Pages in category "6th-century popes"
The following 14 pages are in this category, out of 14 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 14 pages are in this category, out of 14 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Pope Agapetus I – Pope Agapetus I was Pope from 13 May 535 to his death in 536. He is not to be confused with another Saint Agapetus, an Early Christian martyr with the feast day of 6 August, Agapetus was born in Rome, although his exact date of birth is unknown. He was the son of Gordianus, a Roman priest who had been slain during the riots in the days of Pope Symmachus. The name of his father might point to a relation with two other Popes, Felix III and Gregory I. Gregory was a descendant of Felix. Gregorys father, Gordianus, held the position of Regionarius in the Roman Church, nothing further is known about the position. Jeffrey Richards describes him as the last survivor of the Symmachan old guard, having been ordained as a deacon perhaps as early as 502 and he was elevated from archdeacon to pope in 535. Meanwhile, the Byzantine general Belisarius was preparing for an invasion of Italy, king Theodahad of the Ostrogoths begged Agapetus to proceed on an embassy to Constantinople and use his personal influence to appease Emperor Justinian I following the death of Amalasuntha. To defray the costs of the embassy, Agapetus pledged the sacred vessels of the Church of Rome and he set out in mid-winter with five bishops and a large retinue. In February 536, he appeared in the capital of the East, Agapetus immediately turned his attention from the political matter Theodahad had sent him to address to a religious one. The occupant of the Byzantine patriarchal see was Anthimus I, who had left his see of Trebizond. Against the protests of the orthodox, the Empress Theodora finally seated Anthimus in the patriarchal chair, when Agapetus arrived members of the clergy entered charges against Anthimus as an intruder and a heretic. Agapetus ordered him to make a profession of faith and to return to his forsaken see, upon Anthimus refusal. The Emperor threatened Agapetus with banishment, Agapetus is said to have replied, With eager longing have I come to gaze upon the Most Christian Emperor Justinian. In his place I find a Diocletian, whose threats, however, Agapetus, for the first time in the history of the Church, personally consecrated Anthimus legally elected successor, Mennas. Four of Agapetus letters have survived, two are addressed to Justinian in reply to a letter from the emperor, in the latter of which he refuses to acknowledge the Orders of the Arians. A third is addressed to the bishops of Africa, on the same subject, the fourth is a response to Reparatus, Bishop of Carthage, who had sent him congratulations upon his elevation to the Pontificate. Shortly afterwards, Agapetus fell ill and died on 22 April 536 and his remains were brought in a lead coffin to Rome and deposited in St. Peters Basilica. Agapetus I has been canonised by both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions and his memory is kept on 20 September, the day of his deposition, in the Roman Catholic Church
2. Pope Benedict I – Pope Benedict I was Pope from 2 June 575 to his death in 579. Benedict was the son of a man named Bonifacius, and was called Bonosus by the Greeks, the ravages of the Lombards rendered it very difficult to communicate with the Byzantine Emperor at Constantinople, who claimed the privilege of confirming the election of the popes. Hence there was a vacancy of nearly eleven months between the death of Pope John III and the arrival of the confirmation of Benedicts election on 2 June 575. Benedict granted an estate, the Massa Veneris, in the territory of Minturnae, marks near the walls of Spoleto. Famine followed the devastating Lombards, and from the few words the Liber Pontificalis has about Benedict and he was buried in the vestibule of the sacristy of the old Basilica of St. Peter. In a ceremony held in December, he ordained fifteen priests, as of 2016, there have been fifteen Popes named Benedict, as well as at least three Antipopes by the name. Some may be named after this obscure pontiff, but most take their name from Saint Benedict of Nursia. In particular, Pope Benedict XVI stated after his election that he was inspired by Pope Benedict XV, who led the Church through the chaos of World War I, and Saint Benedict of Nursia. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Herbermann, Charles
