The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Felix IV (III) (526-530)
Before 530 (I)


(1) 1. BONIFACIO (?-532)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Of a wealthy family of Germanic origin. Son of Sigibuldo, Sigisbaldo, Sigifulto or Sigibundo. He is also listed as Bonifacio Goto.

Education. Studied in Rome and did all his ecclesiastical career in that city.

Cardinalate. Archdeacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church before 530 (1). Pope Felix IV (III) named him his successor.

Papacy. Consecrated Pope Boniface II on September 22, 530. His brief pontificate of just two years was quite troubled because of the irregularities of his election. This process was strongly contested by some of the Roman electors, who countered Bonifacio's election with that of Dioscoro, presbyter cardinalis. They had more votes and Dioscoro was consecrated bishop of Rome in the Lateran basilica. But after twenty two days, on October 14, 530, Dioscorus suddenly died, thus opening the door to the recognition of Boniface as legitimate pope. Soon after his confirmation, the pope forced the Roman clergy who had supported Antipope Disocorus to sign a document in which they admitted having disobeyed the decree of Pope Felix IV (III) and promised never to do such a thing again. At the same time, a judgment of condemnation was issued against the antipope. Then Pope Boniface convened a council in St. Peter's basilica and presented to it a decree by which he nominated as his own successor the Roman deacon cardinalis Vigilio. This he had signed and sworn to by all the priests in the Roman community. At this point there was presumably a reaction by the Senate and the court at Ravenna, because a short time later there was a second council, at which the Senate was also present, during which the actions of Pope Boniface II must have been discussed. It seems that the pope recognized the error of his ways, or at least admitted that he had abused his powers, since in the midst of the assembly he burned his succession decree and thus avoided being judged. Subsequently, the Senate issued a law prohibiting its members from offering or accepting money to achieve the election of one or another candidate to the papacy, and the decree was sent to the entire clergy of Rome for its information. This showed that common simony existed in certain circurnstances, and it sounded like an invitation from the laity to the clergy to avoid behavior unworthy of an ecclesiastic. Pope Agapetus I had the document brought out of the papal archives and solemnly burned in St Peter's in 535. The officials of the papal chancery, nevertheless , saw to it that the name of Dioscorus did not appear in the official lists of popes. During his pontificate, he had to address the Illyrian issue to protect the interests of the Church of Rome, always threatened by the invasion of Constantinople. The pope confirmed the decisions of the Council of Orange (529) against Semipelagianism, which was the heretical belief in the power of man's innate will to seek God. He did much charity to the poor and needy, thus gaining the sympathy and devotion of the humblest people. During his pontificate, he did not celebrate any ordinations.

Death. October 17, 532, Rome. Buried in porticu pontificum of St. Peter's basilica, Rome (2). His tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Bibliography. Bertolini, Paolo. "Bonifacio II." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 492-495; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 6; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 357-360; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XXXVI and 66; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 140-141, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 57; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, I, 281-284; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 107-108, no. 55; Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. ; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 43-44; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 111-112.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, Britannica; his image and brief biographical entry, in English, Wikipedia; biography by Joseph Brusher, S.J, in English, Popes through the Ages; biography by Paolo Bertolini, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; brief biographical entry, in Italian, Dizionario biografico degli italiani, Treccani; his image and biography, in Italian; biography, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikons; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, iStockphoto; engravings, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, from the same source; another engraving, also from the same source; and his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) This is according to all the sources consulted except Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa, p. 66; and "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 140-141, no. 1, which say that he was presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Cecilia. Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, I, pt. 1, 6, says that he was one of the cardinals alive during the pontificate of Pope Symmachus.
(2) Only a small fragment of his epitaph exists in the Vatican grotto but the entire text was recorded. This is the text taken from Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 107-108, no. 55:

