#102 - Pope Sergius II
Pope from January 844 - January 24, 847
Died: January 24, 847
Give me the scoop on Sergius II.
Prior to being pope, Pope St. Paschal I appointed Sergius as cardinal and pastor of the Church of Sts. Martin & Sylvester in Rome. A Roman of noble birth, Sergius’ family lineage ended up getting him elected in January of 824. His election, however, was the result of a coup by the Roman nobility to suppress the selection of the archdeacon John, who had been the majority favorite of everyone
the city’s elite. Limited in his abilities thanks to a nasty case of gout, the ever-so-crabby Sergius delegated many papal duties to his brother, Benedict, who was known to be little more than a greedy tyrant. It was a fun three years. Sergius II died close to the anniversary of his election, January 24, 847, and it’s said that few people mourned his death.
What was he known for?
A rule had been made in 824 that the Holy Roman Emperor must be notified of a papal election, not necessarily to give final approval, but to ensure the legitimacy of the next successor of St. Peter. Sergius II, however, decided he had better things to do. This prompted the slightly-peeved Emperor Lothair to send his son -- with an
, no less -- to check things out. Sergius was able to make nice, but not without first paying a high cost to the emperor, which included installing the king’s aide, Drogo, as the Bishop of Metz and granting him jurisdiction over the Church in France and Germany.
When the Muslim army finished attacking the nearby Ostia, they moved onto Rome and laid siege there until they were defeated at the hands of Louis, son of Emperor Lothair and ruler of Italy. Because many churches were among the besieged territory, Sergius II was the first pope to see St. Peter’s Basilica sacked and looted under his watch. Not exactly something to bring up at a dinner party.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 846, Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid was installed as the first
High King of Ireland
. Though we’re unable to confirm, reports say he also won that year's awards for "Longest Name" and "Hardest Pronunciation."
Coming Tomorrow...Pope St. Leo IV
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Sergius II -
Pope Sergius II -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 2:00AM