#141 - Pope John XVIII
Pope from January 1004 - July 1009
Died: July 1009
Birth name: Fasanius
Give me the scoop on John XVIII.
Pope John XVIII, originally named Fasanius, was born in Rapagnano, Italy, a town that sits mid-calf in the boot of Italy. He was elevated to the papacy in January 1004, the hand-picked choice of Rome’s ruler, John Crescentius. Crescentius was a tyrant who loved control, so John’s five-year reign was basically limited to Church administration. Real fun. John resigned the papacy in July 1009 and died in St. Paul’s monastery near Rome soon afterward.
What was he known for?
One of John’s only significant acts as pope was a three-way ecclesiastical boxing match between himself and two French bishops. John XVIII was a fan of the burgeoning monastic reform movement, and as a result was eager to grant renewed privileges to a number of abbeys. Both the Archbishop of Sens and Bishop of Orleans took issue with one of those grants, John’s extension to the Abbey of Fleury, and as a result tried forcing the abbot into burning the papal charters. John XVIII was so incensed by their action (pun totally intended) that he called the emperor, summoned both bishops to Rome, then threatened the pair with church punishments for their entire kingdoms if they didn’t calm the heck down. They listened, and all was well in the land.
Pope John XVIII is one of just 11 popes throughout history who have resigned the Chair of Peter instead of dying in office or being forcibly removed.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
May 1, 1006 marked the date of the brightest supernova ever recorded. It was written about in China, Japan, Europe, and the Middle East, and was apparently bright enough that a person could read clearly in the middle of a night with a dark moon.
Coming tomorrow...Pope Sergius IV
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 XVIII -
Pope John XVIII -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 2:00AM