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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

757-816 A.D.

St Paul I : 757-767 A.D.

93. Born in Rome. Elected May 29, 757 - died June 28, 767

He fostered a close relationship with the Greek Church.

He visited jails redeeming prisoners who had been condemned because of debts.

He discovered the remains of St. Petronilla, who according to tradition was St. Peter's daughter.

He founded, in the paternal home, the monastery and the church of S. Silvestro in Capite.

He was the godfather of Pippin's daughter, who co-operated closely with him with the aim of introducing the Roman chant in his kingdom.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificated lasted about 10 years.

Stephen III : 768-772 A.D.

94. Born in Sicily. Elected August 7, 768 - died January 24, 772.

He was preceded by two anti-popes.

He showed the straight and narrow path to Charlemagne, King of the Franks, and helped the Christians in Palestine in every possible way.

During the Lateran council, organized by Stephen III, it was decided that lay people could not become popes and the right to participate in the election of the Pope was abolished, limiting their participation to the simple acclamation of the person chosen by the clergy.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 3 years and 5 months.

Hadrian I : 772-795 A.D.

95. Born in Rome. Elected February 9, 772 - died December 25, 795.

He restored the Roman walls and the old aqueducts.

We owe to him the golden statue of St. Peter's sepulchre and the silver pavement in front of the altar of the confession.

He called the 7th Ecumenical Council.

He us Buried in Vatican City.

The pontificate of Hadrian was one of the longest, after St. Peter's, lasting 23 years, 10 months and 17 days: the 25 years of Pius VI (1775-1800), the 32 of Pius IX (1846-1878) and the 25 of Leo XIII (1878-1903) were still to come.

St. Leo III : 795-816 A.D.

96. Born in Rome. Elected December 27, 795 - died June 12, 816.

He was the first Pope to have been crowned with a tiara of white cloth like a helmet.

With the crowning of Charlemagne, which took place in the Basilica of St. Peter on Christmas night of the year 800, the Western Empire was restored and called the Holy Roman Empire. This was the first imperial crowning made by a Pope in Rome.

In the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano he ordered the painting of numerous windows decorated with stained glass.

He was the first to have the words "Dominus Noster" imprinted on coins.

He founded the Palatine School, which gave origin to the University of Paris.

He is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter, in the Cappella della Colonna.

His Pontificate lasted 23 years and 10 months.

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