Papacy - A Historical Perspective
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
St. Silverius : 536-537 A.D.
58. Born in Frosinone. Elected June 1, 536 - died a martyr November
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
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
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