The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Leo III (795-816)
797 (II)


(2) 1. GIOVANNI (?-814/826)

Birth. (No date or place found). He is also listed as Joannes II.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Bishop cardinalis of Porto in 797(1). Consecrated (no information found). Legate before King Louis le Débonnaire of France. Librarian and chancellor of the Holy Roman Church. He accompanied Pope Leo III until the pontiff had to escape from Rome and seek refuge with Charlemagne in France.

Death. Between 814 and 826, (no place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 42-43; 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. 578; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 9; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 150, no. 2; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. VIII.

(1) The diocese of Porto dates back to the third century. Its episcopal series begins after 314. The diocese of Silva Candida or Santa Rufina was united to Porto in 1119. This is its first known cardinal bishop. Cristofori, Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa, p. 9; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 150, no. 2; and Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae, p. VIII, indicate that he was bishop of Porto. Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, I, pt. 1, 42-43; and Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium, I, col. 578, say that he was bishop of Silva Candida. "Essai" adds that Chacón confuses him with another Giovanni, who was bishop of Silva Candida from 823 to 826. Cardella also confuses him with Bishop Giovanni of Silva Candida, indicating that he was legate of Pope Paschal I to justify the pontiff against the false accusations raised against him.

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(3) 2. GREGORIO, O.S.B.Fossano (?-844)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Of aristocratic family. Son of Giovanni.

Education. Entered the Order of St. Benedict (Benedictines) at the monastery of Fossano.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Marco in 797.

Papacy. Elected pope unanimously in September 827. Took the name Gregory IV. His consecration took place on March 29, 828 (?) after an envoy of Emperor Louis I the Pious had reviewed the election, according to the Constitutio Romana of 824. In the early years of his pontificate, King Lothair held in check the administration of the Papal States; however, because of the internal discord in the empire and the problems of keeping the power between the sons of Emperor Louis I the Pious, preoccupations with Rome passed to a second level. The Ordinatio imperii of 817 (1) was questioned when Emperor Louis I the Pious married his second wife, Judith of Bavaria, and had another son, Charles (who would be called the Bald), for whom the empress obviously worried about finding a kingdom. In the Diet of Worms of 829, a personal decree established as inheritance of Prince Charles, who was just six years old, a duchy which included the Swabia, Rhaetia, Alsace and part of Burgundy. Evidently the older children were surprised by such an edict. After the conclusion of the diet, Lothair was sent to Italy and deprived as co-regent of the empire. Eventually, the older children rose against their father. Between 830 and 833, there were a series of clashes that led eventually to war between the sons and the old emperor. In Easter 833, King Lothair asked the mediation of Pope Gregory IV, in his capacity as guarantor of the Ordinatio, considering it his duty to act as arbitrator between the father and his children. In April 833, the pope sent a delegation over the Alps; and then he personally went to France; the pope's willingness to accept Lothair's request gave the impression that he was biased in favor of Lothair. The pope's intervention quickly passed from a political matter to a theological dispute, about the power of the pope to intervene in the matter. The Frankish bishops, who supported the emperor and justified the change of the Ordinatio, challenged the pope for having intervened in a matter that was not within his competence, saying the pope was supposed to behave as a subject and not as a judge. Men of the pope's trust like Agobard of Lyon, Wala of Corbie and Pascasio Radbertus, promoters of maintaining the kingdom of Italy, defended the rights of the pope and it was they who advised Gregory to write a letter to the Frankish bishops in a firm and authoritative tone. In his response to the bishops, Pope Gregory IV emphasized that he spoke on his own initiative, not as a supporter of Lothair but as a peace broker, referring to his ecclesiastical ministry, of which he extolled the special mission and the high dignity according to the spirit of Pope Gelasius. The struggle became an open war, which reached its climax with the battle of Colmar, in Alsace, on June 24, 833. Emperor Louis I the Pious ended isolated from the ranks of his army and had to surrender to discretion of his sons. He was imprisoned by Lothair in the monastery of Saint-Médard, Soissons; his wife, Empress Judith, in a monastery in Tortona; and his youngest son, Charles, at the monastery of Prúm. The pope, saddened that his work and good faith had been abused, returned to Rome. After dividing the empire, the three brothers were again at odds. Feeling pity of his father, Louis the German, who had been excommunicated in Compiègne by a council of bishops loyal to Lothair, managed to rescue the emperor and restore him to the imperial throne on March 1, 834. At this point Pope Gregory IV acted again as a man of the Church and denounced the conduct of Lothair, urging him to have mercy on his father, as his brother Louis had done, making him note that the excommunication had no effect by the manner in which it had been issued, and it was just to be applied in relation to the confrontation against the father. Lothair replied that he did interest himself in things concerning the imperial administration; treated the pope with contempt; and in order to take revenge at the expense of church property, permitted looting and killing in the lands of the Papal States. After the death of Emperor Louis I the Pious in 840, open war broke out between the brothers; the pope did not know what to do and waited for the definitive resolution that occurred in August 843 with the Treaty of Verdun. Charlemagne's empire fell apart, splitting in practice into various ethnic groups; Germany, Italy and France began to have their national identity. To Lothair, as emperor, was assigned all the Italian kingdom, which included the city of Rome, and he appointed his son, as King Ludovico II. The conditions in the Papal States were unsafe and unprotected; the Saracens were pressing from the south, where they had conquered Sicily; Pope Gregory IV feared that they would assault from the sea, so he fortified the city of Ostia. The pope in practice built a new city built on the basis of the old, surrounding it with solid walls with battlements and war machines and called it Gregoriopolis, but then the old name prevailed. Pope Gregory IV also rebuilt the Aqua Traiana, namely the aqueduct Sabatino,which had already been restored by Pope Adrian I, but had fallen into ruins. The pope also rebuilt several villages in Campagna, which had been destroyed during the riots occurring during the pontificate of Pope Leo III; at this time, Galeria Portuense and the agricultural colony known as "The Dragon", near Ostia, a beautiful mansion adorned with porticos, which can be considered the first papal villa in Rome, acquired great importance. Finally, the pope refurbished the church of S. Mark, of which he had been a cardinal priest; notable in the restoration were the mosaics of the tribune, with the figure of the pope between Christ and the saints. Pope Gregory IV also instituted the feast of All Saints to be celebrated throughout the West on November 1. In the last years of his pontificate, he established the archbishopric of Hamburg, giving the pallium to Archbishop Ausgario, whom he later appointed papal legate in Sweden, Denmark and the Slavs. He created four cardinals in four promotions.

Death. January 25, 844, Rome. Buried in the Vatican basilica. His tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries. His epitaph has been lost.

Bibliography. Beck, Henry G. J. "Gregory IV, Pope." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America. 19 vols. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1967-1996, 6, 771; Bonaccorsi, Ilaria. "Gregorio IV." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 715-719; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 49-50; 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. 597-604; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 114; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 149, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 102-103; 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, II, LXVI, LXXV, 73-85; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 137, no. 102; Petruzzi, Catarina. "Gregorio IV, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 569-570; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 62; 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, 323-327.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; biography, in English; biography by Ilaria Bonaccorsi, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; images and biography, in Italian; biography, in German; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, iStockphoto; his engraving, in color; his coin, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; 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; , Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; and another engraving from the same source.

(1) The Ordinatio imperii associated the eldest son, Lothair, in the government of the empire and entrusted to him the administration of Italy; to the two younger sons, Pipino and Louis, were entrusted Aquitaine and Germany respectively.

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