Pope Saint John I
Little is known of Pope Saint John I's life before he took office as pope, except that he was born in Tuscany. After a journey to Constantinople concerning Ariansism, he was arrested by Theordric, Arian king of the Ostrogoths. Worn out by his journey and probably starved, John died in prison soon after. Pope St. John I is honored as a martyr.
Pope Saint John XXIII
Although few people had as great an impact on the 20th century as Pope John XXIII, he avoided the limelight as much as possible. Indeed, one writer has noted that his “ordinariness” seems one of his most remarkable qualities. The date assigned for the liturgical celebration (where authorized) of Blessed John XXIII is not June 3, the anniversary of his death, as would be usual, but October 11, the anniversary of his opening of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Saint Caius
We have little definite information about Pope Saint Caius. Iit was said that he was a relative of the Emperor Diocletian and was also an uncle of an unidentified holy Susanna. He also made up the final structure of the lower orders.
Pope Saint Simplicius
Pope Saint Simplicius reigned when the last of the western Roman Emperors fell in 476 a.d.. He defended the action of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy, labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders. He worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West.
Pope Saint Leo IX
Pope Saint Leo IX (1049-1054) worked for reform in the Church chiefly against simony, concubinage, and lay investiture. Upon his election to the Papacy he entered Rome as a simple traveler, and became known as the Pilgrim Pope.
Pope Saint Gregory III
He was just standing there, not doing anything special. As a Syrian priest he must have felt a little out of place among the Roman people mourning that day for the dead Pope. As a good preacher, he must have wanted to speak to the funeral procession about Christ's promise of resurrection. As a learned man, he must have wondered who would follow the holy Saint Gregory II as Pope and where he would take the Church. As a holy man, he must have been praying for Gregory II and for all the people around him to find their place after death in God's arms. But he was just one of the crowd.
Pope Saint Zephyrinus
The pontificate of this first third-century pope was to see a storm of heresy rage around the pontiff, who had to keep a firm hand on the tiller of Peter's barque. According to the "Liber Pontificalis," Zephyrinus was a Roman, the son of Habundius. He ordered that all ordinations, whether of priests, deacons, or simple clerics, should take place before the assembled clergy and laity.
Pope Saint Pontian
Pope Saint Pontian who reigned from 230-235 holds the distinction of being the first pontiff to abdicate. Perhaps a Roman by birth, he was elected to succeed St. Urban I and devoted much of his reign to upholding the condemnation of the heretical aspects of Origenism and struggled against the schismatic movement which supported the antipope St. Hippolytus.
Pope Saint Benedict XI
The papacy of Pope Saint Benedict XI began in 1303 and ended one year later in 1304. He was the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on a part of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Apocalypse.
Pope Saint Leo the Great
Pope Saint Leo I is one of the only two Popes in two thousand years to be called "the Great." He is perhaps most famous for persuading Attila the Hun to abandon his plans to sack the city of Rome and to withdraw his forces beyond the Danube river (452)