Odo was born around 1035, into a noble family, within the diocese of Soissons in the Champagne region of France, and was church educated.
His studies took him to Reims, and upon completion was appointed Archdeacon, within the diocese of Reims from 1055 to 1067. He followed on by becoming a monk, until his appointment in 1070, as prior at the monastery of Cluny. In 1079, he undertook a mission to Rome, for his abbot; Hugh of Cluny. Whilst in Rome, was appointed cardinal and bishop of Ostia, by Pope Gregory VII, a post which he held until 1088.
Odo became one of the most prominent and active supporters of the Gregorian reforms; the Latin Church was beset by ongoing divisions between Gregorians and supporters of the anti-pope; Clement III.
Pope Gregory had nominated Odo as his successor, but the position went to Desiderius Abbot of Monte Cassino who took the name Victor III, whose reign was short lived.
On the 12th March 1088, Odo was elected by his cardinals, to the post of Pope Urban II.
His position as Pope, was under constant threat, from the beginning, by the presence of the powerful anti-pope, Clement III in Rome. Throughout his pontifact, Urban successfully fought to rescue Gregorian reforms, from the precarious position, imposed by Clement III.
On the 27th November 1095, Pope Urban II, made his speech at the Council of Clermont in Southern France, calling for a Holy War, reclaiming Jerusalem, the Holy City of the East.
Thousand’s answered the call across Europe, some believed if they be killed in battle; their past sins would be forgiven, for they were fighting a Christian battle.
Pope Urban II died on the 29th July 1099, some 14 days after the fall of Jerusalem to the Crusaders, but before news of the event had reached his ears.
(Image) Pope Urban II: Wikipedia