Feast Day: December 19
Born:1310 :: Died:1370
Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard. He was born at Grisac, Languedoc in France. He became a Benedictine monk in Chirac near his home. As a priest he taught canon law, then became Vicar General, later the Abbot of a big Monastary and advisor to the Queen.
He was finally chosen Pope and took the name Urban V. At this time, the Pope lived in a city called Avignon, in France. He loved the Benedictine order so much that even after becoming Pope, he still wore the Benedictine habit (long robe).
After many years Urban made up his mind to go to Rome, because that is where the Pope should live. The Pope is the bishop of Rome, and Urban knew that his place was in Rome.
There were many difficulties. The people in France objected to his going, but Urban did what he felt was right.
The people of Rome were overjoyed to have the Pope back. They were especially joyful to have such a holy man as was Urban V. He set about at once to repair the great churches of Rome.
He worked very hard to unite the Eastern and Western Churches. He helped the poor, and encouraged the people to be fervent and holy again. Emperor Charles V showed great respect to the Holy Father.
But Urban had many problems. He was getting sicker and weaker all the time. Many of his cardinals kept advising him to go back to Avignon and at last he gave in.
As he prepared to leave Rome, the people of the city begged him to stay. He was very sad, but left anyway. About three months later, he died.
It was not right for Urban to leave Rome, because as the bishop of Rome he belonged there. But aside from this weakness, he was a very holy and good man and he was called "a light of the world and a way of truth."
Sometimes we are faced with difficult decisions to make. At these times, let us pray for the light of Christ to guide us.
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