#140 - Pope John XVII
Pope from May 16, 1003 - November 6, 1003
Died: November 6, 1003
Birth name: John Sicco
Give me the scoop on John XVII.
John XVII was born in Rome, though it’s unclear exactly when. John was nominated to be pope by the ruler of Rome at the time, John Crescentius, and took office in 1003, soon after Sylvester II’s death. John opted to keep his own name as pope, but it was pretty much the only choice he got to make. Between Crescentius ruling with an iron fist and John’s quick death barely six months into his pontificate, he had neither the time nor the capacity to accomplish much of anything. Dying on November 6 of the same year, John XVII was buried in the Lateran Basilica.
What was he known for?
Prior to being pope, John was married and had three sons, all of whom joined the service of the Church. One was a bishop, another a deacon, and the third a
-- basically the assistant of church notaries.
Some who remember Tuesday’s pope, John XV, might be wondering why we seem to have skipped a number. The reason John XVII bears a “17” and not a “16” behind his name is due to some confusion over an antipope who usurped the throne during the time of Pope Gregory V. Since this man, known as John XVI, had been active so recently, John XVII presumably thought it best to keep counting up instead of risking the inevitable confusion from having two John XVIs.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
Leif Erikson - yes, THE Leif Erikson - is said to have landed at L’Anse aux Meadows, Canada on October 9, 1003, the month prior to John XVII’s death. Erikson, an Icelandic explorer, was thought to be the first European (that we know of) to discover North America before Christopher Columbus.
Coming Tomorrow...Pope John XVIII
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope John XVII -
Pope John XVII -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 2:00AM