Popes in a Year
#78 - Pope Donus
Pope from November 2, 676 - April 11, 678 A.D.
Died: April 11, 678 A.D.
Give me the scoop on Donus.
A Roman by birth, Donus ascended to the Chair of Peter four months and 17 days after the death of St. Adeodatus II. Not much is known about his life or papacy. Donus welcomed back the archbishop of Ravenna -- located in northern Italy along the Adriatic Sea -- after a previous bishop had tried to make the diocese “autocephalous,” that is, outside the purview of the pope. Fittingly, the reconciling bishop’s name was Reparatus.
Donus also intervened when a colony of Nestorian monks (who believed that Jesus was two persons, not one) was discovered in a monastery in Rome. Upon their discovery, he scattered them throughout other religious communities in the city and donated the monastery itself to other Roman monks. Donus died less than 18 months into office and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.
What was he known for?
Like his predecessor, Donus devoted much of his short time in office to restoring churches. He had blocks of white marble installed as pavement for the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica, and also made repairs to the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the church of St. Euphemia.
Apparently, Donus’ portrait was once able to be seen as a mosaic in St. Martina’s Church in the Forum in Rome. Though the mosaic is gone, the church, having been restored later and rededicated to both St. Luke and St. Martina, still stands in Rome.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
During Donus’ papacy, Constantine I, the Patriarch of Constantinople, died. He was the first of six Constantines to hold that title, the most recent of which was Constantine VI in 1924.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Agatho
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Donus -
Pope Donus -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Wednesday, April 19 at 2:30AM