdicate the chair of St. Peter. What caused him to make that astonishing decision and the events that followed were shrouded in mystery for centuries.

This docu-drama investigates the secrecy of this dramatic time in history and reveals a story that involves deadly dealings, apocalyptic maneuverings, and papal intrigue. Shot on location in Italy with beautiful scenery of the Italian countryside, ancient churches and castles, it makes use of classic mediaeval art to illustrate the story of Celestine. Historians, professors and monks provide insightful commentary about the life and times of this controversial and enigmatic saint.


DVDs are not licensed for public group showings, so in order to show any of these films to your parish, school or organization, you must purchase a Site License which includes additional DVDs to sell or give away. Ignatius Press will provide support and additional information to help make this experience for your parish, school or organization a successful and memorable one! Purchase of these DVD packages includes the permission to show the film in a public setting. If you have questions please email