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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

715-757 A.D.

St. Gregory II : 715-731 A.D.

89. Born in Rome. Elected May 5, 715 - died February 11, 731.

As a response to the Constantinople edict, which forbade the worship of sacred images and ordered their destruction, the Italian provinces rose up against the army of Leo III that was marching towards Rome; the sect of the iconoclasts was defeated.

He was the first Pope to mint coins: he had keys imprinted on them, which symbolize the Roman church, and not his image, since he was very humble.

He gave way to the pontifical mint.

He made the monastic discipline flourish again all over Italy and excommunicated all those who mad married a nun.

Thanks to the donations from Liudpard, the first nucleus of the Pontifical State was created, which was then called Roman Duchy.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificated lasted 15 years and 9 months.

St. Gregory III : 731-741 A.D.

90. Born in Syria. Elected March 18, 731 - died November 28, 741.

He asked Charles Martel, King of Franks, for help against the Longobards: that is why he was afterwards called the "Most Christian", a name which was subsequently adopted by all French Kings.

The charitable donations were defined "Peter's pence".

During the Pontificate of Gregory III, the residence of the Pope was called "Sacred Palace".

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 10 years and 8 months.

St. Zacharias : 741-752 A.D.

91. Born in Calabria. Elected December 10, 741 - died March 22, 752.

He firmly opposed Rachis, Earl of Friuli, from conquering Italy, Rachis later became a monk.

He consecrated Pippin the Short as King of the Franks. This was the first appointment of a king made by a Pope.

He ordered that the priest could not say Mass with a hat on and that churchmen should always wear long habit, commonly called cassock.

In the cathedral of Siena, the bust of the She-Pope Johanna was replaced with that of St. Zacharias.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificated lasted 10 years and 3 months.

Stephen II : 752-757 A.D.

92. There were two Stephen II: the first lasted just one day (March 3); The second was elected on March 26, 752 and died on May 26, 757.

His election gave rise to great enthusiasm and he was actually borne in triumph, starting the tradition of the gestatorial chair.

In Canino (Viterbo) there is a bell dating back to this period, which was probably donated by Stephen.

He was the first Pope to cross the Alps, when traveling to Pippin the Short to ask for protection from King Astolph. he was the first to be preceded by the Eucharist during his long journey.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted exactly 5 years and 1 month.

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