CELESTINES, a religious order founded about 1260 by Peter of Morrone, afterwards Pope Celestine V.
Peter of Morrone was in close contact with the Franciscan Spirituals of the extreme type (see Franciscans), and he endeavoured to form an amalgamation between them and his hermits, under the title "Poor Hermits of Celestine."
Living as a hermit on Monte Morrone near Sulmone in the Abruzzi, he attracted other ascetics about him and organized them into a congregation of the Benedictines which was later called the Celestines.
As the election of any cardinal seemed impossible, on the 5th of July 1294 the Sacred College united on Pietro di Morrone; the cardinals expected to rule in the name of the celebrated but incapable ascetic. Apocalyptic notions then current doubtless aided his election, for Joachim of Floris and his school looked to monasticism to furnish deliverance to the church and to the world.