#125 - Pope John XI
Pope from March 931 - December 935
Lived: c. 910 - December 935
Give me the scoop on John XI.
John was a Roman by birth, and was in fact the son of Marouzia, essentially the ruler of Rome at the time. It’s unclear whether John’s father was Alberic I, Marouzia’s first husband, or Pope Sergius III, who some believe had an affair with John’s mother years before. By all accounts, John XI was placed in office as a pawn of Marouzia’s to further extend her own ambitions. John sanctioned an unpopular -- and, by the day’s standards, incestuous -- marriage between his mother and Hugh, her brother-in-law and king of Italy. The marriage sparked a war between John XI’s new stepdad and his younger half-brother, Alberic II, which ended in Alberic throwing mom in prison and banishing Hugh from Rome. That’s one way to say, “You’re not the boss of me.” John, never having had much real power of his own, died in late 935, having reigned the better part of five years.
What was he known for?
When St. Odo, abbot of the great Benedictine monastery at Cluny, wished to reform nearby abbeys in France and Italy, it was Pope John XI who gave the go-ahead. Thus John was best known, perhaps ironically, for laying the groundwork of monastic reform that would eventually cleanse the very papacy itself.
If indeed John XI was the son of Sergius III, that would make him the only
son of a pope to later become pope himself.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 935, “Good King Wenceslaus” was murdered by his his ambitious and cruel brother, Boleslav. For his martyrdom and virtue, he’s now recognized as
Coming Monday...Pope Leo VII
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Guruge, A. (2010). The Next Pope. New Hampshire: WOWNH
Pope John XI -
Pope John XI -
Missed a day? Click here.
Click to share with friends!
What is Flocknote?
Yes, it powers and sponsors
Popes in a Year
, but it's so much more than that. In fact, it's the smartest, most powerful communication tool a ministry can use for regular communication with its members.
Invite your ministry to try it free!
Sent by Matthew Sewell on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 2:00AM