Pope Benoit XIII

Pedro de Luna - Pope from 1394 to 1403

Despite the wish of the King of France to start negociations with Rome and to stop the schism, Pedro de Luna was elected as the successor of Clement VII on September 28, 1394. However, as there were 2 popes, they agreed as the other cardinals had, to retract the decision, if necessary, to facilitate the reunion of the Church. This pope of origin of Aragon and "stubburn as a mule of his country" never holds his promise. While Clement VII benefitted from the support of the King of France, Benoit XIII loses the clergy and the French government.

This decision was approved by most of the cardinals of Avignon. Meanwhile, armed gangs plunder the countryside and the struggle with Raymond de Turenne continues. 

Undesirable, Benoit XIII is enclosed in the Popes' Palace. The cardinals and the population of Avignon hire a gang of mercenaries from Geoffroy le Meingre. For 3 months the attackers try to conquer the Palace through all means: ruse, violence and even fire, without success. As a result, the fortress is besieged. In the end, the garnison is evacuated, but they prevent the Pope from escaping by blocking all exits. On the night of March11 to 12, after 5 years spent in the Palace, Benoit XIII succeeds in escaping and arrives in Chateaurenard by way of the Durance. With his liberty, he regains his prestige and his authority. Again, the plague infests Avignon and the Pope decides to reside in Carpentras, in the Castle of Sorgues. Later he will go to Italy and to arrange a solution with Gregory XII, Pope of Rome. But the Council of Pisa, in 1409, deposed the 2 Popes and elect a 3rd one, Alexandre V, who died early and was replaced by Jean XXII.

The nephew of Pedro de Luna, Rodrigue, profits from the influence of his uncle (Avignon and the Comtat of Venaissin did not rally to Jean XXII until a year after the Council of Pisa) but a second siege of the palace followed, which lasted 17 months until November 2, 1411. Starving, and unable to count on help help from his uncle, he surrenders. 

Pedro de Luna died in Peniscola in 1424.

Scroll To Top