The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Paschal I (817-824)
At an unknown date between 817 and 824 (IV)


(5) 1. SERGIO (785 or 795-847)

Birth. 785 or 795, in the IV regio of Rome, called Galline bianche, near the temple of Peace. Of a noble family, which also gave the Church Popes Stephen IV (V) and Adrian II. Son of Sergio. Orphaned at the age of twelve, he was received by Pope Leo III in the schola cantorum of the Lateran patriarchium.

Education. He was educated in the Lateran patriarchium (1).

Early life. Sergio was promoted to acolyte by the Pope Leo III; and later Pope Stephen IV (V) made him subdeacon.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti (or Sergio Silvestro, located in the regio via Lata, from which came Sergio) at an unknown date between 817 and 824 (2). Pope Paschal I named him priest of the title of Pope Gregory IV made him archpriest of the Holy Roman Church. At the death of Pope Gregory IV, most of the clergy and nobility elected Cardinal Sergio, archpriest of S. Silvestro. Deacon Giovanni opposed the election and with a substantial popular following, he went to the Lateran, took control of the building, and settled on the papal throne. The nobility organized the militia, went to the basilica of S Martino, where Cardinal Sergio had fled and acclaimed him pope; and in procession, he was brought to the Lateran. Antipope Giovanni, abandoned by his supporters, was imprisoned. On that day in late January 844 fell so much snow in Rome that the event was considered a good auspice. Giovanni was sentenced to death, but through the intercession of Pope Sergius, he was instead exiled.

Papacy. Elected pope on January 25, 844. Took the name Sergius II. At the time of his election, he was elderly and suffered from gout. The consecration followed immediately in St. Peter's basilica, without informing the emperor and waiting for his approval; the reasons were the chaotic situation occurred and also the idea that the imperial power was in decline. Emperor Lothair did not accept it willingly, and in the spring of 845, he sent his son Louis, king of Italy, with a retinue of nobles and ecclesiastics, including Drogo, bishop of Metz, the imperial archchaplain. Logically concerned, the pope received the king with full honors by sending, nine miles from the city, the iudices and senior representatives of the clergy, to receive the monarch, but the pope wanted to guard against possible surprise attacks and let it be known to King Louis that it was appropriate to encamp the army outside the walls, probably in the area of Prati Nero. When the pope saw the king arrive at the basilica of St. Peter, he waited on the steps and embraced him, but did not allow him to enter until the king had affirmed that he had come to Rome for the good of the Papal State and the Church, forcing him to a declaration by which King Louis II automatically recognized the sovereignty of the pope over church property, of which the basilica belonged. There was then the solemn entrance to the tune of the hymn Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. In practice, Pope Sergius II was able to get all the respect due to a pope as if he had been endorsed by the empire. Soon, in the conversations between pope and king, it was confirmed that in the future no pope could be consecrated without approval from the empire. Settled the matter, on June 15, 845, the pope anointed Louis and crowned him king of Italy. After the coronation, the king, at the insistence of Bishop Drogo, quickly demanded from the Roman elders an oath of allegiance, but they refused, backed by Pope Sergius II. The pope said that he would allow the Roman patricians to take and oath of allegiance to the emperor, according to the Constitutio Romana of 824, but not to his son, who was only king of Italy. Pope Sergius II sought to soften the relationship with King Louis II by consenting to nominate Bishop Drogo apostolic vicar in Gaul and Germany. The pope did not accept the rehabilitation of Archbishop Ebbo of Reims and Barthélomy of Narbonne, suggested by Bishop Drago; they had been deposed because of their participation in the humiliation of Emperor Louis I the Pious in 835. In the end, the pope showed some political ability in the administration of his power, which was not clear from nepotism in connection to a scandalous sale of bishoprics, proof of shameful simony. In particular, the brother of the pope, Bishop Benedetto of Albano, distinguished himself for the serious abuses carried out in detriment of the faithful of his diocese. The Roman people interpreted as a divine punishment for the shameful practice of simony the damage inflicted by the raid of the Saracens on Rome in August 846. These, in the number of ten thousand, anchored at the mouth of the Tiber a fleet of 75 vessels; the fortifications of Ostia had failed to stop them. On August 25, the Saracens were in Rome; the part of the city on the left bank of the Tiber was protected by the Aurelian Wall and the bulk of the army managed to repel the attack. The hordes of pirates poured then on the right bank of the Tiber and the few Frankish soldiers who resided in the Borgo succumbed; the basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul fuori le Mura were looted. Emperor Lothair and King Louis did not go to the assistance of Rome; help came from Marquis Guido di Spoleto, who, along with the town militia, defeated the Saracens in Civitavecchia and made the return to the sea. But the precious treasures of the two basilicas were in the hands of pirates, and churches in the Roman Campagna had been destroyed. Certainly the imperial prestige had diminished; the sacrosanct protection of St. Peter had been neglected. Emperor Lothair saw that Papal State was slipping from his hands; the emperor organized a collection throughout the kingdom for the restoration of churches damaged and launched a military campaign against the Saracens, who were temporarily removed from southern Italy. Pope Sergius was accused of failing to provide Rome with adequate protection against the Saracen attack, despite advance warning. The extensive building program of Pope Sergius II's pontificate was carried out largely by his brother, Bishop Benedict. The Marcian aqueduct was restored and the Lateran basilica enlarged according to the pope's own design. The fact that the Pope suffered from a crippling gout may have been the reason for his brother's prominence and his own allegedly testy disposition. While trying to mediate in a dispute between Patriarchs Venerio of Grado and Andrea of Aquileia, the pope died suddenly. He created three cardinals in two promotions.

