Pope Alexander I
Pope Alexander I was the Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119; some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian, but this is improbable. According to the Liber Pontificalis, it was Alexander I who inserted the narration of the Last Supper into the liturgy of the Mass. However, the article on Saint Alexander I in the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia, written by Thomas Shahan, judges this tradition to be inaccurate, a view shared by both Catholic and non-Catholic experts, it is viewed as a product of the agenda of Liber Pontificalis—this section of the book was written in the late 5th century—to show an ancient pattern of the earliest bishops of Rome ruling the church by papal decree. The introduction of the customs of using blessed water mixed with salt for the purification of Christian homes from evil influences, as well as that of mixing water with the sacramental wine, are attributed to Pope Alexander I.
Some sources consider these attributions unlikely. It is possible, that Alexander played an important part in the early development of the Church of Rome's emerging liturgical and administrative traditions. A tradition holds that in the reign of Emperor Hadrian, Alexander I converted the Roman governor Hermes by miraculous means, together with his entire household of 1,500 people. Saint Quirinus of Neuss, Alexander's supposed jailer, Quirinus' daughter Saint Balbina were among his converts. Alexander is said to have seen a vision of the infant Jesus, his remains are said to have been transferred to Freising in Bavaria, Germany in AD 834. Some editions of the Roman Missal identified with Pope Alexander I the Saint Alexander that they give as commemorated, together with Saints Eventius and Theodulus, on 3 May. See, for instance, the General Roman Calendar of 1954, but nothing is known of these three saints other than their names, together with the fact that they were martyred and were buried at the seventh milestone of the Via Nomentana on 3 May of some year.
For this reason, the Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the calendar returned to the presentation, in the 1570 Tridentine Calendar of the three saints as "Saints Alexander and Theodulus Martyrs" with no suggestion that any of them was a pope. The Roman Martyrology lists them as Eventius and Theodulus, the order in which their names are given in historical documents. List of Catholic saints List of popes Benedict XIV; the Roman Martyrology. Gardners Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-548-13374-3. Chapman, John. Studies on the Early Papacy. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4. Fortescue and Scott M. P. Reid; the Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451. Southampton: Saint Austin Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4. Jowett, George F; the Drama of the Lost Disciples. London: Covenant Pub. Co, 1968. OCLC 7181392 Loomis, Louise Ropes; the Book of Popes. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8Pope St. Alexander IEncyclopædia Britannica: Saint Alexander I
A papal renunciation occurs when the reigning pope of the Catholic Church voluntarily steps down from his position. As the reign of the pope has conventionally been from election until death, papal renunciation is an uncommon event. Before the 21st century, only five popes unambiguously resigned with historical certainty, all between the 10th and 15th centuries. Additionally, there are disputed claims of four popes having resigned, dating from the 3rd to the 11th centuries. Additionally, a few popes during the saeculum obscurum were "deposed", meaning driven from office by force; the history and canonical question here is complicated. The development of canon law has been in favor of papal supremacy, leaving no recourse to the removal of a pope involuntarily; the most recent pope to resign was Benedict XVI, who vacated the Holy See on 28 February 2013 at 19:00 UTC. He was the first pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415. Despite its common usage in discussion of papal renunciations, the term abdication is not used in the official documents of the church for renunciation by a pope.
In the Catholic Church, in the Latin Rite, the official laws on all matters are codified in the Latin edition of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which regulates papal renunciations in Canon 332 §2, where it states:Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur. Which in English, would be:If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone; this corresponds to Canon 221 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which in Latin is: Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex renuntiet, ad eiusdem renuntiationis validitatem non est necessaria Cardinalium aliorumve acceptatio. And in English, would be:If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is not required for validity that the resignation is accepted by the Cardinals or by anyone else. Both the 1983 Code and the 1917 Code make explicit that there is no particular individual or body of people to whom the pope must manifest his renunciation.
