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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

884-896 A.D.

715  |  757  |  816  |  827  |  858  |  884  |  896  |  900  |  913  |  931  |  946  |  Index

St. Hadrian III : 884-885 A.D.

109. Born in Rome. Elected May 17, 884 - Died September 885

As soon as he was elected he confirmed the decisions taken by his predecessors with regard to the Emperor Photius. Following the invitation to go to France, that Charles the Gross had extended to him, he died in S. Cesareo sul Panaro during the journey, not far from the Abbey of Nonantola.

He published two decrees: One concerning the election of the Pope and the other one related to the succession of Charles the Gross in the Kingdom of Italy; the first one was in favour of the liberty of Romans, since it was ordered that the elected Pope could be consecrated without the participation of the King or his ambassadors; and the second envisaged that in the next future the Kingdom of Italy was due to an Italian prince.

He is buried in the monastery of Nonantola near Modena. His pontificate lasted about 1 year and 5 months.

Stephen V : 885-891 A.D.

110. Born in Rome. Elected September 885 - died September 14, 891.

After having heard the news about his election, he barricaded himself in his house, but after the doors were broken down he was forced to take office in St. Peter's. He prohibited the fire and water test during judgments and fostered arts and crafts.

There are no monuments in Rome left to the memory of this Pope, who is supposed to have ordered the restoration of the Basilica of SS. Apostoli, the parish of his family.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 6 years.

Formosus : 891-896 A.D.

111. Born in Ostia. Elected October 6, 891 - died April 896.

When he was a cardinal he was excommunicated by John VIII for having crowned Arnolfus King of Italy, who afterwards became Emperor of Germany. Thanks to him the Bulgarians were converted to Christianity.

Formosus true name was Damasus, a name that was given to him because of his rare elegance.

He used to wear a cilice and was a vegetarian, he never ate meat nor drank wine.

Formosus died after 4 years and 6 months of pontificate.

His corpse was then defiled by Stephen VI, who considered Formosus an undeserving Pope because he had been condemned by John VII; he was disinterred and put on trial, his body was maimed and he was thrown in the Tiber.

The body was soon after recovered.

At present, Formosus is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

Boniface VI : 896 A.D. [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

112. Born in Rome. Elected April 896 - died in the same month.

He came to the papal seat supported by the faction against Formosus and died 15 days later. The papal seat was at the mercy of Italian feudal lords.

His pontificate was very short: about 2 weeks, sometimes his name does not appear in the list of popes.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

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Index of Roman Pontiffs


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