#143 - Pope Benedict VIII
Pope from May 18, 1012 - April 9, 1024
Lived: c. 980 - April 9, 1024
Birth name: Theophylact of Tusculum
Give me the scoop on Benedict VIII.
Pope Benedict VIII was born Theophylact of Tusculum, a member of the powerful Tusculani family that had been somewhat under the radar and growing in power during the reign of John Crescentius. Crescentius had ruled Rome and handpicked the last three popes, but given his near-simultaneous death with Benedict’s predecessor, the Tusculani saw their chance. Benedict VIII was a layman when he was thrust into the Chair of Peter, and despite the rather nepotistic selection turned out to be a solid pope and ruler of the Church. Serving for the better part of 12 years, Benedict crowned a new emperor in Henry II of Germany, defeated the Saracens, and formed an alliance with the Normans. Benedict died April 9, 1024.
What was he known for?
This pope was known best for holding an influential council of bishops at Pavia (Italy) in 1022. The council was called to do a solid for the growing monastic reform movement, originating at the Abbey of Cluny, that had begun to take over the Church by that time. Among the things addressed were rampant simony (selling of church positions or privileges), immorality among the clergy, and the rights of churches to their property.
Pope Benedict VIII’s family tree was flush with popes. For starters, he was brothers with his successor, John XIX, and an uncle to Pope Benedict IX (Pope No. 145, 147 & 150). Benedict VIII’s uncle was the infamous Pope John XII, and he was also related to Benedict VII, John XI, and Sergius III. Including Benedict VIII, that’s seven popes in one family, for those keeping score at home.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 1014, Emperor Henry II asked Pope Benedict VIII to include the Nicene Creed in the Roman liturgy. After he agreed, it marked the first time the Creed had been used in the Mass since it’s creation in the 4th Century.
Coming Monday...Pope John XIX
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Benedict VIII -
Pope Benedict VIII -
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 Friday, July 14, 2017 at 2:00AM