The M+G+R Foundation

The "Benedict" Popes

and

The Crucial Link of Benedict XV to Fátima


Benedict I : 575-579 A.D.

62. Born in Rome. Elected June 2, 575 - died July 30, 579.

He was elected after almost a year of vacancy of the See.

He tried in vain to restore order in Italy and France, which were both devastated by barbarian invasions and internal disorders.

He confirmed the Fifth Council of Constantinople.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He was a Pope for 4 years and 1 month

St. Benedict II : 684-685 A.D.

81. Born in Rome. Elected June 26, 684 - died May 8, 685.

He reintroduced the concept of asylum. However, opposing factions defied him, and continued to arrest or kill their enemies, even in church.

He managed to free the Church from the influence of the Emperor, dating back to Justinian, by eliminating the clause of Imperial consent.

During his Pontificate, between Christmas and the Epiphany, an extremely bright comet appeared in the sky.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His Pontificate lasted about 1 year.

Benedict III : 855-858 A.D.

104. Born in Rome. Elected September 28, 855 - died April 17, 858.

He was beloved by the people for his virtues but was firmly opposed by the Emperor and the Anti-pope Anastasius, whose pontificate lasted 1 month.

He tried to gather all factions in the fight against the Saracens.

He reluctantly accepted the pontificate and fasted three days before accepting the papal dignity.

During his pontificate a pestilence broke out in Rome, causing the sudden death of many people, of all ages and classes.

His buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 2 years and a half.

Benedict IV : 900-903 A.D.

117. Born in Rome. Elected February 1st, 900 - died July 903

Despite the prevailing corruption, he maintained the integrity of the Holy See.

He looked for a way to find justice despite the intrigues and hate that surrounded him.

He consecrated Emperor Louis of Burgundy. He provided his help to many monasteries (including the famous monastery of Fulda), and extended Church privileges to them. 

At that time, there was such widespread ignorance that bishops had to question future priests to find out if they could read.

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

Benedict V : 964-966 A.D.

132. Born in Rome. Elected May 22, 964 - died July 4, 966.

Otto I ordered his exile to Hamburg; Benedict died there as a deacon, with the reputation for sanctity.

After the death of the anti-pope, Otto I recognized the appointment, as a result of the pressures coming from Franks, Germans and Romans.

His active pontificate lasted about 2 months.

It is necessary to say that if Leo VIII ws a legitimate pope, then Benedict V was an anti-pope. On the other hand, both received the imperial legitimisation and as ecclesiastic confirmation.

The period was gloomy and it is difficult to define with certainty the positions of the popes, and to establish the precise chronology of the pontifical succession.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

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,

BENEDICT VIII : 1012-1024 A.D.

143. Born in Rome, he was elected May 18, 1012 - died April 9, 1024.

Given the opposition he encountered at the moment of his election, he asked for the assistance of Henry II, who was crowned in Rome.

He promulgated laws against simony and duels. He ordered that churchmen could not marry.

The use of the golden globe dates back to the period of Benedict VIII, the sceptre which he showed to Henry II at the moment of the crowning among all the insignia of the empire.

It was a golden pommel covered by a cross.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

His pontificate lasted about 12 years

BENEDICT IX : 1032-1044 and 1045 A.D.

145. Born in Rome. First elected in 1032 .

After having been dethroned in l044, he looked for shelter in the monastery of Grottaferrata.

He came to the papal seat when he was 12 (maybe 18).

He ordered the King of Bohemia to bring back to Prague the mortal remains of St. Adalbert. Benedict IX was elected three times [1032-1044; 1045; and 1047-1048]

Cardinal Hergenroother said he was endowed with practical sense and would have become an excellent pope thanks to his education and his ability to stifle emotions.

He followed the advice of St. Bartholomew and finally resigned. Repenting his immoral life, he spent his last days as a monk in the convent of San Basilio in Grottaferrata, where he died and was buried.

BENEDICT X : 1047-1048 A.D.

150. Elected November 8, 1047

He renounced to his office on July 17, 1048.

He followed the advice of St. Bartholomew and after eight months he resigned.

