The previous Pope,John I,had been arrested and starved to death by the vicious Goth King Theodoric,and there was a two month gap before the clergy elected Pope Felix IV,(or Felix III if you count an Anti-Pope…..which we won’t). I say elected,but actually King Theodoric “encouraged” the clergy to elect Felix,who the King just happened to have liked. Pope Felix always made sure to stay on the good side of the moody Theodoric(and his successor King Athalaric)and he used his favorable position to secure monetary benefits and new properties for Churches. One of these Churches was the Church of Cosmas and Damian,in which Pope Felix commissioned two mosaic portraits of himself to be displayed inside(classy move). These portraits may be the first portraits of a Pope created while that particular Pope was still alive. Felix was also known to have contributed great writings on free will and God’s grace. When he felt his time was nearly up,he tried to appoint his own replacement,which was a major violation of the rules of electing a new Pope,which nearly caused a huge mess in the process. We’ll talk about that when we get to Pope Boniface II next week.