Popes in a Year
#62 - Pope Benedict I
Pope from June 2, 575 - July 30, 579 A.D.
Died: July 30, 579 A.D.
Give me the scoop on Benedict I.
Nearly nothing is known of the first pope to bear the name of Benedict. He was Roman by birth, and was elected pope on June 2, 575. As if the vacancy between Pelagius I and John III was great, the interregnum prior to Benedict’s pontificate was nearly twice as long. Almost 11 months before Benedict took office, due mainly to turbulent times and the need for confirmation from the emperor in Constantinople. During his time as pope, he reportedly held an ordination near Christmastime, at which he ordained 15 priests and three deacons, and also consecrated 21 bishops. Benedict I reigned for just over four years, dying on July 30, 579 and being buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.
What was he known for?
The only other acts we know about Benedict I regard his charity, which he evidently had in spades. He gifted an estate to the abbot of St. Mark’s Monastery near Spoleto, Italy and also worked tirelessly to relieve the hunger and hardship of his flock during the famine caused in part by barbarian invasions.
The name “Benedict,” owned by fifteen popes and three antipopes (Benedict X, originally counted on the “real pope” list, was really an antipope) is the second most common papal name after “John.”
What else was going on in the world at the time?
The mother of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, died around the year 577, leaving him an orphan to be cared for by his grandfather (until 578) and then by his uncle, Abu Talib.
Coming tomorrow....Pope Pelagius II
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Benedict I -
Pope Benedict I -
Missed a day? Click here.
Click to share with friends!
About Popes in a Year
- We send these Monday-Friday (NOT on weekends)
- Know someone who wants to sign up? Send them to
Sent by Matthew Sewell on Tuesday, March 28 at 2:00AM