Pope Leo VI

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Pope

Leo VI
Pope Leo VI Illustration.jpg
Papacy beganJune 928
Papacy endedFebruary 929
Predecessor John X
Successor Stephen VII
Created cardinalby John X
Personal details
Born Rome, Papal States
DiedFebruary 929
Rome, Papal States
Previous post Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna (916-928)
Other popes named Leo

Pope Leo VI (880 – 12 February 929) was Pope for just over seven months, from June 928 to his death in February 929. His pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Saeculum obscurum is a name given to a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.

Contents

Biography

Leo VI was born into a Roman family, [1] and his father was Christophorus, who had been Primicerius under Pope John VIII around the year 876. Tradition has it that he was a member of the Sanguini family. [2] Just immediately prior to his election as pope, Leo had been serving as the Cardinal-Priest of the church of Santa Susanna. [3]

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

The Latin term primicerius, hellenized as primikērios, was a title applied in the later Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire to the heads of administrative departments, and also used by the Church to denote the heads of various colleges.

Pope John VIII pope of catholic church from 872 until 882

Pope John VIII was Pope from 14 December 872 to his death in 882. He is often considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the 9th century.

Leo was elected pope around June 928, during a period of anarchy. [3] He was chosen by the senatrix Marozia, who had gained control of Rome via the domination of her husband Guy, Margrave of Tuscany, and who had ordered the imprisonment and death of Leo’s predecessor, Pope John X. [4]

Marozia Italian queen

Marozia, born Maria and also known as Mariuccia or Mariozza, was a Roman noblewoman who was the alleged mistress of Pope Sergius III and was given the unprecedented titles senatrix ("senatoress") and patricia of Rome by Pope John X.

Guy was the son of Adalbert II of Tuscany with Bertha, daughter of Lothair II of Lotharingia.

Pope John X pope

Pope John X was Pope from March 914 to his death in 928. A candidate of the Counts of Tusculum, he attempted to unify Italy under the leadership of Berengar of Friuli, and was instrumental in the defeat of the Saracens at the Battle of Garigliano. He eventually fell out with Marozia, who had him deposed, imprisoned, and finally murdered. John’s pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.

During his brief pontificate, Leo confirmed the decisions of the Synod of Split. [3] He completed his predecessor’s investigations into the ecclesiastical situation in Dalmatia, and proceeded to give the pallium to John, Archbishop of Salona, and ordered all the bishops of Dalmatia to obey him. He also ordered the Bishop of Nona and others to limit themselves to the extent of their dioceses. [5] Leo then issued a ban on castrati entering into a union of marriage. [6] He also issued an appeal for help against the Arab raiders who were threatening Rome, stating that:

Dalmatia Historical region of Croatia

Dalmatia is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria.

Pallium an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church: a narrow band, seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y and decorated with six black crosses

The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by the Holy See upon metropolitans and primates as a symbol of their conferred jurisdictional authorities, and still remains papal emblems. Schoenig, Steven A., SJ. Bonds of Wool: The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8132-2922-5. In its present form, the pallium is a long and "three fingers broad" white band adornment, woven from the wool of lambs raised by Trappist monks. It is donned by looping its middle around one's neck, resting upon the chasuble and two dependent lappets over one's shoulders with tail-ends on the left with the front end crossing over the rear. When observed from the front or rear the pallium sports a stylistic letter 'y'. It is decorated with six black crosses, one near each end and four spaced out around the neck loop. At times the pallium is embellished fore and aft with three gold gem-headed stickpins. The doubling and pinning on the left shoulder likely survive from the Roman pallium. The pallium and the omophor originate from the same vestment, the latter a much larger and wider version worn by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic bishops of the Byzantine Rite. A theory relates origination to the paradigm of the Good Shepherd shouldering a lamb, a common early Christian art image — but this may be an explanation a posteriori, however the ritual preparation of the pallium and its subsequent bestowal upon a pope at coronation suggests the shepherd symbolism. The lambs whose fleeces are destined for pallia are solemnly presented at altar by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes and ultimately the Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere weave their wool into pallia.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Split-Makarska archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Split-Makarska is a Metropolitan archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in Croatia and Montenegro. The diocese was established in the 3rd century AD and was made an archdiocese and metropolitan see in the 10th century. The modern diocese was erected in 1828, when the historical archdiocese of Salona was combined with the Diocese of Makarska. It was elevated as an archdiocese and metropolitan see in 1969, restoring the earlier status of the archdiocese of Split, as it is also known. The diocese was also known as Spalato-Macarsca.

”Whoever died faithful in this struggle will not see himself refused entry into the heavenly kingdom.” [7]

The French chronicler Flodoard said of him:

”Through the virtue of Peter, Leo the sixth was taken and received, he was preserved for seven months and five days, and like his predecessors, he joined the company of the prophets.” [3]

Leo died in February 929, and was succeeded by Pope Stephen VII. He was buried at St. Peter’s Basilica. [3]

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References

  1. Platina, Bartolomeo (1479), The Lives of the Popes From The Time Of Our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII, I, London: Griffith Farran & Co., p. 247, retrieved 2013-04-25
  2. Georgina Masson, The Companion Guide to Rome (1980), page 177
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Mann, page 188
  4. Mann, pgs. 163-164
  5. Mann, page 168
  6. Medical problems of performing artists, Volume 13 (1998), page 151
  7. Pierre Riché, The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe (1993), page 311
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John X
Pope
928–929
Succeeded by
Stephen VII