The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
John VII (705-707)
Before 707 (I)


(1) 1. SISINNIUS (?-708)

Birth. (No date found), Syria. Son of Iohanne.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church before 707 (1). He was elected pope probably in October 707. His election was not confirmed by the Byzantine exarch of Ravenna for three months. That confirmation was necessary before the pope's consecration, which canonically marked his elevation to the pontificate, could take place.

Papacy. Consecrated pope on January 15, 708. Kept his baptismal name as pope. He was of an advanced age and strong character. He was so acutely afflicted with gout that he was not even able to feed himself. He consecrated a bishop for the only diocese that existed in the island of Corsica. He ordered the walls of Rome reinforced with lime because of the threat from the exarch of Ravenna, the Lombards and the Saracens. The work was carried out by his successor. He was very concerned with the well being of the citizens of Rome (2).

Death. February 4, 708, suddenly, from gout, in Rome. Buried in the left nave of St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican. 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. 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. 407-408; and ; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XXXVIII; Del Re, Niccolò. "Sisinnio, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 989-990; "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; Falkenhausen, Vera von. "Sisinnio". Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 640-641; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 85; 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, 388; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 129, no. 87; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 58 ; 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, 247; Sacrorum conciliorum nova, et amplissima collectio : in qua praeter ea quae Phil. Labbeus, et Gabr. Cossartius S.J. et novissime Nicolaus Coleti in lucem edidere ea omnia insuper suis in locis optime disposita exhibentur, quae Joannes Dominicus Mansi lucensis, congregationis matris dei evulgavit. Editio novissima ab eodem Patre Mansi .... Paris : H. Welter, 1901-1927. 54 v. in 57, XI, 179.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; biography, in English, Popes through the ages by Joseph Brusher S.J.; biography, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon; his engraving, Fondaziones Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Fondaziones Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Fondaziones Marco Besso, Rome; engravings, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving, iStockphoto; 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 sa source; and his effigy on a medal.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 146, no. 1. Falkenhausen, "Sisinnio", Enciclopedia dei papi, p. 640, says that he was probably one of the five presbyters of the Roman Church present at the Roman Synod of October 679, convoked by Pope Agatho to discuss the problems of the church in England.
(2) According to his brief biography in Duchesne, Le Liber pontificalis, I, 388: Erat tamen constans animo et curam agens pro habitatoribus huius civitatis.

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