#156 - Pope Alexander II
Pope from September 30, 1061 - April 21, 1073
Died: April 21, 1073
Birth name: Anselm da Baggio
Give me the scoop on Alexander II.
Born in Milan as Anselm da Baggio, Pope Alexander II was the first test of Pope Nicholas II’s shiny new papal election rules. Led by St. Peter Damian, Rome’s cardinal-bishops were able to elect Alexander and keep him in office, even in spite of a nasty last-ditch effort by the Roman nobility to install their own man. Once the final resistance was squashed, the Roman aristocracy’s ability to place anyone on the throne of Peter was over forever. Time to party.
Alexander II battled against the youthful Emperor Henry IV on several occasions, once when Henry tried divorcing his wife, and another when he tried placing a rival bishop in the Archdiocese of Milan. On both occasions, the emperor lost. Alexander was pope for over a decade, dying April 21, 1073.
What was he known for?
Pope Alexander II was a veritable simony warrior. He apparently had no patience for men who bought their church positions, because much of his papacy was spent shaking up corrupt bishoprics and churches all over Europe and replacing their leadership with reform-minded clergy. One important effort in particular came in 1066, when William the Conqueror invaded England. With that invasion, Alexander was able to send papal representatives to root out simony among Ye Olde English clergy, who had become dangerously autonomous in their operations.
Pope Alexander II played a key part in creating the Latin Church rule of refraining from saying “Alleluia” during Lent (and Advent as well, in some places).
What else was going on in the world at the time?
volcano, located near Flagstaff, Arizona, is said to have erupted for the first time in either 1064 or 1065.
Coming Tomorrow...Pope St. Gregory VII
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Monday, July 31, 2017 at 2:00AM