Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St Paul I : 757-767 A.D.
93. Born in Rome. Elected May 29, 757 - died June 28, 767
He fostered a close relationship
with the Greek Church.
He visited jails redeeming prisoners who had been condemned because of
He discovered the remains of St. Petronilla, who according to
tradition was St. Peter's daughter.
He founded, in the paternal home, the monastery and the church of
S. Silvestro in Capite.
He was the godfather of Pippin's daughter, who co-operated closely
with him with the aim of introducing the Roman chant in his kingdom.
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificated lasted
about 10 years.
Stephen III : 768-772 A.D.
94. Born in Sicily. Elected August 7, 768 - died January 24, 772.
He was preceded by two anti-popes.
He showed the straight and narrow path to Charlemagne, King of
the Franks, and helped the Christians in Palestine in every possible
During the Lateran council, organized by Stephen III, it was
decided that lay people could not become popes and the right to
participate in the election of the Pope was abolished, limiting
their participation to the simple acclamation of the person chosen by
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 3
years and 5 months.
Hadrian I : 772-795 A.D.
95. Born in Rome. Elected February 9, 772 - died December 25, 795.
He restored the Roman walls and the old
aqueducts. We owe to him the golden statue of St. Peter's sepulchre and
silver pavement in front of the altar of the confession.
He called the 7th Ecumenical Council.
He us Buried in Vatican City.
The pontificate of Hadrian was one of the longest, after St.
Peter's, lasting 23 years, 10 months and 17 days: the 25 years of Pius
VI (1775-1800), the 32 of Pius IX (1846-1878) and the 25 of Leo XIII
(1878-1903) were still to come.
St. Leo III : 795-816 A.D.
96. Born in Rome. Elected December 27, 795 - died June 12, 816.
He was the first Pope to have been
crowned with a tiara of white
cloth like a helmet.
With the crowning of Charlemagne, which took place in the Basilica
of St. Peter on Christmas night of the year 800, the Western Empire was
restored and called the Holy Roman Empire.
This was the first imperial crowning made by a Pope in Rome.
In the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano he ordered the painting
of numerous windows decorated with stained glass.
He was the first to have the words "Dominus Noster" imprinted on
He founded the Palatine School, which gave origin to the University
He is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter, in the Cappella della
His Pontificate lasted 23 years and 10 months.
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