Benedict XI, d. 1304, pope (1303–4), an Italian (b. Treviso) named Niccolo Boccasini; successor of Boniface VIII. Prior to his election he had been master general of the Dominican order. As pope he was able to conciliate many of the enemies Boniface had made, chiefly Philip IV of France, whose excommunication he rescinded. However, he would not yield on the excommunication of Boniface's assaulters, Sciarra Colonna and Philip's emissary, Nogaret. The Colonna faction controlled Rome, and Benedict withdrew to Perugia, a prelude to the flight of the papacy to Avignon under Benedict's successor, Clement V, in 1309. Benedict was beatified in 1638.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic Popes and Antipopes