|Papacy began||24 April 858|
|Papacy ended||13 November 867|
by Pope Leo IV
Rome, Papal States
|Died||13 November 867|
Rome, Papal States
|Other popes named Nicholas|
Pope Saint Nicholas I
Rome, Papal States
|Died||13 November 867|
Rome, Papal States
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Canonized||8 May 868 by Pope Adrian II|
Pope Saint Nicholas I (Latin : Nicolaus I; c. AD 800 – 13 November 867), also denominated (Pope) Saint Nicholas the Great, was Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church from 24 April 858 to his death on 13 November 867. He is remembered as a consolidator of Papal authority, exerting decisive influence on the historical development of the Papacy and its position among the Christian nations of Western Europe. Nicholas I asserted that the Pope should have suzerain authority over all Christians, even royalty, in matters of faith and morals.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.
Suzerainty is any relationship in which one region or nation controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary nation to have internal autonomy.
He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church, with his feast on 13 November.
He refused to grant an annulment to King Lothair II of Lotharingia from Teutberga so that Lothair could marry his mistress Waldrada. When a council pronounced in favor of annulment, Nicholas I declared the council deposed, its messengers excommunicated, and its decisions invalid. Despite pressure from the Carolingians, who laid siege to Rome, his decision held. During his reign, relations with the Byzantine Empire soured because of his support for Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had been removed from his post in favor of Photius.
Annulment is a legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place. In legal terminology, an annulment makes a void marriage or a voidable marriage null.
Lothair II was the king of Lotharingia from 855 until his death. He was the second son of Emperor Lothair I and Ermengarde of Tours. He was married to Teutberga, daughter of Boso the Elder.
Lotharingia was a medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire and a later duchy of the Ottonian Empire, comprising the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Saarland (Germany), and Lorraine (France). It was named after King Lothair II who received this territory after the kingdom of Middle Francia of his father Lothair I was divided among his sons in 855.
Born to a distinguished family in Rome, son of the Defensor Theodore, Nicholas received excellent education. Distinguished for his piety, benevolence, competence, knowledge, and eloquence, he entered the service of the Church at an early age. Pope Sergius II (844–847) made him a subdeacon and Pope Leo IV (847–855) a deacon. After the death of Pope Benedict III on 7 April 858, Holy Roman Emperor Louis II came to Rome to influence the Papal election. On 24 April Nicholas was elected Pope, consecrated, and enthroned in St. Peter's Basilica in the presence of the Emperor.
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.
Pope Sergius II was Pope from January 844 to his death in 847.
Pope Leo IV was pope from 10 April 847 to his death in 855. He is remembered for repairing Roman churches that had been damaged during Arab raids on Rome, and for building the Leonine Wall around Vatican Hill. Pope Leo organized a league of Italian cities who fought the sea Battle of Ostia against the Saracens.
Three days later, Nicholas held a farewell banquet for the Emperor and afterward, accompanied by the Roman nobility, visited him in his camp before the city, on which occasion the Emperor met the Pope and led his horse for some distance.
|Papal styles of|
Pope Nicholas I
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
To a spiritually exhausted and politically uncertain Western Europe beset by Muslim and Norse incursions, Pope Nicholas appeared as a conscientious representative of Roman primacy in the Church. He was filled with a high conception of his mission for the vindication of Christian morality and the defence of God's law.
His co-operation with Emperor Louis II and Byzantine forces temporarily stemmed the Muslim advance in southern Italy.He also strengthened the Ostian fortifications against any future Muslim raids.
Archbishop John of Ravenna oppressed the inhabitants of the papal territory, treated his suffragan bishops with violence, made unjust demands upon them for money, and illegally imprisoned priests. He also forged documents to support his claims against the Roman See and maltreated the papal legates. As the warnings of the pope were without result, and the archbishop ignored a thrice-repeated summons to appear before the papal tribunal, he was excommunicated. Having first visited the Emperor Louis at Pavia, the archbishop repaired with two imperial delegates to Rome, where Nicholas cited him before the Roman synod assembled in the autumn of 860. Upon this John fled from Rome.
