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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

642-672 A.D.

Theodore I : 642-649 A.D.

73. Born in Jerusalem. Elected November 24, 642 - died May 14, 649.

He added the name Sovereign to the word Pope and gave a new order to the internal jurisdiction of the clergy.

He was in serious disagreement with the Eastern empire and its Emperor Constans the II and he supposedly died from poisoning.

He concentrated on the collection of relics and we must be grateful to him for those of the Crib located in Santa Maria Maggiore.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 6 years and 6 months.

St. Martin I : 649-655 A.D.

74. Born in Todi. Elected July 5, 649 - died September 16, 655.

He condemned Eastern bishops, who were protected by the Byzantine Emperor.

He was imprisoned and exiled and died in poverty on Cherso Island.

He introduced the feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on March 25.

People say that Martin I was the first Pope who was already a bishop at the moment of the election. He is buried in the roman church of St. Martino ai Monti. The Church considers him a martyr.

It is worth mentioning that his successor was elected on year before his death, since he was exiled by the Emperor Constans II; Martin did not object.

His pontificate lasted 6 years and 2 months (or 4 years, if one considers the anticipated election of Eugene I)

St. Eugene I : 654-657 A.D.

75. Born in Rome. Elected August 10, 654 - died June 2, 657.

He was elected one year before the death of Martin I.

He opposed the intrigues of the Emperor by informing the European countries about the sad end of his predecessor.

He introduced the vow of chastity for priest.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 2 years and 10 months.

St. Vitalian : 657-672 A.D.

76. Born in Segni. Elected July 30, 657 - died January 27, 672.

He sent Nuncios to Gaul, Spain and England.

He was the first Pope to introduce the liturgical sound of the organ, allowing it to be used during religious rites.

In 671 the Longobards were converted to christianity.

The separation between the catechumen and the secret part of the Faithful was eliminated by the Holy Mass.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 14 years and 6 months.

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