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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

523-535 A.D.

St. John I : 523-526 A.D.

53. Born in Populonia. Elected August 13, 523 - died a martyr May 8, 526.

He was the first Pope that went to Constantinople and the first that solemnly crowned an emperor.

He was imprisoned by the barbaric King Theodoric and placed in a jail in Ravenna, where he died.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 2 years and 9 months.

St. Felix IV : 526-530 A.D.

54. Born in Benevento. Elected July 12, 526 - died September 22, 530.

Arbitrarily nominated Pope by King Theodoric for his own purposes, he showed such a loyalty towards the interests of the church that the king rejected him and had him outlawed.

The Christians had the liberty to practice their religion restored after the king’s death.

Felix converted two pagan buildings, located in the Roman forum, into the church of Santi Cosma e Damiano. The two buildings were a gift from Amalasuntha, Queen of the Goths.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He was a pontiff for 4 years and 4 months.

Boniface II : 530-532 A.D.

55. Born in Rome. Elected November 22, 530 - died October 17, 532.

Because of gothic origins he was considered “barbarous and foreigner”: as a result the opposing anti-pope Dioscorus was elected.

The ensuing struggle between the two Popes ended at the death of Dioscorus.

Boniface had the monastery of Montecassino built on the temple of Apollo.

He was a pontiff for about 2 years.

John II : 533-535 A.D.

56. Born in Rome. elected January 2, 533 - died May 8, 535.

He was the first Pope that changed his given name, since his name was that of a pagan god, Mercurius.

That tradition was followed by all his successors with the exception of Hadrian VI.

King Athalaric approved the decree, promulgated by the Roman senate, against simony and with an edict he confirmed the Pope as the chief of all bishops.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His Pontificate lasted 2 years and 4 months.

Comment: Now it is a King and the Roman Senate who confirms that the Pope is the chief of all Bishops [which is, of course, true]. Earlier we had Popes Crowning Emperors and calling them "Sons".

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Index of Roman Pontiffs

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