Going in person to Ravenna, the pope then investigated and equitably regulated everything. Again appealing to the emperor, the archbishop was recommended by him to submit to the pope, which he did at the Roman Synod of November 861. Later on, however, he entered into a pact with the excommunicated Archbishops of Trier and Cologne, was himself again excommunicated, and once more forced to make his submission to the pope. Another conflict arose between Nicholas and Archbishop Hincmar of Reims: this concerned the prerogatives of the papacy. Bishop Rothad of Soissons had appealed to the pope against the decision of the Synod of Soissons of 861, which had deposed him. Hincmar opposed the appeal to the pope, but eventually had to acknowledge the right of the papacy to take cognizance of important legal causes (causae majores) and pass independent judgment upon them. A further dispute broke out between Hincmar and the pope as to the elevation of the cleric Wulfad to the archiepiscopal See of Bourges, but here again, Hincmar finally submitted to the decrees of the Apostolic See, and the Frankish synods passed corresponding ordinances.
Nicholas showed the same zeal in other efforts to maintain ecclesiastical discipline, especially as to the marriage laws. Ingiltrud, wife of Count Boso, had left her husband for a paramour; Nicholas commanded the bishops in the dominions of Charles the Bald to excommunicate her unless she returned to her husband. As she paid no attention to the summons to appear before the Synod of Milan in 860, she was put under the ban.
The pope was also involved in a desperate struggle with the bishops of Lotharingia over the inviolability of marriage. King Lothair II, not having any children by his lawful wife Teutberga, had abandoned her to marry his mistress Waldrada. At the Synod of Aachen on 28 April 862, the bishops of Lotharingia approved this union, contrary to ecclesiastical law. At the Synod of Metz, June 863, the papal legates, bribed by the king, assented to the Aachen decision, and condemned the absent Teutberga, who took refuge in the court of Lothair's uncle, Charles the Bald, and appealed to the Pope. Upon this the pope brought the matter before his own tribunal. The two archbishops, Günther of Cologne and Thietgaud of Trier, both relatives of Waldrada, had come to Rome as delegates, and were summoned before the Lateran Synod of October 863, when the pope condemned and deposed them as well as John of Ravenna and Hagano of Bergamo. The Emperor Louis II took up the cause of the deposed bishops, while King Lothair advanced upon Rome with an army and laid siege to the city, so that the pope was confined for two days in St. Peter's without food. Yet Nicholas did not waver in his determination; after Engelberga arranged a reconciliation with the pope,the emperor withdrew from Rome and commanded the former Archbishops of Trier and Cologne to return to their homes. Nicholas never ceased his efforts to bring about a reconciliation between Lothair and his lawful wife.
Another matrimonial case in which Nicholas interposed was that of Judith of Flanders, daughter of Charles the Bald, who had married Baldwin I, Count of Flanders, without her father's consent. Frankish bishops had excommunicated Judith, and Hincmar of Reims had taken sides against her, but Nicholas urged leniency in order to protect freedom of marriage.
In the East, Nicholas was seen as trying to extend his papal power beyond what was canonical authority by asserting a "rulership" over the Church instead of the position of "highest honor among equals" accorded to the pope of Rome by the East. He contended that the Patriarch of Constantinople Ignatius was deposed in 858 and Photius raised to the patriarchal see in violation of ecclesiastical law.Nicholas sent two bishops as papal legates to the Council of Constantinople in 861, but they failed to follow papal instructions. In a letter of 8 May 862 addressed to the patriarchs of the East, Nicholas called upon them and all their bishops to refuse recognition to Photius, and at a Roman synod held in April 863, he excommunicated Photius.