This addresses a concern raised in earlier centuries by 18th-century canonist Lucius Ferraris, who held that the College of Cardinals or at least its Dean must be informed, since the cardinals must be certain that the pope has renounced the dignity before they can validly proceed to elect a successor. In 1996, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis, anticipated the possibility of resignation when he specified that the procedures he set out in that document should be observed "even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Encyclopedia notes the obscure renunciations of Pontian and Marcellinus, the postulated renunciation of Liberius, that one catalogue of popes lists John XVIII as resigning office in 1009 and finishing his life as a monk. During the saeculum obscurum several popes were "deposed" or coerced into renunciation by political and military force. John X is considered to have been deposed by some, but he seems to have died in prison before his successor Leo VI was elected anyway.
As another example, consider the story of John XII, Leo VIII, Benedict V. John XII had been invalidly deposed by the Emperor Otto in 963. Leo VIII was set up as an antipope by Otto at this time. However, John XII won back his rightful place in 964; when John XII died in 964, Benedict V was elected. However, Otto wanted Leo VIII put back on the papal throne and, using military might, forced Benedict to abdicate that same summer. Leo VIII is considered the legitimate pope until his death in 965, thus having been both an antipope and a valid pope. Benedict V never again attempted to claim the papacy, did not contest the election of John XIII after Leo VIII, so his abdication is considered valid though some treated him as the valid pope until his death; the first unquestionable papal renunciation is that of Benedict IX in 1045. Benedict had previously been deposed by Sylvester III in 1044, though he returned to take up the office again the next year, the Vatican considers Sylvester III to have been a legitimate pope in the intervening months.
In 1045, having regained the papacy for a few months, in order to rid the church of the scandalous Benedict, Gregory VI gave Benedict "valuable possessions" to resign the papacy in his favour. Gregory himself resigned in 1046 because the arrangement he had entered into with Benedict could have been considered simony. Gregory was followed by Clement II, when Clement died, Benedict IX returned to be elected to the papacy for a third time, only to resign yet again before dying in a monastery, he thus reigned as pope for three non-consecutive terms, resigned three separate times. A well-known renunciation of a pope is that of Celestine V, in 1294. After only five months of pontificate, he issued a solemn decree declaring it permissible for a pope to resign, did so himself, he lived two more years as a hermit and priso
Pope Leo IV
Pope Leo IV was pope from 10 April 847 to his death in 855. He is remembered for repairing Roman churches, damaged during Arab raids on Rome, for building the Leonine Wall around Vatican Hill. Pope Leo organized a league of Italian cities who fought the sea Battle of Ostia against the Saracens. A Roman by birth, Leo received his early education at Rome in the monastery of St. Martin, near St. Peter's, he attracted the notice of Pope Gregory IV. In April 847, Leo was unanimously chosen to succeed Sergius II; as the attack of the Saracens on Rome in 846 caused the people to fear for the safety of the city, he was consecrated on 10 April, 847 without waiting for the consent of the emperor. He began to repair the damage done to various churches of the city by the Saracens during the reign of his predecessor, he embellished the damaged Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura and St. Peter's; the latter's altar again received its gold covering, which weighed 206 lb. and was studded with precious gems. Following the restoration of St. Peter's, Leo appealed to the Christian kingdoms to confront the Arab raiders.
Leo took precautions against further raids. He put the walls of the city into a thorough state of repair rebuilding fifteen of the great towers, he was the first to enclose the Vatican hill by a wall. Leo ordered a new line of walls encompassing the suburb on the right bank of the Tiber to be built, including St. Peter's Basilica, undefended until this time; the district enclosed by the walls is still known as the Leonine City, corresponds to the rione of Borgo. To do this, he received money from the emperor, help from all the cities and agricultural colonies of the Duchy of Rome; the work took him four years to accomplish, the newly fortified portion was called the Leonine City, after him. In 849, when a Saracen fleet from Sardinia approached Portus, the Pope summoned the Repubbliche Marinare – Naples and Amalfi – to form a league; the command of the unified fleet was given to son of Duke Sergius I of Naples. Aided by a fierce storm, the Saracen fleet was destroyed off Ostia; the Battle of Ostia was one of the most famous in history of the Papacy of the Middle Ages and is celebrated in a famous fresco by Raphael and his pupils in his rooms of the Vatican Palace in the Vatican City.