3. Pope Boniface II – Pope Boniface II was the first Germanic pope. He reigned from 17 September 530 until his death in 532, Boniface was chosen by his predecessor, Pope Felix IV, who had been a strong adherent of the Arian king, and was never elected. He was later elected, largely due to the influence of the Gothic king Athalaric, for a time, Boniface served as pope in competition with Dioscorus, who had been elected by most of the priests of Rome. Boniface and Dioscorus were both consecrated in Rome on 22 September 530, but Dioscurus died only days later. Boniface IIs most notable act was confirming the decisions of the Council of Orange, Boniface was buried in St. Peters on 17 October 532. Boniface changed the numbering of the years in the Julian Calendar from Ab Urbe Condita to Anno Domini
4. Pope Felix IV – Pope Felix IV served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 12 July 526 to his death in 530. He came from Samnium, the son of one Castorius, following the death of Pope John I at the hands of the Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great, the papal voters gave in to the kings demands and chose Cardinal Felix as Pope. Felixs favor in the eyes of the king caused him to push for greater benefits for the Church and he was elected after a gap of nearly two months after the death of John I. During his reign, an Imperial edict was passed granting that cases against clergy should be dealt with by the Pope and he defined church teaching on grace and free will in response to a request of Faustus of Riez, in Gaul, on opposing Semi-Pelagianism. Felix attempted to designate his own successor, Pope Boniface II, the reaction of the Senate was to forbid the discussion of a pope’s successor during his lifetime or to accept such a nomination. The majority of the clergy reacted to Felixs activity by nominating Dioscorus as Pope, Felix built the Santi Cosma e Damiano in the Imperial forums. His feast day is celebrated on 30 January, when regnal numbering of the Popes began to be used, Antipope Felix II was counted as one of the Popes of that name. The second true Pope Felix is thus known by the number III, and this custom also affected the name taken by Antipope Felix V, who would have been the fourth Pope Felix. List of Catholic saints List of popes Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes Fontes Latinae de papis usque ad annum 530 Liber pontificalis
5. Pope Gregory I – Pope Saint Gregory I, commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was pope of the Catholic Church from 3 September 590 to his death in 604. Gregory is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome to convert a pagan people to Christianity, Gregory is also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope. He is also known as the Great Visionary of Modern Educational System, for his writings, the epithet Saint Gregory the Dialogist has been attached to him in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. For this reason, English translations of Eastern texts will sometimes list him as Gregory Dialogos or the Latinized equivalent Dialogus. A senators son and himself the Prefect of Rome at 30, Gregory tried the monastery but soon returned to public life, ending his life. Although he was the first pope from a background, his prior political experiences may have helped him to be a talented administrator. Gregory regained papal authority in Spain and France, and sent missionaries to England, the realignment of barbarian allegiance to Rome from their Arian Christian alliances shaped medieval Europe. Gregory saw Franks, Lombards, and Visigoths align with Rome in religion, throughout the Middle Ages he was known as the Father of Christian Worship because of his exceptional efforts in revising the Roman worship of his day. His contributions to the development of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, Gregory is a Doctor of the Church and one of the Latin Fathers. He is considered a saint in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, immediately after his death, Gregory was canonized by popular acclaim. The Protestant reformer John Calvin admired Gregory and declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good pope and he is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers. The exact date of Gregorys birth is uncertain, but is estimated to be around the year 540. The medieval writer who provided this etymology did not hesitate to apply it to the life of Gregory, aelfric states, He was very diligent in Gods Commandments. Gregory was born into a wealthy patrician Roman family with connections to the church. Gregorys mother, Silvia, was well-born, and had a sister, Pateria. His mother and two aunts are honored by Catholic and Orthodox churches as saints. Gregorys great-great-grandfather had been Pope Felix III, the nominee of the Gothic king, Gregorys election to the throne of St Peter made his family the most distinguished clerical dynasty of the period. The family owned and resided in a villa suburbana on the Caelian Hill, the north of the street runs into the Colosseum, the south, the Circus Maximus
