Petros Filargis was born in Kares Merabello of Crete, in 1339. Petros was an orphan from a young age, surrounded by the Franciscan monks of the Catholic monastery of Saint Anthony.
Studies and his rising
The abbot of the monastery sent Peter to Heraklion and from there to Venice in 1357 to study. He studied at the University of Venice and continued his studies at the Universities of Oxford and Paris, where he was awarded a Doctor of Theology.
In 1386 he was elected Bishop of Piacenza, in 1388 Bishop of Vicenza and in 1389 Bishop of Novara. At the same time, he met the Duke of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti and became his political adviser, participating in diplomatic missions in Prague.
With the support of Visconti he was elected Archbishop of Milan in 1402.
In 1405 he was honored with the title of cardinal.
The new Pope and his end
At the Council of Pisa in 1409, the cardinals chose Filarges as the new Pope. His new name was Alexander V’.
A year after his election as Pope on May 3, 1410, he died, with some historians reporting that he was poisoned.
The tombstone in his tomb states:
«CRETENSIS EX DOMOCILIO CRETENSIS NUN CUPATUS»
Which means: “Cretan in origin, Cretan referent“
He said of himself: “I was a rich bishop, a poor cardinal and an even poorer Pope.”