Death. January 27, 847, suddenly, with a broken heart for a city in the grip of famine and poverty. Buried in the Vatican basilica, probably in the altar of Pope Paschal I's chapel of Sts. Sixtus and Fabian. If his tomb was there, it was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries (3).

Bibliography. Ahern, Consuelo Maria. "Sergius II, Pope." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic University of America. 19 vols. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1967-1996, 13, 112; Bonaccorsi, Ilaria. "Sergio II." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 720-723; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 48 and 50-53; 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. 590, and 605-612; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 71; "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. 4; Gregorovius, Ferdinando. Le tombe dei papi.. Roma : Edizioni del Centauro, 1931. Seconda edizione italiana riveduta e ampliata da C. Huelsen, p. 29*, no. 30; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 103-104; 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, 86-105; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 137, no. 103; 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, 327-329.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, (Britannica); biography, in English; his image and biography, in English; biography by Ilaria Bonaccorsi, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papai, Treccani; biography, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italliani, Treccani; biography, in German; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, iStockphoto; his effigy on a medal, 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; another engraving, from the same source; and engraving, also from the same source.

(1) Some sources say that he joined the Canons Regular Lateranense.
(2) This is according to most of the sources consulted. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 150, no. 4, includes him among the cardinals created by Pope Leo III in 797.
(3) This is according to Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 62, which also gives the text of his epitaph:

SERGIVS EN IVNIOR PRAESVL ET PLEBIS AMATOR
HOC TEGITVR TVMVLO QVI BENE PAVIT OVES
SPES PATRIAE MVNDIQVE DECVS MODERATOR OPIMVS
DIVINIS MONITIS NON FVIT ILLE PIGER
ROMANOS PROCERES NON TANTVM FAMINE VERBI
REBVS ET HVMANIS NOCTE DIEQVE FAVENS
VTQVE LEO SANCTVS DAMASVS QVOQVE PAPA BENIGNVS
HIC RITVM TENVIT INSTITVITQVE GREGEM
EGENTVM SEMPER STVDVIT RECREARE CATERVAM
PROQVE POLI VT CAPERET CAELICA REGNA LIBENS
IAM IAM PRO TANTO TVNDAMVS PECTORA PVGNIS
PASTORE AMISSO VIVAT VT AXE POLI
NECTITVR ECCE PIIS FAVIANO ET CORPORE XISTO
PRAESVLIBVS QVORVM SPIRITVS ASTRA MICANT


     The text of the epitaph was preserved by Pietro Mallio, ecclesiastical historian of the 12th century and trasncribed by Giovanni Battista de Rossi, Inscriptiones urbis Romae latinae (7 vols., Berolini, apud G. Reimerum, 1876- ), II, 213 according to Duchesne, Le Liber pontificalis, II, 105, note 39..

Cool Archive

(6) 2. TEODORO (?-?)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Nomenclator of the Holy Roman Church.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title at an unknown date between 817 and 824. Legate of Pope Paschal I before Emperor Louis I the Pious. He presided the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) of July 10, 817, in which the emperor ratified the donations made to the Church by his predecessors. The emperor sent the ratification to the pope through Cardinal Teodoro.

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

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 48; 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. 590; "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. 3.


Top Consistories Catalogs Home

©1998-2014 Salvador Miranda.