72. Pope John IV 640-642

John IV

Pope John IV was a native of Dalmatia(Croatia)and was the Archdeacon of Rome when he was elected to the Papacy. He had a fairly drama-free two year run as Pope. He wrote many letters back and forth to England and Ireland trying to get them on the same page as to when Easter is officially celebrated. He also sent large sums of money back to Dalmatia to buy the freedom of Christians enslaved by pagans in the area. He also officially declared monothelitism a heresy. This was the belief that Jesus had two natures but only a divine will and it was the current fad belief of Constantinople. John IV not only declared it a heresy but tried to also apologize for Pope Honorius’ failure to declare it a heresy when he was the reigning Pontiff. It’s a light week for Popes so the one interesting thing from his Papacy was that his homeland of Dalmatia is where the Dalmatian dog originated. The first descriptions of the dog come from paintings from Croatia from the 1600s. These dogs apparently have a problem with their hearing and are prone to kidney stones and learning about these dogs from Wikipedia has officially derailed me from my topic…..

43. Pope St. Celestine I 422-432

Celestine

Celestine came to Rome from Milan where he had worked under the legendary Priest St. Ambrose. He worked his way up through the ranks of the clergy and was elected to the Papacy unopposed,as he was very popular in the Church. Pope Celestine was committed to Church harmony and unification and was merciless in bringing heretics and their leaders under control,but perhaps he is most famous for a missionary he sent out to spread the word of the Lord. The Pope wanted to bring the Irish race into the Church and sent a priest named Palladius to minister there,but the fierce pagan tribes scared him back to Rome. Celestine then turned to a British priest that knew the island well,having been been imprisoned there when he was younger. Celestine promoted the man to Bishop,changed his name to Patricius and charged him with converting Ireland,and boy did he ever. He converted the Hell out of it. Pun intended. Yes,Patricius is Latin for Patrick! That overachiever was Saint Patrick! So the next time someone throws up green beer on you or a creep pinches you for not wearing green on St Paddy’s day,you can thank Pope Celestine for setting those emerald wheels in motion.