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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

535-561 A.D.

St. Agapitus I : 535-536 A.D.

57. Born in Rome. Elected May 13, 535 - died May 13, 535

He was sent to Constantinople by the King of the Goths to intervene against the intentions of the Emperor Justinian to take back the control of Italy.

He died there poisoned by the Emperor's wife, Theodora, who was a follower of the Eutichian cult.

The famous Cassiodoro started, on the Pope's request, the school for Christian science studies.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He governed for about 11 months.

St. Silverius : 536-537 A.D.

58. Born in Frosinone. Elected June 1, 536 - died a martyr November 11, 537

Silverius met Belisario at Villa Pinciana where he was deposed, dressed as a simple monk and exiled to Lycia.

Later when the Byzantine Army captured Rome, Silverius was ordered to renounce the papacy and exiled to the Island of Ponza where he was assassinated and buried.

His pontificate lasted 1 year and 5 months.

Vigilius : 537-555 A.D.

59. Born in Rome. Elected March 22, 537 - died June 7, 555.

Despite Theodora's efforts, he refused to revoke the condemnation of the Eutichian theories. He was arrested while celebrating mass but he managed to escape.

He called the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

During his pontificate, Justinian imposed the "pragmatic sanction" which limited papal judicial authority on religious matters.

He died in Syracuse. His body was transferred to Rome and buried first in Priscilla's Cemetery but was later moved to the Vatican Grottoes.

He was Pope for just over 18 years.

Pelagius I : 556-561 A.D.

60. Born in Rome. Elected April 16, 556 - died March 4, 561.

His elevation to the papacy was influenced by Justinian, since Rome was now a province of the Byzantine Empire, but he remained faithful to the principles of catholic orthodoxy.

He had the Church of the SS. Apostoli built in Rome.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He governed the Church for 5 years.

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