#166 - Pope Lucius II
Sorry folks! Looks like we scheduled Pope Lucius II for the wrong day by accident. Have a blessed week!
Pope from March 9, 1144 - February 15, 1145
Died: February 15, 1145
Birth name: Gerard Caccianemici
Give me the scoop on Lucius II.
Born Gerard Caccianemici in Bologna, Pope Lucius II was a seasoned churchman by the time he was elected in 1144. He first served as cardinal-priest of the Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, then was papal legate in Germany for Pope Honorius II from 1125-1126. He reprised his role there under Innocent II, and is actually the reason King Lothair III twice made the trip to Italy to protect the pope from Antipope Anacletus II. As pope, Lucius had to deal with his one-time friend, the pesky King Roger of Sicily, after an argument over property deteriorated. They eventually signed a seven-year truce, but only on Roger’s terms. Lucius, like so many popes before him, was a champion of monasteries during his short time in office. He invited 13 monks from the abbey at Cluny to Rome, where he granted them a monastery of their own. He also founded several others throughout Italy and Germany. Lucius reigned just less than a year, dying on February 15, 1145, and was buried in the Lateran Basilica.
What was he known for?
Lucius II is best remembered for facing down what became known as the Commune of Rome, a group bent on restoring the old-school Roman imperial government. The Roman Senate had been trying to remove all temporal power from the pope since Innocent’s papacy, but they gained a crucial foothold after Lucius’ truce with Roger. Led by the brother of Antipope Anacletus II, the Commune openly rebelled against Lucius and drove out the papal prefects, while demanding the pope give up all his duties of governing.
Lucius’ plea for help to Emperor Conrad went unanswered, so he rounded up a small army in January 1145 and marched on the Capitol, muttering (probably) to himself, “A pope’s gotta do what a pope’s gotta do.” Lucius’ army was driven back, during which the he was mortally wounded. He never recovered from his injuries and died just weeks later in the monastery of St. Gregory.
It’s thought that Lucius II took his name to honor St. Lucius I, the 22nd pope, who had reigned nearly 900 years earlier.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
The first Gothic church in history, the
Basilica of St. Denis
near Paris, was consecrated June 11, 1144.
Coming tomorrow...Pope Eugene III
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 Lucius II -
Pope Lucius II -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 7:47PM