1303 papal conclave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Papal conclave
Sede vacante.svg
Coat of arms during the vacancy of the Holy See
Dates and location
21–22 October 1303
Vatican Palace, Rome
Key officials
DeanGiovanni Boccamazza
CamerlengoTeodorico Ranieri
ProtodeaconMatteo Rosso Orsini
Elected Pope
Nicola Boccasini
Name taken: Benedict XI
B Benedikt XI.jpg

The papal conclave of 1303 elected Pope Benedict XI to succeed Pope Boniface VIII.


Pope Boniface VIII was buried at St. Peter's Basilica on 12 October 1303, in a tomb which he had prepared for himself.[1] The manhandling of Boniface VIII by the forces of France and the Colonna family before his death gave the cardinals second thoughts about electing anyone hostile to the interests of Philip IV of France.[2]

The Conclave took place at the Vatican Palace next to St. Peter's,[3] where Pope Boniface VIII had died on 11 October 1303. The Conclave began with the Mass of the Holy Spirit on 21 October, and voting began the next morning. A Dominican, and the Order's former Master General (1296-1298),[4] Niccolò Boccasini was unanimously elected Pope Benedict XI on the first scrutiny.[5] Niccolò Boccasini and Pedro Rodriguez were the only cardinals, of the seventeen or eighteen, who had stayed with Boniface VIII at Anagni when the papal residence was invaded by the French and the Colonna, and the Pope seized and imprisoned. Benedict's choice of numbering indicates that Antipope Benedict X was considered a legitimate pope at that time.[5] Benedict XI was crowned at the Vatican Basilica on Sunday, 27 October 1303 by Cardinal Matteo Rosso Orsini, the prior Diaconorum.

The new pope, Niccolò Boccasini of Treviso, was Italian but not Roman, and thus considered neutral[why?][by whom?] in the disputes between the Roman clans, and the international struggle between Charles II and Philip IV.[5] Benedict XI refused to excommunicate Philip IV or the Colonna, but also refused to restore to the Colonna their properties that had been seized by Boniface VIII.[5]

Pope Benedict left a detailed account of the conclave that elected him, describing how it closely adhered to the procedures mandated in the papal bull Ubi periculum.[6]

Cardinal electors[edit]

Elector Nationality Cardinalatial order and title Elevated Elevator Other ecclesiestical titles Notes
Giovanni Boccamazza Rome Cardinal-bishop of Frascati 1285, December 22 Honorius IV Dean of the College of Cardinals nephew of Pope Honorius IV
Nicola Boccasini Treviso Cardinal-Priest of Santa Sabina 1298, December 4 Boniface VIII
Teodorico Ranieri Orvieto Cardinal-bishop of Palestrina 1298, December 4 Boniface VIII Camerlengo
Leonardo Patrasso Guarcino Cardinal-bishop of Albano 1300, March 2 Boniface VIII Nephew of Boniface VIII
Pedro Rodríguez Spanish Cardinal-bishop of Sabina 1302, December 15 Boniface VIII Legate in Sabina
Giovanni Minio da Morrovalle, O.F.M. Marche Cardinal-bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina 1302, December 15 Boniface VIII Former minister general of the Order of Franciscans (1296-1304)
Niccolò Alberti, O.P. Prato Cardinal-bishop of Ostia e Velletri 1303, December 18 Benedict XI
Robert de Pontigny, O.Cist. French Cardinal-priest of S. Pudenziana 1294, September 18 Celestine V Protopriest;
Camerlengo of the College of Cardinals
Former Superior General of the Cistercian Order (1294)
Gentile Partino, O.F.M. Guarcino Cardinal-priest of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti 1300, March 2 Boniface VIII Grand penitentiary Nephew of Boniface VIII
Walter Winterburn, O.P. English Cardinal-priest of S. Sabina 1304, February 19 Benedict XI
Napoleone Orsini Frangipani Rome Cardinal-deacon of S. Adriano 1288, May 16 Nicholas IV Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica Nephew of Pope Nicholas III
Landolfo Brancaccio Neapolitan Cardinal-deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria 1294, September 18 Celestine V
Guglielmo de Longhi Bergamo Cardinal-deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano 1294, September 18 Celestine V Former Chancellor to Charles II of Naples
Francesco Napoleone Orsini Rome Cardinal-deacon of S. Lucia in Orthea (Silice) 1295, December 17 Boniface VIII
Francesco Caetani Anagni Cardinal-deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin 1295, December 17 Boniface VIII Cardinal-nephew
Luc Fieschi Genoese Cardinal-deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata 1300, March 2 Boniface VIII Nephew of Adrian V and grand-nephew of Innocent IV

Two other cardinals, Giacomo and Pietro Colonna (uncle and nephew), had been deposed by Pope Boniface VIII and were thus ineligible to participate in the election.


  1. ^ Augustus Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum II (Berlin 1875), p. 2023.
  2. ^ Baumgartner, 2003, p. 47.
  3. ^ according to Benedict XI's electoral manifesto, Augustinus Theiner (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus Vigesimus Tertius, 1286–1312 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1871), under the year 1303, § xlvii, p. 334.
  4. ^ Daniel Mortier, Histoire des Maîtres généraux de l'Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs II (Paris 1905), pp. 319-353.
  5. ^ a b c d Baumgartner, 2003, p. 48.
  6. ^ Cadili, Alberto (January–June 2005). "Benedetto XI, Frate Predicatore e Papa: (Milano, Università degli Studi, 16-17 giugno 2004)". Rivista di storia della Chiesa in Italia (in Italian). 59 (1): 214. JSTOR 43050235.


  • Fietta, Lorenzo. 1874. Niccolò Boccasini e il suo tempo (Padova 1874).
  • Souchon, Martin. 1888. Die Papstwahlen von Bonifaz VIII bis Urban VI (Braunschweig: Benno Goeritz 1888), pp. 15–23.
  • Gregorovius, Ferdinand. 1906. History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V. 2, second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906), Book X, chapter 5, pp. 515–525.
  • Baumgartner, Frederic J. 2003. Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-29463-8.
  • Sibilio, Vito. 2004. Benedetto XI: Il papa tra Roma e Avignone (2004).
  • Sartor, Ivano. 2005. Papa Benedetto XI (Nicolo Boccasino) beato di Treviso (Editrice S. Liberale: 2005).
  • Conclave of 1303 (Prof. J. P. Adams)