Repenting his immoral life, he spent his last days as a monk in the convent of San Basilio in Grottaferrata, where he died and was buried.

Bl. BENEDICT XI : 1303-1304 A.D.

194. Born in Treviso. Elected October 27, 1303 - died July 7, 1304.

He settled a serious dispute with the Kingdom of France.

He was prosecuted by a group of conspirators and died from poisoning after having eaten figs, of which he was very fond.

Since Benedict X was considered an anti-pope, he should have been called Benedict X but he refused this name because it had been attributed to an usurper.

He died of dysentery, and was buried in the Church of San Domenico in Perugia.

On April 24th 1736 he was beatified by Clement XII.

His pontificate lasted about 8 months.

BENEDICT XII : 1335-1342 A.D.

197. Born in Saverdun (France). Elected January 8, 1335 - died April 25, 1342.

He was forced by Philip VI to live in France.

He forced the bishops to have a fixed residence, and reformed the Benedictine, Franciscan and Dominican orders.

Before his election, he ran the Inquisition in his diocese in France, and was known as a "fervid opponent and stern persecutor of heretics." (Roger Collins, Keepers of the Keys of Heaven, 2009, p.  288).

Petrarque was crowned by him in Campidoglio on April 8th 1341.

He published the "pragmatic sanction" of Frankfurt, through which he established that the appointment of the emperor did not need the pontifical placet.

He was buried in the cathedral of Avignon. His pontificate lasted 7 years and 4 months.

BENEDICT XIII : 1724-1730 A.D.

245. Born at Gravina in Puglia. Elected May 4, 1724 - died March 2, 1730.

He concentrated, above all, on spiritual teachings.

On the occasion of the 17th Jubilee Year he inaugurated the wonderful staircase at Trinita dei Monti in Rome.

He canonized St. Louis Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus, patron of Poland.

He forbade churchmen to wear wigs, and banned the lottery from the Papal states.

Benedict's administrators, led by Niccolo Cascia, were profiteers, and ruined the finances of the Papal States. 

He was buried in S. Maria sopra Minerva. His pontificate lasted about 5 years and 9 months.

BENEDICT XIV : 1740-1758 A.D.

247. Born in Bologna. Elected August 22, 1740 - died May 3,1758.

He was the most learned Pope of his century. Together with St. Leonard, he spread the word about the devotion of the "Via Crucis" and celebrated the 18th Jubilee Year (1750).

He ordered the continuation of the Papal portraits in the Basilica of San Paolo in Rome.

On the occasion of a solemn religious service, he defined the Coliseum as a public church.

He defended marriage and prohibited duels.

He also abolished the Select Knights corps, which was responsible for the pope's safety.

He published a magnificent work on the beatification and canonisation of saints.

The current Canonical Code was based, to a large extent, upon the so-called Bollarium Benedicti XIV.

He founded the Holy or Christian Museum in the Vatican and the Capitoline picture gallery.

He is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate lasted about 17 years and 9 months.

BENEDICT XV : 1914-1922 A.D.

258. Born in Genoa. Elected September 6, 1914 - died January 22, 1922 (*)

The number of States with embassies in the Vatican increased from 14 to 27 during his reign (including England which had broken relations with the Vatican in the 1600s, and France, which had broken with the Vatican in 1905.)

With the encyclical published on May 23rd 1920, he lifted the ban on visits of Catholic sovereigns to the King of Italy.

He beatified Joan of Arc and founded the University of the Sacro Cuore.

He resumed diplomatic relations with England and France and by means of the encyclical published on May 23rd 1920 he established a new protocol for the visits of Catholic Sovereigns to Rome.

He confirmed the condemnation of "modernism" expressed by Pius X.

In 1917, he published the Code of Canonical Law, started in conformity with Pius X's will. He approved the project of the Museum devoted to St. Peter, made with the collection of all the remains found in the old Constantinian Basilica.

He was buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 7 years and a half.


______________________________
(*) He was the Pope of the Apparitions of Fátima in 1917 and the first one to become fully responsible for what it was going to befall the world in the 20th Century.


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