6. Pope Hormisdas – Pope Hormisdas was Pope from 20 July 514 to his death in 523. His papacy was dominated by the Acacian schism, started in 484 by Acacius of Constantinoples efforts to placate the Monophysites. His efforts to resolve this schism were successful, and on 28 March 519, Jeffrey Richards explains Hormisdas Persian name as probably in honour of an exiled Persian noble, Hormizd, celebrated in the Roman martyrology but not so honoured in the East. The names of his father and son suggest he had an otherwise straightforward Italian pedigree, however, according to Iranica he was probably related to Hormizd. He was born at Frosinone, Campagna di Roma, Italy, before becoming a Roman deacon, Hormisdas was married, and his son would in turn become Pope under the name of Silverius. During the Laurentian schism, Hormisdas was one of the most prominent clerical partisans of Pope Symmachus and he was notary at the synod held at St. Peters in 502. Two letters of Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, survive addressed to him, written when the tried to regain horses. Unlike his predecessor Symmachus, his election lacked any notable controversies, the schism had lingered on largely out of personal hatred to Symmachus, writes Jeffrey Richards, something with which Hormisdas was apparently not tainted. Richards points out there would bound to be some tentative efforts from Constantinople. Relations between Symmachus and the emperor Anastasius had been virtually non-existent, Anastasius wrote to Hormisdas on 28 December 514, inviting him to a synod that would be held 1 July of the following year. A second, less courteous invitation, dated 12 January 515, was sent by Anastasius to the pope. On 4 April Hormisdas answered, expressing his delight at the prospect of peace, but at the same time defending the position of his predecessors and welcoming a synod, the bearers of the emperors first letter at last reached Rome on 14 May. The pope guardedly carried on negotiations, convened a synod at Rome, meanwhile, the two hundred bishops who had assembled on 1 July at Heraclea separated without accomplishing anything. The popes embassy to the court consisted of two bishops, Ennodius of Pavia and Fortunatus of Catina, the priest Venantius, the deacon Vitalis. Thus the emperor proposed a discussion in council, the pope required the unqualified acceptance of orthodoxy. However both the Senate, as well as King Theodoric, stayed loyal to the pope, a second papal embassy consisting of Ennodius and Bishop Peregrinus of Misenum was as unsuccessful as the first. Anastasius even attempted to bribe the legates, but was unsuccessful, secure now that Vitalian had been defeated outside Constantinople, forced into hiding, and his supporters executed, Anastasius announced on 11 July 517 that he was breaking off the negotiations. But less than a year later the emperor died, the Liber Pontificalis claims he was dead by a thunderbolt
7. Pope John I – Pope John I can also refer to Pope John I of Alexandria. Pope John I was Pope from 13 August 523 to his death in 526 and he was a native of Siena, in Italy. He is the first pope known to have visited Constantinople during papacy and he may also be the Deacon John to whom Boethius, the 6th-Century philosopher, dedicated three of his five religious tractates, or treatises, written between 512 and 520. John was very frail when he was elected to the papacy as Pope John I, king Theodoric threatened that if John should fail in his mission, there would be reprisals against the orthodox, or non-Arian, Catholics in the West. John proceeded to Constantinople with an entourage, his religious companions included Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna, Bishop Eusebius of Fanum Fortunae. His secular companions were the senators Flavius Theodorus, Inportunus, Agapitus, although John was successful in his mission, when he returned to Ravenna, Theodorics capital in Italy, Theodoric had John arrested on the suspicion of having conspired with Emperor Justin. John was imprisoned at Ravenna, where he died of neglect and his body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. The Liber Pontificalis credits John with making repairs to the cemetery of the martyrs Nereus and Achilleus on the Via Ardeatina, that of Saints Felix and Adauctus, and the cemetery of Priscilla. Pope John I is depicted in art as looking through the bars of a prison or imprisoned with a deacon and he is venerated at Ravenna and in Tuscany. His feast day is 18 May, the anniversary of the day of his death, List of Catholic saints List of popes
