62. Pope Benedict I 575-579

Benedict I

Pope Benedict was elected to the Papacy immediately after Pope John III passed away but he couldn’t take the office for nearly a year. Newly elected Popes needed to be approved by the emperor of Constantinople. However,his messengers had trouble getting the emperor’s blessing back to Rome due to the problem of getting around the invading Lombards. The Lombards had taken over much of Italy but they didn’t have the resources to take the Roman defenses so they dug in and began a siege. The attempt to starve the Romans out from their walls was devastating,and the elderly Pope Benedict soon succumbed to illness brought on by the famine that ravaged the city. There would eventually be sixteen Pope Benedicts,but most of these men would actually be named for Saint Benedict of Nursia,(480-543),who founded the Benedictine monastic movement. The first Pope Benedict is mostly lost to history. He is buried in St.Peter’s basilica.


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