Roman Catholic Pope. Born Teobaldo Visconti, he joined the household of the Bishop of Palestrina. There he served as a majordomo and traveled with the Bishop to Tuscany, Lombardy and to France and Germany. By 1239, he was a canon at the Basilica of St. Antonio and later at the Cathedral of Lyons. With the death of the Bishop of Palestrina in 1244, Visconti planned to study theology in Paris. He initially refused but eventually accepted another position offered to him by Archbishop Philippe. After assisting with the Ecumenical Council in 1245, he was appointed Archdeacon of Heinault the following year. Growing weary of infighting and political intrigue, he returned again to Paris in 1267. At the request of the pope, he went to England to assist Cardinal Fieschi and became friendly with Prince Edward of England. He decided to go on crusade with Edward and reached Acre in 1271. He was notified that he was elected pope after Rome failed to select one after almost three years of negotiation. Returning to Rome, he was ordained a priest on March 19 and pope on March 27, 1272 at St. Peter's Basilica. While pope, he issued tighter controls on the papal election process and called the Second Ecumenical Council at Lyons. His death was caused by declining health due to a hernia. He was beatified in 1713. He was the 184th pope.
Bio by: Winter Birds PA