8. Pope John II – Pope John II was Pope from 2 January 533 to his death in 535. Born in Rome as Mercurius, the son of Projectus, he became a priest of the Basilica di San Clemente on the Caelian Hill and he was made pope on 2 January 533. The basilica of St. Clement still retains several memorials of Johannes surnamed Mercurius, Mercurius was the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy. Considering his birth name to be honored the pagan god Mercury—he took the name John after Pope John I. At this period, simony in the election of popes and bishops was rife among clergy, during the sede vacante of over two months, shameless trafficking in sacred things was indulged in. Even sacred vessels were exposed for sale, the matter had been brought before the Senate, and laid before the Arian Ostrogothic Court at Ravenna. The last decree which the Roman Senate is known to have issued, passed under Boniface II, was directed against simony in papal elections, the decree was confirmed by Athalaric, king of the Ostrogoths. He ordered it to be engraved on marble and to be placed in the atrium of St. Peters Basilica in 533 and this sum was to be given to the poor. John remained on good terms with Athalaric, who, being an Arian Christian, was content to refer to Johns tribunal all actions brought against the Roman clergy. The notorious adulterous behavior of Contumeliosus, Bishop of Riez in Provence, until a new bishop could be appointed, he bade the clergy of Riez obey the Bishop of Arles. The question of re-admittance to the lapsed troubled north Africa for centuries, the answer to their question was given by Agapetus, as John II died on 8 May 535. He was buried in St Peters Basilica
9. Pope John III – Pope John III can also refer to Pope John III of Alexandria. Pope John III was Pope from 17 July 561 to his death in 574 and he was born in Rome of a distinguished family. The Liber Pontificalis calls him a son of one Anastasius and his father bore the title illustris, more than likely being a vir illustris. According to the historian Evagrius, his name was Catelinus. He may be identical with the subdeacon John who made a collection of extracts from the Greek Fathers and his pontificate is characterized by two major events over which he had no control. The first was the death of Emperor Justinian I in 565, jeffrey Richards considers his reign was an anomaly, a temporary damming up of the stream of history. With his death, the Byzantine Empire turned its attention from Rome and the West to pressing problems in the Balkans, from the Avars, Persians, Italy, being geographically peripheral to the imperial heartland, inevitably took bottom place on the strategic priority list. The other major event was the invasion of the Lombards, which began in 568, much of northern Italy was overrun, as well as the central spine of the peninsula, making a shambles of the imperial administration. Further, their warriors threatened the survival of Rome herself, subjecting the Eternal City to repeated sieges, lastly, their entrance reintroduced the newly extinguished Arian belief, which threatened the predominance of Roman Catholicism. As the Lombards poured south into Italy, the appointed governor Longinus sat powerless in Ravenna. Pope John took it himself to go to Naples, where the former governor Narses was preparing to return to Constantinople. He had been recalled by the new Emperor Justin II in response to Italian petitions over his oppressive taxation, Narses agreed to this, and returned to Rome. However, popular hatred of Narses was then extended to John for inviting him back and this unrest reached such a pitch that the Pope was forced to retire from Rome and take up residence at the catacombs along the Via Appia two miles outside the city. There he carried out his duties, including the consecration of bishops, one recorded act of Pope John involved two bishops, Salonius of Embrun and Sagittarius of Gap, who had been condemned in a synod at Lyons. This pair succeeded in persuading Guntram, King of Burgundy, that they had been condemned unjustly, influenced by Guntrams letters, John decided that they should be restored to their sees. It is recorded in the Liber Pontificalis that he died on 13 July 574
10. Pope Pelagius I – Pope Pelagius I was Pope from 556 to his death in 561. He was the pope of the Byzantine Papacy, and like his predecessor. He came from a Roman noble family and his father John seems to have been vicar of one of the two civil dioceses, or districts, into which Italy was then divided. Pelagius accompanied Pope Agapetus I to Constantinople and was appointed by him nuncio of the Roman Church to that city, when Pope Vigilius went to Constantinople on the orders of Emperor Justinian I, Pelagius stayed in Rome as the popes representative. Totila, King of the Goths, had begun to blockade the city, Pelagius poured out his own fortune for the benefit of the famine-stricken people, and tried to induce the king to grant a truce. Though he failed, he afterwards induced Totila to spare the lives of the people when he captured Rome in December 546. Totila sent Pelagius to Constantinople in order to arrange a peace with Justinian I, traditionally, he is credited with the construction of the Santi Apostoli, Rome, built to celebrate the complete victory of Narses over the Ostrogoths. Pelagius was elected Pope as Justinians candidate, while before his ordination he opposed Justinians efforts to condemn the Three Chapters in order to reconcile theological factions in the Church, afterwards Pelagius adopted Justinians position. This damaged the reputation in northern Italy, Gaul, and elsewhere in Western Europe. Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes, Eastern influences on Rome and the papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A. D. 590–752
