BIRTHOUSE OF POPE EUGENIO III

The popular tradition recognizes the birthhouse of Pope Eugenio III in this quite small building. It is a very modest shelter made up with irregular stones with a slanting roof similar to a hut. On the right side there are remains of the old wall.
Pietro Bernardo Paganelli, born in around 1094, was ordained “Vicedomino” in the bishoprie of Pisa. He met Bernard of Clairvaux and became his friend and disciple in the Cistercian order. He was ordered Abbot at the Tre Fontane Abbey in Rome and was elected Pope in February 1145, with the name of Eugenio III, after Lucio II death. He left Rome due to continuous disorders caused by the Roman Senate and moved to Farfa Monastry where he was consecrated on February the eighteenth.
He chose Viterbo as his residence and from there he announced the II Crusade which his friend Bernard of Clairvaux preached about. The heads of that Crusade were Luigi VII of France, the Emperor Conrad III and Roger II of Sicily.
Eugenio III was promoter of great reforms in the church, mainly dealing with canon law. During his whole life he tried to affirm the supremacy of the Pope over the Empire. He died in Tivoli on july the eighth 1153 and was beatified in 1872 by Pope Pio IX.
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