Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St. Gregory II : 715-731 A.D.
89. Born in Rome. Elected May 5, 715 - died February 11, 731.
As a response to the Constantinople
edict, which forbade
the worship of sacred images and ordered their destruction, the Italian
provinces rose up against the army of Leo III that was marching towards
Rome; the sect of the iconoclasts was defeated.
He was the first Pope to mint coins: he had keys imprinted on
them, which symbolize the Roman church, and not his image, since he
was very humble.
He gave way to the pontifical mint.
He made the monastic discipline flourish again all over Italy and
excommunicated all those who mad married a nun.
Thanks to the donations from Liudpard, the first nucleus of the
Pontifical State was created, which was then called Roman Duchy.
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificated lasted 15
years and 9 months.
St. Gregory III : 731-741 A.D.
90. Born in Syria. Elected March 18, 731 - died November 28, 741.
He asked Charles Martel, King of
Franks, for help against
the Longobards: that is why he was afterwards called the "Most
Christian", a name which was subsequently adopted by all French Kings.
The charitable donations were defined "Peter's pence".
During the Pontificate of Gregory III, the residence of the
Pope was called "Sacred Palace".
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 10
years and 8 months.
St. Zacharias : 741-752 A.D.
91. Born in Calabria. Elected December 10, 741 - died March 22, 752.
He firmly opposed Rachis, Earl of
Friuli, from conquering
Italy, Rachis later became a monk. He consecrated Pippin the Short
as King of the Franks. This
was the first appointment of a king made by a Pope.
He ordered that the priest could not say Mass with a hat on
and that churchmen should always wear long habit, commonly called
In the cathedral of Siena, the bust of the She-Pope Johanna
was replaced with that of St. Zacharias.
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificated lasted 10
years and 3 months.
Stephen II : 752-757 A.D.
92. There were two Stephen II: the first lasted just one day
(March 3); The second was elected on March 26, 752 and died on May 26,
His election gave rise to great
enthusiasm and he was actually borne in
triumph, starting the tradition of the gestatorial chair.
In Canino (Viterbo) there is a bell dating back to this period,
which was probably donated by Stephen.
He was the first Pope to cross the Alps, when traveling to Pippin
the Short to ask for protection from King Astolph. he
was the first to be preceded by the Eucharist during his long journey.
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted exactly
5 years and 1 month.
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