SEDIS APOSTOLICAE PRIMAEVIS MILES AB ANNIS
POST ETIAM TOTO PRAESVL IN ORBE SACER
MEMBRA BEATA SENEX BONIFATIVS HIC SVA CLAVSIT
CERTVS IN ADVENTV GLORIFICANDA DEI
MITIS ADVNAVIT DIVISVM PASTOR OVILE
VEXATOS REFOVENS HOSTE CADENTE GREGES
IRAM SVPPLICIBVS HVMILI DE CORDE REMISIT
DEBELLANS CVNCTOS SIMPLICITATE DOLOS
EGIT NE STERILIS ROMAM CONSVMERET ANNVS
NVNC ORANDO FVGANS NVNC MISERANDO FAMEM
QVIS TE SANCTE PARENS CVIVl CHRISTO NESCIAT ESSE
SPLENDIDA QVEM TECVM VITA FVISSE PROBAT
SED ANN II DIES XXV DEP IN P XVI KAL NOV ITER P C FL LAMPADI
ET ORESTIS VV CC

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(2) 2. DIOSCORUS (?-530)

Birth. (No date found), Egypt. He is also listed as Dioscuros.

Education. He spoke Greek and Latin and was a man of eloquence and possessed great political skills.

Early life. He was a deacon in Alexandria, Egypt. A supporter of the theological doctrine of the two natures of Christ defined by the Council of Chalcedon, he had to flee to Rome to escape persecution by the Monophysites who dominated Egypt. He quickly became a leading figure in the Church of Rome. During the pontificate of Pope Symmachus, whom he supported against the Laurentian schism, he was papal legate to Ravenna before Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great of Italy, convincing him to recognize him as the legitimate pontiff. He was also a close collaborator of Pope Hormsidas. He was an important member of the legation that went to Constantinople in 519 to negotiate the settlement of the Acacian schism. As he was very familiar with Greek and the Eastern world, he was able to argue convincingly before Patriarch Johannes II of Constantinople and his clergy for the soundness of Rome's anathema on Patriarch Acacius during the decisive meeting in the imperial palace on March 27, 519. Pope Hormisdas appreciated him so much that he tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Emperor Justin I Deacon Dioscorus bishop of Alexandria. During the time he was in Constantinople, he led the campaign against the Scythian monks who were calling for the acceptance of the Theopaschite formula ('One of the Trinity suffered in the flesh') and was able to show that it was susceptible to misuse.by the Monophysites.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title before 530. At the death of Pope Felix IV (III), his influence and prestige made him the favorite candidate of the pro-Eastern party. On the day of that pope's death, September 22, 530, a small group of priests, who had decided to respect his last wishes, hastened to elect as pope the one who had been chosen, the Roman archdeacon cardinalis Boniface, and consecrated him pope in the Lateran basilica. At the same time, in the Julian basilica, sixty priests (of sixty seven) and lay persons consecrated the Greek, Dioscuros. The two groups were in opposition, the first belonging to the Gothic party and the other to the Byzantine one. The Roman Church was thus again in the midst of battles and disputes which, fortunately, lasted for only twenty-two days.

Papacy. Elected Antipope Dioscorus by the Roman clergy and people after the death of Pope Felix IV (III), who had named Boniface as his successor. On 14 October, Dioscorus passed away and the schism came to an end with the Byzantine party rendering an act of obedience to Boniface. Once Pope Boniface had been recognized as the legitimate pope, even by the priests who had supported Dioscorus, he quickly forced them to sign a document in which they admitted having disobeyed the decree of Felix IV and promised never to do such a thing again. At the same time, a judgment of condemnation was issued against Dioscorus. Then Boniface convened a council in St. Peter's basilica and presented to it a decree by which he nominated as his own successor the Roman deacon Vigilius. This he had signed and sworn to by all the priests in the Roman community.

Death. October 14, 530, suddenly of unknown causes, in Rome. Buried at an unknown place.

Bibliography. Braga, Garbrielle. "Dioscoro, antipapa." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 495-499; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 360; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XXXVI; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 141, no. 4; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 56-57; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, I, 281-283; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. ; Petruzzi, Caterina. "Disocoro, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 448-449; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 43; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 112.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, Britannica; biography by Gabriella Braga, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; brief biographical entry, in Italian, Sizionario biografico degli italiani, Treccani; biography, in Italian; brief biographcal entry, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikons.

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(3) 3. VIGILIO (before 500-555)

Birth. Before 500, Rome. Of a distinguished family. Son of Consul Giovanni. He had a brother, Reparato, who was a senator. Possibly uncle of Deacon cardinalis Rustico (553).

