The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Sergius I (687-701)
700 (I)


(1) 1. GIOVANNI (?-705)

Birth. (No date found), Greece.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church in 700.He was elected to the papacy after brief period of a vacant see.

Papacy. Consecrated Pope John VI on October 30, 701. Tiberius Apsimarus had become emperor in 697, having deposed Emperor Leontius, but for unknown reasons he was against Pope John VI. In any case, it was not certainly with good intentions that he sent Exarch Theophilattus to Rome from Sicily. One more time militiamen from different provinces of Italy ran to protect the city and the pope. In fact, the feeling of devoted submission to the emperor by the inhabitants of Rome and of Italy generally had disappeared, replaced by a sort of pseudo-nationalistic sentiment. The troops set up camp outside the wails while, in the city, the people rioted and the pope behaved in the same way as his predecessor Pope Sergius I. He had the gates shut, took the exarch under his personal protection, and then requested the militia to withdraw and thanking them for their attachment to him, reassured them that there was no danger. At the same time, the Lombards were threatening the city of Rome from nearby. They had abandoned Arianism and were now convinced Catholics but they invading Campagna, pillaging and destroying under the leadership of Gisulfo, duke of Benevento. The pope, through diplomacy but mainly by payments of cash, succeeded in getting them to evacuate the occupied territories. So once again, the bishop of Rome had replaced a Byzantine exarch, negotiating peace not as a man of arms or even a political leader but as a person with a certain realism, as Pope Gregory I the Great had demonstrated. Archbishop Wilfrid of York, who had been driven from his see three times, went to Rome in 703 (his third visit) to appeal to the pope. During a synod held in Rome in 704, which lasted four months, the archbishop was finally vindicated. The pope wrote (his only extant letter) to the kings of Northumbria and Mercia directing that Beorhtweald, whom he had confirmed as archbishop of Canterbury, should endeavor to reach a satisfactory settlement of the affair at a synod. If the archbishop failed to do so, both parties should present themselves at Rome to solve the matter in a fuller council. He had a new pulpit built for the basilica of S. Andrea; gave a tablecloth for the altar of S. Marco; and white veils to put between the pillars of the basilica of S. Paolo fuori le mura. During his pontificate, he ordained fifteen bishops for different sees, nine priests and two deacons.

Death. January 11, 705, Rome. Buried in St. Peter's basilica, Rome. 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. Berto, Luis Andrea. "Giovanni VI." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 637-638; 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. 493-494; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XXXVIII; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 146, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 83-84; 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, 383-384; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 128, no. 85; Patruzzi, Caterina. "Giovanni VI, papa."Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 531-532; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 57; 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, 245-246.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, Britannica; his image and biography, in English; biography by Joseph Brusher, S.J., Popes through the Ages; biography, The Lives of the Popes in the Seventh Century, The History and the Lives of the Popes; biography, in English, Greek Popes of the Roman Catholic Church; brief biographical entry, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikons; biography by Luigi Andrea Berto, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; brief biographical entry, in Italian, Dizionario biographico degli italiani, Treccani; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, iStockphoto; his engraving, Il Mercante in Asta; engravings, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; is 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 also from the same source; his effigy on a coin, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

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