According to the Church of Constantinople, Photius was elected lawfully and canonically by the will of the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 858. This decision was affirmed later in 879 in a synod of Greek bishops regarded as ecumenical by some in the Orthodox Church. At this synod, Ignatius’ elevation to the Patriarchate was declared to be uncanonical and Photius was acclaimed as properly elected as the new Patriarch, a decision which ran counter to a previous Council held at Constantinople – regarded as ecumenical by the Catholic Church – in which Photius had been deposed and Ignatius reinstated. The Eastern Church resented Nicholas' pressing of the doctrine of papal primacy. This led to conflict between Constantinople and Rome over doctrinal issues such as the addition of the Filioque clause to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and territorial claims due to the Church of Constantinople's seizure of territory from the Roman Patriarchate in southern Italy, Sicily and Illyricum during the Iconoclast controversy. A synod at Constantinople in 867 excommunicated Nicholas and rejected his claims of primacy, his efforts to convert Bulgaria to the obedience of the Roman Church, and the addition of the Filioque clause in parts of the Latin Church.
For a variety of reasons, Prince Boris I of Bulgaria became interested in converting to Christianity and undertook to do that at the hands of western clergymen to be supplied by King Louis the German of East Francia in 863. Late in the same year, the Byzantine Empire invaded Bulgaria as it suffered famine and natural disasters. Boris was forced to sue for peace. Because the majority of his people were still opposed to Christianity, he was secretly baptized according to the Byzantine rite. The Byzantine Emperor who became his godfather conceded territory in Thrace to him.
Unhappy with Byzantine influence and desiring an autocephalous status which Photius was unwilling to grant, Boris sent an embassy to Nicholas with 106 questions on the teaching and discipline of the Church in August 866. Nicholas answered these inquiries in his "Responsa Nicolai ad consulta Bulgarorum" (Giovanni Domenico Mansi, "Coll. Conc.", XV, 401 sqq.) and sent missionaries under the papal legate bishop Formosus (later Pope Formosus). Also in 866, Nicholas sent a letter to the Bulgarians ordering the burning of any books captured from the Muslims because they were deemed harmful and blasphemous.When Pope Adrian II rejected Boris's request that either Formosus or Deacon Marinus (later Pope Marinus I) be made Archbishop of Bulgaria, Boris began to look again towards Constantinople. In 870 a council of Constantinople granted the Church of Bulgaria autocephalous status and Greek priests were sent as missionaries; they were soon replaced by Bulgarians.
Nicholas encouraged the missionary activity of the Church. He sanctioned the union of the Sees of Bremen and Hamburg, and confirmed to St. Anschar, Archbishop of Bremen, and his successors the office of papal legate to the Danes, Swedes, and Slavs. In many other ecclesiastical matters, he issued letters and decisions, and he took active measures against bishops who neglected their duties.
In Rome, Nicholas rebuilt and endowed several churches, and constantly sought to encourage religious life. He led a pious personal life guided by a spirit of Christian asceticism. Regino of Prüm reports that Nicholas was highly esteemed by the citizens of Rome and by his contemporaries generally (Chronicon, "ad annum 868," in "Mon. Germ. Hist." Script.", I.579).
After his death he was regarded as a saint and was canonized by his successor, Pope Adrian II. His cult was re-affirmed in 1630 by Pope Urban VIII. His feast day is observed on 13 November.
A question that is important in judging the integrity of this pope is whether he made use of the forged pseudo-Isidorian papal decretals. After exhaustive investigation, Schrörs has decided that the pope was neither acquainted with the pseudo-Isidorian collection in its entire extent, nor did he make use of its individual parts. He perhaps had a general knowledge of the false decretals, but did not base his view of the law upon them and owed his knowledge of them solely to documents that came to him from the Frankish Empire [Schrörs, "Papst Nikolaus I. und Pseudo-Isidor" in Historisches Jahrbuch, XXV (1904), 1 sqq.; Idem, "Die pseudoisidorische 'Exceptio spolii' bei Papst Nikolaus I" in Historisches Jahrbuch, XXVI (1905), 275 sqq.].
Nicholas decreed that the figure of the rooster should be placed on every church and has served as a religious icon and reminder of Peter's denial of Christ since that time, with some churches still having the rooster on the steeple today.