Education. He was educated in Rome and entered the service of the Church.

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church before 530. In 531, Pope Boniface II 531 designated him as his successor but because of the strong opposition of the clergy, the pope had abandon the matter. He was then sent as apocrisiarius to Constantinople.At the court of Emperor Justinian, he gained powerful allies, headed by Empress Theodora and the wife of General Belisarius, Antonina. They were very close to the heresy of Eutychius and desirous to have the doctrine of the Council of Chalcedon annulled. Deacon Vigilio let them believe that, if he were to be elected to the papacy, he would support some of their wishes and, because of his ambition and avarice, he apparently gave them at one point precise assurances that he would do that. When Pope Agapetus I died in Constantinople on April 22, 536, Empress Theodora made a secret compact with Deacon Vigilio assuring him that she would secure the papacy for him if he would disavow the council of Chalcedon. She also gave him enormous gifts. The empress also wanted to have reinstate Patriarch Anthimus, whom Pope Agapetus I had had deposed as a monophysite. When Deacon Vigilio arrived in Rome he found the new Pope Silverius already installed. Byzantine General arrived in Rome, and probably under the order of Empress Theodora, imposed Deacon Vigilio as pope as replacement of Pope Silverius, who was accused of high treason.

Papacy. Consecrated Pope Viglius on March 29, 537 (1). The consecration was accepted by the Senate and the terrorized clergy of Rome. But Pope Vigilius had to wait to be recognized as legitimate by the entire clergy for the death of Pope Silverius which probably occurred on November 11 of that same year, exhausted by the sufferings and humiliations he had undergone. It is hard to avoid thinking that his death was hastened while in the custody of two agents of Pope Vigilius on the island of Palmaria, and, according to the Liber pontificalis, it was on the latter's orders that Pope Silverius was starved to death. The name of the assassin, Eugenio, and he was a hired killer of Antonina, General Belisarius wife. Pope Vigilius can be accused of complicity in murder and he became pope through simony and assassination. During the first years of his pontificate, Pope Vigilius appeared to repent and tried to break with those who had helped him to reach the pontificate. But Empress Theodora felt that she had been betrayed and she would take her revenge at the first opportunity. In 543 when her husband the emperor, whether urged by her or not, issued an edict which condemned the Three Chapters, the name given to writings of Theodorus of Mopsuesta and Theodoretus of Cirus as well as a letter from Ibas of Edessa. In effect, it was an edict abrogating dispositions of the Council of Chalcedon, which had recognized both Theodoretus and Ibas as Orthodox. The bishops of the Eastern Church obeyed the edict and Patriarch Means of Constantinople reserved approval on the part of Rome while the Apocrisiarius Stefano condemned his action. Emperor Justinian saw that everything depended on Pope Vigilius but he was determined to resolve the issue since his authority as ecclesiastical lawmaker was at stake. Emperor Justinian to submit the pope to his will ordered the pope to be brought to Constantinople to formally approve his edict. ordered the pope to be brought to Constantinople to formally approve his edict. On November 23, 545, Pope Vigilius was forced to leave his see when the imperial troops, headed by Antimus, seized the Roman quarter of Trastevere and surrounded the church of S. Cecilia where the pope was celebrating mass. Antimus strode through the crowd, arrived at the altar, and ordered the pope to follow him to a ship anchored in the Tiber river since the emperor demanded his presence in Constantinople. There was no resistance on the part of the Romans for the sudden departure of the pope because most of them were ignorant of the facts which brought it about. Some asked for a blessing while the majority insulted him and threw stones at him seeing his departure as an escape from the danger in which Rome was because of a possible second siege by the new Gothic King Totila, since General Belisarius was in Ravenna. The Romans thought that Pope Vigilius was abandoning them and was going to live quietly in Constantinople. Starving and mindful of his defenselessness, the citizenry cursed the pope with all their hatred. In reality, the pope was held in Constantinople virtually hostage until the last days of his life. During his long stay in Constantinople, his character weak, uncertain, unsteady, vacillating -ready now to yield to pressure from the emperor and sometimes anxious to preserve his authority in the Church of the West- led him to take contradictory decisions. Pope Vigilius answered those curses with a charitable deed. During the voyage, he stopped off in Sicily and arranged to ship to Rome huge quantities of grain obtained from the rich landowners of the island. Unfortunately, that message, which would certainly have redeemed him in the eyes of the Romans, never reached its destination because the Goths blocked it at the mouth of the Tiber river and seized it. The pope was not going to have another opportunity to rehabilitate his image as a Roman pontiff.

