Antipope Alexander V
Antipope Alexander V (1409–1410)
|Papacy began||June 26, 1409|
|Papacy ended||May 3, 1410|
|Successor||Antipope John XXIII|
Pope Gregory XII
Antipope Benedict XIII (Avignon claimant)
|Birth name||Petros Philargos|
Neapoli, Crete, Republic of Venice
May 3, 1410 (aged 70–71)
Bologna, Papal States
|Coat of arms|
|Other popes and antipopes named Alexander|
Papal styles of
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Alexander V (Latin: Alexander PP. V, Italian: Alessandro V; also Peter of Candia or Peter Phillarges, ca. 1339 – May 3, 1410) was antipope during the Western Schism (1378–1417). He reigned from June 26, 1409, to his death in 1410 and is officially regarded by the Roman Catholic Church as an antipope.
Alexander V was born in Crete (Candia) in 1339 of Greek descent. He was born Petros Philargos, but is often known by the Italian version of this name, Pietro di Candia. He soon entered the Franciscan order, and his abilities were such that he was sent to study at the universities of Oxford and Paris. While he was in Paris the Western Schism occurred; Philarges supported Pope Urban VI (1378–89). He settled in Lombardy, where, thanks to the favour of Giangaleazzo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, he became bishop, first of Piacenza (1386), then of Vicenza (1387), then of Novara (1389), and finally Archbishop of Milan (1402).
On being created cardinal by Pope Innocent VII (1404–06) in 1405, he devoted all his energies to the reunion of the Church, in spite of the two rival popes. He was one of the promoters of the Council of Pisa and his politicking incurred the displeasure of Pope Gregory XII (1406–15), who ordered Philarges deprived of both his archbishopric and his cardinalatial dignity.
At the Council of Pisa (from March 25, 1409), the assembled cardinals chose Philarges as the new prelate for a chair they presumed was vacant. He was crowned on June 26, 1409, as Alexander V, making him in reality the third rival pontiff.
During his ten-month reign, Alexander V's aim was to extend his obedience with the assistance of France, and, notably, of Duke Louis II of Anjou, upon whom he conferred the investiture of the Kingdom of Sicily, having removed it from Ladislaus of Naples. He proclaimed and promised rather than effected a certain number of reforms: the abandonment of the rights of "spoils" and "procurations," and the re-establishment of the system of canonical election in the cathedral churches and principal monasteries. He also gave out papal favours with a lavish hand, from which the mendicant orders benefitted especially.
Alexander V suddenly died while he was with Cardinal Baldassare Cossa at Bologna, on the night of 3–4 May 1410. His remains were placed in the church of St. Francis at Bologna. A rumour, though now considered false, spread that he had been poisoned by Cossa, who succeeded him as Antipope John XXIII (1410–15). The Council of Constance in 1418 rejected the line of Pisan popes as "antipopes."
- The "Popes'" drinking society at Greyfriars, Oxford, is traditionally held to have been founded by Philarges during his time at the university. With the closure of Greyfriars in 2008, the society is now populated mainly by students of Regent's Park College, Oxford
- In the numbering of subsequent popes named Alexander, he is skipped to avoid confusion.
- Pope Alexander VI.
- Hughes, Philip (1947). A History of the Church: The Revolt Against the Church: Aquinas to Luther Volume 3. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 533.
- Holton, David (1991). Literature and society in Renaissance Crete. Cambridge University Press. p. 3.
"Alexander (V).". www.britannica.com. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
Alexander (V) antipope e byname Peter Of Candia, Italian Pietro Di Candia, original Greek name Petros Philargos born c. 1339, Candia, Crete died May 3, 1410, Bologna, Papal States antipope from 1409 to 1410.
- Charles A. Coulombe, Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes, (Kensington Publishing Corp., 2003), 310.
- P.M. Savage,Alexander V, Antipope (Peter of Candia), New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2003. HighBeam Research. (September 17, 2012).
- Robert E. Cooper, From Stepney to St Giles': the Story of Regent's Park College, 1810-1960