|Pope Celestine is crowned|
The simple life would not be his forever. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains the turning point:
In July, 1294, his pious exercises were suddently[sic] interrupted by a scene unparalleled in ecclesiastical history. Three eminent dignitaries, accompanied by an immense multitude of monks and laymen, ascended the mountain, announced that Pietro had been chosen pope by unanimous vote of the Sacred College and humbly begged him to accept the honour. [source]A deadlocked committee of cardinals spent two years and three months after the death of Pope Nicholas IV, unable to agree on a candidate, until Cardinal Latino Orsini (d.1294) proclaimed that a good and saintly man would come to Rome and admonish them if they did not come to agreement. Supposedly, they all knew to whom he referred: the hermit of the Morone. King Charles of Naples liked the idea that one of his subjects would become pope. Thousands of members of spiritual orders believed this was the best election in centuries.
He was crowned August 1294 as Celestine V (note that he was almost 80 years of age), and quickly showed that he was not going to be a good pope. He had no organizational skills, and no memory (he would give the same benefice to more than one person). He would appoint bishops and cardinals without observing proper protocols. He quickly created many cardinals, the majority of them French; this would help lead to the Avignon papacy which led to the Great Schism. He tried to make the cardinals adhere to a strict schedule of prayer, and wanted to give away papal treasure to the poor.
|Letter from the cardinals to Angelerio, asking him to be pope|