Pope Vigilius arrived in Constantinople in January of 547. He was greeted with great honors; Emperor Justinian embraced him; there were solemn rituals at St. Sofia and he stayed in Placidia's palace, the official residence of the pontifical envoys. But all was simply an act; as a matter of fact, the pope was under house arrest in Constantinople. Once the pope indicated that he could be held a prisoner but that they would never be able to put the Apostle Peter in jail. This statement indicates the image of a pope, full of dignity, intent on defending the condemnation, as put forward by his envoy, Stefano, against Patriarch Means, while at the same time, refusing to sign the imperial edict. Nevertheless, the isolation in which he lived in Constantinople brought him to his senses. Not knowing exactly what was happening in the Western Church and of the opposition of its bishops to the edict, and surrounded by Eastern bishops headed by Patriarch Means, all of them assiduously giving him devious advice and praising the imperial edict, Pope Vigilius became brainwashed and was incapable of resisting the pressures of the court. In great secrecy, he wrote to Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora and giving in to their insistence, he agreed to the condemnation of the Three Chapters. On April 11, 548, Pope Vigilius sent a letter to Patriarch Means entitled Judicature in which he agreed to the condemnation, even maintaining faith with the authority of Chalcedon, a compromise which satisfied the emperor and empress, who died shortly afterwards. But the Western bishops objected vehemently. Those of Italy, of Dalmatia and of Illyricum rejected the edict and the bishops of Africa even excommunicated the pope. With this maneuver, Pope Vigilius lost all credibility. He thought it was probably more important to satisfy the imperial power rather than the Episcopal one. Then he reconsidered matters. The pope withdrew his Judicatum and proposed to the emperor convening an ecumenical council. But Emperor Justinian had had enough of the pope's vacillations and issued a new edict of condemnation of the Three Chapters, which was accepted by the Eastern bishops. Pope Vigilius had the courage of excommunicating them. The emperor, faced with this sudden attitude of firmness, planned the arrest and deposition of the pope. In August of 551, Vigilius took refuge in the basilica of St. Peter in Ormisda together with his followers, who included Bishop Dacius of Milan. There the imperial guards came upon him while he was celebrating the mass. There was a slight altercate when the faithful surrounded the guards menacingly, defending the pope from this sacrilegious offense. Finally, his safety was guaranteed by a solemn oath and Pope Vigilius and Bishop Dacius were able to return to Placidia's palace, in what was really house arrest. During the night of December 23, 551, the two of them, pope and bishop, made a perilous escape from a window and reached Chalcedon by sea. There, on February 2, 552, the pope issued an encyclical addressed to the Christian world in which he explained the persecutions he had suffered under Emperor Justinian, whom he called the new Diocletian (the Roman emperor who had cruelly persecuted the Christians) and declared his strong adherence to the Orthodox faith. He showed courage, infused in him by Deacon Pelagio who had just returned from Rome where General Narses, who had replaced General Belisarius, had defeated King Totila of the Goths. Emperor Justinian appeared to take a milder attitude, showing humility and sending General Belisarius to the pope as ambassador and peacemaker, promising guarantees.

