Benedict XI (Blessed) (d. 1034) The Dominican Niccolò Boccasino was a native of Treviso; his father was a notary. He lectured on theology, wrote commentaries on books of the Bible, and was elected provincial for Lombardy in 1286 and master general in 1296. In 1297 Niccolo supported Boniface VIII against a challenge by the Colonnas and by the Franciscan Spirituals to the legitimacy of his election and as papal legate negotiated a peace between England and France. For his services he was created cardinal priest of Santa Sabina in 1298. In 1300 he became cardinal bishop of Ostia and thus dean of the college of cardinals. In 1301 as papal legate in Hungary he backed the claim of the Angevin candidate. He thus won the gratitude of Charles II of Sicily, whose troops occupied Rome when on October 23, 1303 the Bonifacian cardinals unanimously elevated him to the papacy after Boniface's death. He took the name Benedict apparently because that was his hero Pope Boniface's baptismal name. When his mother came to visit him at the papal court, he refused to welcome her until she changed out of her fancy clothes purchased for the occasion, into her everyday attire. In his brief pontificate Benedict rolled back some of Boniface's punitive measures against his opponents but did so in a way that satisfied few and that did not prevent renewed factional fighting in the Eternal City. In April 1304 he found it prudent to administer from Perugia rather than from Rome. The three cardinals he created were all Dominicans; one of his other acts was the annulment of Boniface's bull Super cathedram (1301) limiting the ability of members of the mendicant orders to preach and to hear confessions. He died of dysentery (or poisoning) on this day in Perugia, where he was buried before the altar of the Dominican convent church (then Santo Stefano). Miracles were reported and a cult arose. He was beatified in 1736.