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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

965-984 A.D.

JOHN XllI : 965-972 A.D.

133. Born in Rome. Elected October 1, 965 - died September 6, 972.

He was imprisoned for a period of 10 months by the supporters of an opponent faction and was freed with the help of Otto I, who disseminated Christianity in Poland and Bohemia.

He introduced the use of blessing and giving a name to bells: he blessed those of the Basilica Liberiana, giving them a name: one of the bells was called John, Strong and learned, he reorganised religious orders.

He is buried in the Roman Basilica of S. Paolo Fuori Ie Mura. His pontificate lasted almost 7 years.

BENEDICT VI : 973-974 A.D.

134. Born in Rome. Elected January 19, 973 - died June 974.

He converted the Hungarian people to Christianity.

After the death of Otto I, the anti-German faction took power and besieged Castel S. Angelo. Benedict was imprisoned and murdered; he was strangled in the fortress of Castel S. Angelo and his body was thrown in the Tiber; it was immediately pulled out and buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

We still have a letter written by Benedict VI and addressed to Frederick, Bishop of Salzburg, and to his Provincials, through which he gives him the office of vicar-apostolic in the Noricum and in the Pannonia,prohibiting to all the bishops of those provinces to wear the Pallium.

His pontificate lasted about 1 year and a half.

BENEDICT VII : 974-983 A.D.

135. Born in Rome. Elected October 974 - died July 10, 983.

He was a man endowed with wonderful gifts, who tried to stem immoral behaviour and the terrible ignorance widespread in Italy and the Christian world.

He also fostered the development of agriculture.

In the cloister of the abbey of Santa Scolastica in Subiaco there is a stone bearing an inscription written in rough letters, which states that this Pope consecrated the new church of the convent in 981, In the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemnme, near Porta Maggiore, there is a memorial stone in his name.

His pontificate lasted 8 years and 9 months,

JOHN XIV : 983-984 A.D.

136. Born in Pavia. Elected December 983 - died August 20, 984.

He was a very strong man with very rare qualities, and was elected as a result of unpleasant intrigues.

Back to Rome, Francone ordered his arrest and made him starve to death in the prisons of Castel S. Angelo.

After his election he changed his Christian name from Peter into John: he did this to show his respect towards St. Peter, the first Pope.

Soon afterwards, Francone the anti-pope Boniface VII died and his body became the object of cruel outrage, dragged along the streets and finally thrown at the feet of Marcus Aurelius equestrian statue, which was once located in S. Giovanni in Lateran's square.

The pontificate of John XIV lasted only 8 months.

The day after his death merciful clerics buried him in the Vatican Grottoes.

Format Copyright 2002 by The M+G+R Foundation. All rights reserved.

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