11. Pope Silverius – Pope Silverius ruled the Holy See from 8 June 536 to his deposition in 537, a few months before his death. He was a son of Pope Hormisdas, born before his father entered the priesthood. Silverius was probably consecrated 8 June 536 and he was a subdeacon when king Theodahad of the Ostrogoths forced his election and consecration. The Liber Pontificalis alleges that Silverius had purchased his elevation from King Theodahad, on 9 December 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius entered Rome with the approval of Pope Silverius. Theodahads successor Witiges gathered together an army and besieged Rome for several months, in the words of Richards, What followed is as tangled a web of treachery and double-dealing as can be found anywhere in the papal annals. Several different versions of the course of following the elevation of Silverius exist. In outline, all agree, Silverius was deposed by Belisarius in March 537. Vigilius, who was in Constantinople as apocrisiarius or papal legate, was brought to Rome to replace him and they differ over the motivations of the parties involved. The fullest account is in the Breviarium of Liberatus of Carthage, in exchange for being made Pope, Liberatus claims he promised Empress Theodora to restore the former patriarch of Constantinople Anthimus to his position. Silverius was sent into exile at Patara in Lycia, whose bishop petitioned the emperor for a trial for Silverius. The account in the Liber Pontificalis is hardly more favorable to Vigilius, Silverius refused to this and Vigilius then claimed to Belisarius that Pope Silverius had written to Witiges offering to betray the city. Belisarius did not believe this accusation, but Vigilius produced false witnesses to testify to this, Silverius was summoned to the Pincian palace, where he was stripped of his vestments and handed over to Vigilius, who dispatched him into exile. Procopius omits all mention of religious controversy in Vigilius actions and he writes that Silverius was accused of offering to betray Rome to the Goths. Upon learning of this, Belisarius had him deposed, put in a monks habit, several other senators were also banished from Rome at the same time on similar charges. Richards attempts to reconcile these divergent accounts into a unified account, once these religious elements are removed, Richards argues that it is clear the whole episode was political in nature. He points out for Justinians plans to recover Rome and Italy, the ideal candidate was at hand in Constantinople. The deacon Vigilius principal motivation throughout his career, as far as can be ascertained, was the desire to be pope, Pope Silverius was later recognized as a saint by popular acclamation, and is now the patron saint of the island of Ponza, Italy. The first mention of his name in a list of dates to the 11th century
12. Pope Symmachus – Pope Symmachus was Pope from 22 November 498 to his death in 514. His tenure was marked by a serious schism over who was elected pope by the citizens of Rome. Symmachus was baptized in Rome, where he became Archdeacon of the Roman Church under Pope Anastasius II, Symmachus was elected pope on 22 November 498 in the Constantinian basilica. Both factions agreed to allow the Gothic King Theodoric the Great to arbitrate and he ruled that the one who was elected first and whose supporters were the most numerous should be recognized as pope. This was a political decision. An investigation favored Symmachus and his election was recognized as proper, Symmachus proceeded to call a synod, to be held at Rome on 1 March 499, which was attended by 72 bishops and all of the Roman clergy. Afterwards he was assigned the diocesis of Nuceria in Campania, in 501, the Senator Rufius Postumius Festus, a supporter of Laurentius, accused Symmachus of various crimes. The initial charge was that Symmachus celebrated Easter on the wrong date, the king Theodoric summoned him to Ariminum to respond to the charge. The pope arrived only to discover a number of charges, including unchastity. Symmachus panicked, fleeing from Ariminum in the middle of the night only one companion. His flight proved to be a miscalculation, as it was regarded as an admission of guilt, Laurentius was brought