A separate incident in Leo's life celebrated by Raphael's Incendio di Borgo, the fire in the pilgrims' district of Rome, according to legend, was stopped by Leo making the sign of the cross. Leo IV held three synods, the one in 850 distinguished by the presence of Holy Roman Emperor Louis II, but the other two of little importance. In 863, he travelled to Ravenna to settle a dispute with the archbishop; as the archbishop was a good terms with Emperor Lothair I, the pope had little success. The history of the papal struggle with Hincmar of Reims, which began during Leo's pontificate, belongs properly to that of Nicholas I. Leo IV died on 17 July 855 and succeeded by Benedict III. Leo IV was buried in his own monument in St. Peter's Basilica, however some years after his death, his remains were put into a tomb that contained the first four Pope Leos. In the 18th century, the relics of Leo the Great were separated from the other Leos and given their own chapel. Leo IV had the figure of a rooster placed on the Old St. Peter's Basilica or old Constantinian basilica which has served as a religious icon and reminder of Peter's denial of Christ since that time, with some churches still having the cockerel on the steeple today.
It is reputed that Pope Gregory I had said that the cock "was the most suitable emblem of Christianity", being "the emblem of St Peter". After Leo IV, Pope Nicholas I, made a deacon by Leo IV, decreed that the figure of the cock should be placed on every church. List of Catholic saints List of popes Papal Navy This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Pope St. Leo IV". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Cheetham, Keepers of the Keys, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1983. ISBN 0-684-17863-X Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes Colonnade Statue in St Peter's Square
The pope known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy; the current pope is Francis, elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI. While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See, it is the Holy See, the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built; the apostolic see of Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 1st century, according to Catholic tradition.
The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of human rights. In some periods of history, the papacy, which had no temporal powers, accrued wide secular powers rivaling those of temporal rulers. However, in recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now exclusively focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.
Still, the Pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people because of his extensive diplomatic and spiritual influence on 1.3 billion Catholics and beyond, as well as the official representative of the Catholic Church being the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, with a vast international network of charities. The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied in the east, to all bishops and other senior clergy, became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century; the earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by deceased Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heraclas of Alexandria. The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to the 7th century Roman Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome as their head. Thus, is derived another title by which the pope is known, that of "Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the Church, the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter, in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles. Some historians argue against the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, noting that the episcopal see in Rome can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century; the writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organized" the Church at Rome.
Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96, about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, such as Emperor Constantine's erection of the "Old St. Peter's Basilica" on the location of St. Peter's tomb, as held and given to him by Rome's Christian community, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine. First-century Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.
Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome. In Rome, there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop, though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them; some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus and Clement were prominent presbyter-bishops
Lothair I or Lothar I was the Holy Roman Emperor, the governor of Bavaria, King of Italy and Middle Francia. Lothair was the eldest son of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious and his wife Ermengarde of Hesbaye, daughter of Ingerman the duke of Hesbaye. On several occasions, Lothair led his full-brothers Pepin I of Aquitaine and Louis the German in revolt against their father to protest against attempts to make their half-brother Charles the Bald a co-heir to the Frankish domains. Upon the father's death and Louis joined forces against Lothair in a three-year civil war; the struggles between the brothers led directly to the breakup of the Frankish Empire assembled by their grandfather Charlemagne, laid the foundation for the development of modern France and Germany. Lothair was born in 795, his father was the son of Charlemagne. Little is known of Lothair's early life, passed at the court of his grandfather Charlemagne. In 814, the elderly Charlemagne died, left his son Louis the Pious his vast empire.
