Today in Catholic History – John XXII is crowned as pope

On 5 September 1316 Jacques Duèze/John XXII was crowned in Lyon. John XXII was the second of the Avignon popes.

He did not have a peaceful papacy and was involved in political struggles with Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV. These struggles would divide the Church as the spiritual Franciscans and theologians such as Marsilius of Padua and Franciscan William of Ockham denied the primacy of the spiritual authority of the pope over that of the authority of the secular ruler. Louis IV would even try to establish an anti-pope in Rome.

John XXII also was involved in a controversy as to whether saints possessed the Beatific Vision.  John XXII argued that the souls of the saints did not see God until the Last Judgment. However, others argued that if the souls of saints were not in the presence of God than they could not offer the prayers of the faithful to Him. John XXII advocated his position in sermons but never in official documents. He would renounce his opinion on his death bed and later Pope Benedict XII will declare this view of John XXII to be heretical.

Pope John XXII has traditionally been credited with having written the prayer “Anima Christi”.

Anima Christi as written by Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman

Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In Thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne’er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.


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