The Fourth Council of Constantinople was held in 879–880. It confirmed the reinstatement of Photius as Patriarch of Constantinople.
Pope Formosus was Cardinal-bishop and Pope, his papacy lasting from 6 October 891 to his death in 896. His brief reign as Pope was troubled, marked by interventions in power struggles over the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the kingdom of West Francia, and the Holy Roman Empire. Formosus's remains were exhumed and put on trial in the Cadaver Synod.
The 860s decade ran from January 1, 860, to December 31, 869.
Photios I, , also spelled Photius or Fotios, was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886; He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.
The East–West Schism, also called the Great Schism and the Schism of 1054, was the break of communion between what are now the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox churches, which had lasted until the 11th century. The Schism was the culmination of theological and political differences between the Christian East and West which had developed over the preceding centuries.
Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, was a Frankish jurist and theologian and the friend, advisor and propagandist of Charles the Bald. He belonged to a noble family of northern Francia.
Anastasius Bibliothecarius or Anastasius the Librarian was bibliothecarius and chief archivist of the Church of Rome and also briefly an Antipope.
Teutberga was a queen of Lotharingia by marriage to Lothair II. She was a daughter of Bosonid Boso the Elder and sister of Hucbert, the lay-abbot of St. Maurice's Abbey.
The Christianization of Bulgaria was the process by which 9th-century medieval Bulgaria converted to Christianity. It reflected the need of unity within the religiously divided Bulgarian state as well as the need for equal acceptance on the international stage in Christian Europe. This process was characterized by the shifting political alliances of Boris I of Bulgaria with the kingdom of the East Franks and with the Byzantine Empire, as well as his diplomatic correspondence with the Pope.
The Photian Schism was a four-year (863–867) schism between the episcopal sees of Rome and Constantinople. The issue centered around the right of the Byzantine Emperor to depose and appoint a patriarch without approval from the papacy.
Gunther or Gunthar was Archbishop of Cologne in Germany from 850 until he was excommunicated and deposed in 863.
Theotgaud was the archbishop of Trier from 850 until his deposition in 867. He was the abbot of Mettlach prior to his election in 847 to succeed his uncle, Hetto, as archbishop. He took up his post three years later, but was inadequately trained in theology and politically and administratively inept.
The Fourth Council of Constantinople was the eighth Catholic Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople from October 5, 869, to February 28, 870. It included 102 bishops, three papal legates, and four patriarchs. The Council met in ten sessions from October 869 to February 870 and issued 27 canons.
History of the East–West Schism refers to history of the East–West Schism that occurred in 1054, representing one of the most significant events in the history of Christianity. It includes various events and processes that led to the Schism, and also those events and processes that occurred as a result of the Schism. Eastern and Western Christians had a history of differences and disagreements, some dating back even to the period of Early Christianity. At the very root of what later became the Great Schism were several questions of pneumatology and ecclesiology. The most important theological difference occurred over various questions regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit, and the use of the Filioque clause in the Creed. One of the main ecclesiological issues was the question of Papal supremacy. Other points of difference were related to various liturgical, mainly ritual and disciplinary customs and practices. Some political and cultural processes also contributed to the breakout of the Schism.
In 9th-century Christianity, Charlemagne was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, which continued the Photian schism.
Christianity in the 11th century is marked primarily by the Great Schism of the Church, which formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches.
Michael I Cerularius or Keroularios was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1043 to 1059 AD. He is most notable for his role in the events that led to the Great Schism in 1054.
Peter was a Bulgarian noble and relative of knyaz (khan) Boris I who was in charge of diplomatic missions during the Christianization of Bulgaria. His position in the Bulgarian administrative hierarchy is unknown but it has been suggested that he had the title kavhan, i. e. the second person in the state after the monarch.
The Council of Constantinople of 867 was a major Church Council, convened by Emperor Michael III of Byzantium and Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople in order to address several ecclesiastical issues, including the question of Papal supremacy in the Church, and the use of Filioque clause in the Creed.
|Catholic Church titles|
| Pope |