Pope Vigilius returned to Constantinople and proposed to the emperor the convocation of the council in Italy but Emperor Justinian was adamant that the council be celebrated in Constantinople, whereupon the pope refused to participate in it. Suffering from gallstones, and given the sparse support of the Western bishops, the pope did not want to preside over an assembly controlled by the emperor. Nonetheless, the council met on May 5, 553, under the presidency of the new Patriarch Eutychius, successor of Patriarch Mennas who had died the year before. The condemnation of the Three Chapters was adopted unanimously. On May 12, 553, the pope sent the emperor a Constitutum, compiled in great part by Deacon Pelagio, in which he declared null and void any condemnation of the Three Chapters adopted by the council. The emperor rejected this and ordered the priests in the council to strike the name of Pope Vigilus from the Dyptich (2) of all of the churches in the empire. In the West, recalcitrant Latin bishops were deposed and exiled. The emperor also jailed the pope's deacons, Pelagio and Sarpato, isolating Pope Vigilius definitively, and forcing him once again to surrender. The pope, isolated and ill and his spirit broken, capitulated after six months. On December 8, 553, he wrote to the Patriarch Eutychius, revoking his earlier defense of the Three Chapters and he then agreed that they deserved full condemnation. When this was considered insufficient, he issued on February 23, 554 his second Constitutum completely endorsing the decisions of the Council of Constantinople. The pope was then set free and allowed to return to Rome, where his presence was demanded. Nevertheless, he stayed in Constantinople for a year, and obtained from Emperor Justinian, as a reward for his loyal services, what has been called the Pragmatic Sanction, issued on August 13, 554, intended to establish orderly imperial government in Italy, now free from the Goths, and also assuring the Church of important rights and privileges. In spring of 555, Pope Vigilius left but succumbed to gallstones, from which he had suffered for a long time and died in Sicily.

Death. June 7, 555, of gallstones, Siracusa, Sicily. His body was transferred to Rome and, because of his unpopularity, buried in S. Marcello, in via Salaria, and not in St. Peter's basilica. Later, it was transferred to St. Peter's basilica (3). His tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 14-15; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 377-384; and ; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XXXVI; Del Re, Niccolò. "Vigilio, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 1084-1085; Duchesne, Louis Marie Olivier. "Vigile et Pèlage. Étude sur l'histoire de l'Église Romaine au milieu du Vie siècle", Revue des questions historiques, XXXVI (1884), 371-440; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 141, no. 5; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 60-62; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, I, 296-302; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 111, no. 60; Murphy, Francis X. "Vigilius, papa." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America. 19 vols. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1967-1996, 14, 664-667; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 45; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 117-124; Sotinel, Claire. "Vigilio." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 512-529.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, Britannica; his image and biography, in English, Wikipedia; biography by Joseph Brusher, S.J., in English, Pope through the Ages; biography by G. Krüger, in English, New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. XII, 184-186; biography by John W. Barker, in English, BookRags; The Character of Pope Vigilius by Muriel, CLIO -- Journal of Ancient and Medieval History at Dickson College; The Council of Constantinople, Session II - 553 A.D., in English, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN); Second Council of Constantinople, in English, New World Encyclopedia; biography by Claire Sotinel, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; biography, in Italian, Dizionario biografico degli italiani; his image and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; biography, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikons; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, ebayimg.com; his engraving, iStockphoto; engravings, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; another engraving, from the same source; another engraving, also from the same source; and his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) According to the Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 2010 (Ciitá del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010), p. 10*, note 14, he was imposed by General Belisarius on March 29, 537 and became legitimate pope when Pope Silverius resigned and he was recognized by the Roman clergy, "che sanr cosl i vizi dell'elezione."
(2) A diptych was a sort of notebook, formed by the union of two tablets, placed one upon the other and united by rings or by a hinge. They varied in shape and dimension. These tablets were made of wood, ivory, bone. or metal. The liturgical use of diptychs offers considerable interest. In the early Christian ages it was customary to write on diptychs the names of those, living or dead, who were considered as members of the Church a signal evidence of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Hence the terms "diptychs of the living" and "diptychs of the dead."
(3) This is the text of his epitaph, taken from Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 111, no. 60:

MOENIBVS VNDISONIS BELLORVM INCENDIA CERNENS
PARS EGO TVNC POPVLI TELA PAVENTIS ERAM
PVBLICA LIBERTAS VIGILI SANCTISSIME PAPA
ADVENIS INCLVSO SOLVERE VINCLA GREGI
DE GLADIO RAPIVNTVR OVES PASTORE MINISTRO
INQVE HVMERIS FERIMVR TE REVOCANTE PIIS
CORPOREVM SATIS EST SIC EVASISSE PERICLVM
AT MIHI PLVS ANIMAE NASCITVR INDE SALVS
ECCLESIAM SVBEO DIMISSA NAVFRAGVS AVLA
PERFIDA MVNDANI DESERO VELA FRETI


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