Pope John XIX: The Originator of Indulgences

Romanus of Tusculum was the brother of Pope Benedict VIII. While his brother was on the throne of Peter, Romanus, a layman, was both counsel and senator of Rome, wielding much power. When Benedict died in April 1024, Romanus may have paid his way onto the empty...
Pope Benedict VIII: The First Tusculum Pope

Pope Benedict VIII: The First Tusculum Pope

This, in some ways is the story of two families who used to be close, but over the generations, grew to hate each other. You may remember Theophylact, the Roman dictator, who married Theodora, a member of the Crescenti family. Their daughter, Marozia, became a...

Pope Sergius IV: The Last of the Crescenti Popes

Sergius is the pope who made the taking of another name common among popes. He was born Peter, son of Peter the Shoemaker and his spouse Stephanie. Apparently, he was referred to as Peter Pig Snout. Young Peter was born around 970 and grew up in the Pina area of Rome,...

POPE JOHN XVIII: THE SECOND ABDICATION

Giovanni Fasano was born into a priest’s family in Rome in the mid-900s. It was a time of extreme control of the Catholic Church by politicians, especially the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy. John XVII died and Fasano, the pastor of St....

POPE JOHN XVII: THE 140TH POPE

The years 1002 and 1003 were very difficult for the papacy. In the previous year, the Roman nobles, under the leadership of the son of the slain Crescentius II, John Crescentius, had begun a revolt. It was a serious enough threat to the papacy that the young emperor,...