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The first Franciscan elected pope, Girolamo Masci was born in 1227 near Ascoli in the papal states. He succeeded St. Bonaventure as Franciscan minister general in 1274 and was made a cardinal in 1281. Elected to the papal see in 1288, Nicholas mediated peace between France and Aragon; he received the news that Muslims had taken Acre (1291). In 1290, he condemned the fanatical Apostolici. The pope sent missionaries to Chile and Ethiopia; also, he established the first Roman Catholic church in China. A patron of the arts, Nicholas died in 1292.
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