The next year, now an adult, was sent to govern Bavaria in 815 for his father the new Emperor Louis the Pious. In 817, Louis the Pious drew up his Ordinatio Imperii. In this, Louis designated Lothair as his principal heir and ordered that Lothair would be the overlord of Louis' younger sons Pippin of Aquitaine and Louis the German, as well as his nephew Bernard of Italy. Lothair would inherit their lands if they were to die childless. Lothair, aged 22, was crowned joint emperor by his father at Aachen. At the same time and Bavaria were granted to his brothers Pippin and Louis as subsidiary kingdoms. Following the death of Bernard by Louis the Pious, Lothair received the Kingdom of Italy. In 821, Lothair married daughter of Hugh the Count of Tours. In 822, he assumed the government of Italy, at Easter, 5 April 823, he was crowned emperor again by Pope Paschal I, this time at Rome. In November 824, Lothair promulgated a statute, the Constitutio Romana, concerning the relations of pope and emperor which reserved the supreme power to the secular potentate, he afterwards issued various ordinances for the good government of Italy.
On Lothair's return to his father's court, his stepmother Judith won his consent to her plan for securing a kingdom for her son Charles, a scheme, carried out in 829, when the young prince was given Alemannia as king. Lothair, soon changed his attitude and spent the succeeding decade in constant strife over the division of the Empire with his father, he was alternately master of the Empire, banished and confined to Italy, at one time taking up arms in alliance with his brothers and at another fighting against them, whilst the bounds of his appointed kingdom were in turn extended and reduced. The first rebellion began in 830. All three brothers fought their father. In 831, their father was reinstated and he deprived Lothair of his imperial title and gave Italy to Charles; the second rebellion was instigated by Angilbert II, Archbishop of Milan, in 833, again Louis was deposed in 834. Lothair, through the loyalty of the Lombards and reconciliations, retained Italy and the imperial position through all remaining divisions of the Empire by his father.
When Louis the Pious was dying in 840, he sent the imperial insignia to Lothair, disregarding the various partitions, claimed the whole of the Empire. He was 45 years old. Negotiations with his brother Louis the German and his half-brother Charles, both of whom resisted this claim, were followed by an alliance of the younger brothers against Lothair. A decisive battle was fought at Fontenay-en-Puisaye on 25 June 841, when, in spite of his and his allied nephew Pepin II of Aquitaine's personal gallantry, Lothair was defeated and fled to Aachen. With fresh troops he began a war of plunder, but the forces of his brothers were too strong, taking with him such treasure as he could collect, he abandoned his capital to them, he met with the leaders of the Stellinga in Speyer and promised them his support in return for theirs, but Louis and the native Saxon nobility put down the Stellinga in the next years. Peace negotiations began, in June 842 the brothers met on an island in the Saône, they agreed to an arrangement which developed, after much difficulty and delay, into the Treaty of Verdun, signed in August 843.
By this, Lothair received the imperial title as well as northern Italy and a long stretch of territory from the North Sea to the Mediterranean along the valleys of the Rhine and the Rhône. He soon ceded Italy to his eldest son and remained in his new kingdom, engaging in alternate quarrels and reconciliations with his brothers and in futile efforts to defend his lands from the attacks of the Northmen and the Saracens. In 845 the count of Arles, led a rebellion in Provence; the emperor put it down and the count joined him in an expedition against the Saracens in Italy in 846. In 855 he became ill, despairing of recovery renounced the throne, divided his lands between his three sons, on 23 September entered the monastery of Prüm, where he died six days later, he was buried at Prüm, where his remains were found in 1860. It was at Prüm that Lothair was
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to c. 886 and King of the Anglo-Saxons from c. 886 to 899. He was the youngest son of King Æthelwulf of Wessex, his father died when he was young and three of Alfred's brothers reigned in turn. Alfred took the throne after the death of his brother Æthelred and spent several years dealing with Viking invasions, he won a decisive victory in the Battle of Edington in 878 and made an agreement with the Vikings, creating what was known as Danelaw in the North of England. Alfred oversaw the conversion of Viking leader Guthrum to Christianity, he defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, he became the dominant ruler in England. He was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself King of the Anglo-Saxons. Details of his life are described in a work by 9th-century Welsh bishop Asser. Alfred had a reputation as a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature who encouraged education, proposing that primary education be conducted in English rather than Latin, improving his kingdom's legal system, military structure, his people's quality of life.
