#151 - Pope Damasus II
Pope from July 17, 1048 - August 9, 1048
Died: August 9, 1048
Birth name: Poppo
Give me the scoop on Damasus II.
Born in Bavaria with the name “Poppo,” Pope Damasus II was the odds-on pick by Emperor Henry III to succeed the repulsive Benedict IX, after he vacated the Chair of Peter once and for all. Serving as bishop of Blixen before his election, Damasus was Henry’s choice after the latter overruled his advisers, who thought Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, would be a more suitable pick. Turns out Henry preferred German popes, opting for Damasus to become the second German in a row and third pope ever of German birth, despite Damasus’ reluctance to accept the job. Soon after his consecration on July 17, 1048, Damasus fell victim to malaria while escaping the summer heat in Palestrina. He died less than a month into office, on August 9.
What was he known for?
Not much. Not much at all. Since Damasus II’s pontificate was so short, he hardly had time to accomplish anything, especially in the thick of summer. He’s only known for being Lucky Number Seven on the list of shortest papacies, having been in office just 24 calendar days.
Pope Damasus II was the last pope to choose that particular name, and bookends one of the largest gaps between popes of the same name in papal history. Pope St. Damasus I, the 36th successor of St. Peter, reigned clear back in the mid-4th Century, from 366-384. In fact, it’s thought that Damasus II took the name to honor the original Damasus, who’s credited with being the first to set down the current Canon of Scripture that Catholics use today, as well as being the one who commissioned St. Jerome to translate the Bible into Latin from Greek.
Coming Tomorrow...Pope St. Leo IX (at long last, a saint!)
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 Damasus II -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 2:00AM