The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope John IX (898-900)
Creation of 898 (I)


(1) 1. STEFANO (?-before 900)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Bishop cardinalis of Ostia in 898 (1). Consecrated (no information found).

Death. Before 900, (no place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 1; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. es cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 155, no. 1; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. IV.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. es cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 155, no. 1, which although it lists him among the cardinals created by Pope Stephen VI (VII) (896-897), says that he was promoted in 898. Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae, IV, says that he was bishop Ortanus an Ostiensis and declares him incertum.

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(2) 2. PIETRO (?-?)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Bishop cardinalis of Albano in 898 (1). Consecrated (no information found).

Death. (No date or place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 40; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. es cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 155, no. 2; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. XXII.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. es cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 155, no. 1, which although it lists him among the cardinals created by Pope Stephen VI (VII) (896-897), says that he was promoted in 898.

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(3) 3. LEONE (?-903)

Birth. (No date found), Priapi, small location in the district of Ardea, in the south of Rome. He was a relative of Cardinal Cristoforo (unknown date between 904 and 911).

Education. He was a monk (1).

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found). He was a parish priest in Priapi, near Ardea. Presbyter forensis (2). He was described as a man of laudabilis viate et sanctitatis (3).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title in 898 (4). He probably was a supporter of Pope Formosus. The circumstances of his election to the papacy are not known. Several sources indicate that probably the Roman nobles and clergy could not agree on a local candidate and decided to elect a foreigner about whose fame as a good and holy person they had heard (5).

Papacy. Elected pope at the end of July or on October 28, 903. Took the name Leo V. A month later, he was imprisoned during a revolt led by Cardinal Cristoforo of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, who took his place as Antipope Christopher. After languishing in prison for several weeks, he was murdered. He did not create any cardinals.

Death. September or November 903, or early 904, strangled, together with Antipope Christopher, on orders of Pope Sergius III (6), Rome. He was buried in the Lateran basilica (7).

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. 689; and ; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XL; Del Re, Niccolò. "Leone V, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 645; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 155, no. 3; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 118-119; 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, LXIX, LXXVI, 234; Longo, Umberto, "Leone V." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 59-60; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 150, no. 119; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 69; 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, 444.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English; biography, in German; biography, in German; biography, in Italian; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, also from Fondazione Marco Besso; his engraving, iStockphoto; his engraving, in color; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, also from Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; another engraving, from the same source; and his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. es cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 155, no. 1. None of the other sources consulted mention him as a monk.
(2) This is how Duchesne, Le Liber pontificalis, II, 234, calls him.
(3) He was recognized as such, a man of "laudable life and holiness", by Auxlius of Naples, a conemporary and defender of Pope Formosus and the validity of that pontiff's ordinations (Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, p. 118).
(4) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. es cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 155, no. 1, which although it lists him among the cardinals created by Pope Stephen VI (VII) (896-897), says that he was promoted in 898.
(5) Concerning his reputation as a holy man, Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, p. 118, narrates that "A legend which first appears in the 11th cent. identifies Leo V with Tutwal (also Tual, Tugdual), patron saint of Tréguier, on the north coast of Brittany. The legend, which seems of French rather than Breton origin, relates that the holy man, who in fact lived in the 6th cent. and rounded a monastery at Tréguier, was visiting Rome in hopes of an audience with the pope, but when he arrived there found the apostolic throne vacant and the clergy and people busy with an election. As the result of a miracle the choice fell on him, and as pope he assumed the name Leo the Breton (Britigena). The story probably developed from a misunderstanding of the title Pabu or Papa which, like other Breton saints, Tutwal bore."
(6) This is according to Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 69. Other sources, like his third biography in English, linked above, say that it is not probable that Pope Sergius III ordered the assassination. His biography in Italian, also linked above, indicates that he was killed on orders of Antipope Christopher.
(7) This is according to the majority of the sources consulted. Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 69, says that according to one version, his body was burned and the ashes thrown into the Tiber river, while the solid remains were buried in the Vatican basilica. Reardon adds that, according to another version, he was buried, whole, in the Lateran basilica. Either way, the tomb has been lost and no epitaphy recorded.

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