He was given the epithet "the Great" after the Reformation in the sixteenth century. The only other king of England given this epithet is Cnut the Great. In 2002, Alfred was ranked number 14 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Alfred was born in the royal estate of Wantage in Berkshire but now in Oxfordshire, between 847 and 849, he was the youngest of five sons of King Æthelwulf of Wessex by Osburh. In 853 Alfred is reported by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to have been sent to Rome where he was confirmed by Pope Leo IV, who "anointed him as king". Victorian writers interpreted this as an anticipatory coronation in preparation for his eventual succession to the throne of Wessex; this is unlikely. A letter of Leo IV shows that Alfred was made a "consul", it may be based upon the fact that Alfred accompanied his father on a pilgrimage to Rome where he spent some time at the court of Charles the Bald, King of the Franks, around 854–855. On their return from Rome in 856 Æthelwulf was deposed by his son Æthelbald.
With civil war looming the magnates of the realm met in council to hammer out a compromise. Æthelbald would retain the western shires, Æthelwulf would rule in the east. When King Æthelwulf died in 858 Wessex was ruled by three of Alfred's brothers in succession: Æthelbald, Æthelberht and Æthelred. Bishop Asser tells the story of how, as a child, Alfred won a book of Saxon poems, offered as a prize by his mother to the first of her children able to memorize it. Legend has it that the young Alfred spent time in Ireland seeking healing. Alfred was troubled by health problems throughout his life, it is thought. Statues of Alfred in Winchester and Wantage portray him as a great warrior. Evidence suggests he was not physically strong and, though not lacking in courage, he was noted more for his intellect than as a warlike character. Alfred is not mentioned during the short reigns of his older brothers Æthelberht; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes the Great Heathen Army of Danes landing in East Anglia with the intent of conquering the four kingdoms which constituted Anglo-Saxon England in 865.
Alfred's public life began in 865 at age 16 with the accession of his third brother, 18 year-old Æthelred. During this period, Bishop Asser gave Alfred the unique title of secundarius, which may indicate a position similar to the Celtic tanist, a recognised successor associated with the reigning monarch; this arrangement may have been sanctioned by Alfred's father or by the Witan to guard against the danger of a disputed succession should Æthelred fall in battle. It was a well known tradition among other Germanic peoples - such as the Swedes and Franks to whom the Anglo-Saxons were related - to crown a successor as royal prince and military commander. In 868, Alfred is recorded as fighting beside Æthelred in an unsuccessful attempt to keep the Great Heathen Army led by Ivar the Boneless out of the adjoining Kingdom of Mercia; the Danes arrived in his homeland at the end of 870, nine engagements were fought in the following year, with varying outcomes. A successful skirmish at the Battle of Englefield in Berkshire on 31 December 870 was followed by a severe defeat at the siege and Battle of Reading by Ivar's brother Halfdan Ragnarsson on 5 January 871.
Four days the Anglo-Saxons won a brilliant victory at the Battle of Ashdown on the Berkshire Downs near Compton or Aldworth. Alfred is credited with the success of this last battle; the Saxons were defeated at the Battle of Basing on 22 January. They were defeated again on 22 March at the Battle of Merton. Æthelred died shortly afterwards on 23 April. In April 871 King Æthelred died and Alfred succeeded to the throne of Wessex and the burden of its defence though Æthelred left two under-age sons, Æthelhelm and Æthelwold; this was in accordance with the agreement that Æthelred and Alfred had made earlier that year in an assembly at an unidentified place called Swinbeorg. The brothers had agreed that whichever of them outlived the other would inherit the personal property that King Æthelwulf had left jointly to his sons in his will; the deceased's sons would receive only w