back to Rome by his supporters, but a sizeable group of the clergy, including most of the most senior clerics, withdrew from communion with him. A visiting bishop, Peter of Altinum, was appointed by Theodoric to celebrate Easter 502 and assume the administration of the See, pending the decision of a synod to be convened following Easter. Presided over by the other Italian metropolitans, Peter II of Ravenna, Laurentius of Milan, and Marcellianus of Aquileia, although the majority of the assembled bishops agreed with this, the Apostolic Visitor could not be made to withdaw without Theodorics permission, this was not forthcoming. In response to this deadlock, rioting by the citizens of Rome increased, causing a number of bishops to flee Rome, King Theodoric refused their request to move the Synod, ordering them instead to reconvene on 1 September. On 27 August the King wrote to the Bishops that he was sending two of the Majores Domus nostrae, Gudila and Bedeulphus, to see to it that the Synod assembled in safety, upon reconvening, matters were no less acrimonious. Symmachus retreated to St. Peters and refused to come out, the Life of Symmachus, however, presents these killings as part of the street-fighting between the supporters of Senators Festus and Probinus on the one side, and Senator Faustus on the other. The attacks were directed particularly against clerics, including Dignissimus a priest of S. Pietro in Vinculis, giovanni e Paolo, though the rhetoric of the passage extends the violence to anyone who was a supporter of Symmachus, man or woman, cleric or layperson. It was unsafe for a cleric to walk about in Rome at night, at this point, the synod petitioned king Theodoric once again, asking permission to dissolve the meeting and return home
13. Pope Vigilius – Pope Vigilius was Pope from 29 March 537 to his death in 555. He is considered the first pope of the Byzantine Papacy and he belonged to an aristocratic Roman family, his father Johannes is identified as a consul in the Liber pontificalis, having received that title from the emperor. According to Procopius, his brother Reparatus was one of the senators taken hostage by Witigis, but managed to escape before the Ostrogothic king ordered their slaughter in 537. Vigilius entered the service of the Roman Church and was ordained a deacon in 531, Vigilius was chosen by Pope Boniface II as his successor and presented to the clergy assembled in St. Peters Basilica. The opposition to such a procedure led Boniface in the year to withdraw his designation of a successor. The second successor of Boniface, Pope Agapetus I, appointed Vigilius papal representative at Constantinople, Vigilius is said to have agreed to the plans of the intriguing empress who promised him the Papal See and a large sum of money. While Vigilius was in Constantinople, Pope Agapetus died on 22 April 536, soon after Silverius was ordained, the Byzantine general Belisarius occupied Rome, which was then besieged by the Goths. Although the Goths were unable to encircle the city completely, both the Byzantine soldiers and the inhabitants feared they would be destroyed. Soon after the siege began, for example, Belisarius ordered the women, children, around the same time, Silverius was accused of offering to betray Rome to the Goths. Belisarius had him deposed, put in a habit and exiled to Greece. Several other senators were also banished from Rome on the same charges, what part Vigilius played in the deposition of Silverius is unclear in the primary sources. Procopius, on the hand, states that Belisarius appointed Vigilius shortly after Silverius was deposed. It is certain that Vigilius was consecrated and enthroned Pope on 29 March 537, after the death of his predecessor Vigilius was recognized as pope by all the Roman clergy, even though the manner of his elevation was not regular. Empress Theodora soon learned that she had been deceived, after Vigilius had attained the object of his ambition and been made pope, he maintained the same position as his predecessor against the Monophysites and the deposed Anthimus. A letter purported to be from the pope to the deposed Monophysite patriarchs Anthimus, Severus and this letter, however, is not regarded as genuine by most investigators and bears all the marks of forgery. The pope did not restore Anthimus to his office, in the year 540 Vigilius took a stand in regard to Monophysitism, in two letters sent to Constantinople. One of the letters is addressed to Emperor Justinian, the other to the Patriarch Menas, in both letters the pope supports positively the Synods of Ephesus and Chalcedon, the decisions of his predecessor Pope Leo I, and the deposition of the Patriarch Anthimus. Several other letters written by the pope in the first years of his pontificate give information respecting his interposition in the affairs of various countries