Son of Prince Landolfo V of Benevento, Italy. He felt an early call to religious life, but as he was the only son, his family opposed his vocation. He fled an arranged marriage, was brought back by force, and escaped again; his family finally gave in. Monk at San Sophia monastery, Benevento, taking the name Desiderius. Monk at Monte Cassino at age 30. Abbot of Monte Cassino. Cardinal in 1059. Worked closely with Pope Saint Gregory VII. Chosen 158th pope in 1086; he was so reluctant to accept that his coronation didn’t take place for nearly a year, and then he retreated to Monte Cassino. Countess Matilda of Tuscany convinced him to return to Rome, Italy, but because of the strength of force of anti-pope Clement III he soon fled again. In August 1087 he held a synod at Benevento which excommunicated Clement III, forbade lay investiture, and proclaimed a Crusade against the Saracens in Africa.
- 16 September 1087 at the monastery of Monte Cassino, Italy of natural causes
- buried at Monte Cassino
- “Pope Blessed Victor III“. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 May 2013. Web. 23 May 2015. <>