Pope Benedict I

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Benedict I (died July 30 579) was pope from June 2, 575 to his death.

Benedict was the son of a man named Boniface, and was called Bonosus by the Greeks. The ravages of the Lombards rendered it very difficult to communicate with the Byzantine emperor at Constantinople, who claimed the privilege of confirming the election of the popes. Hence there was a vacancy of nearly eleven months between the death of Pope John III and the arrival of the imperial confirmation of Benedict's election on 2 June, 575. He reigned four years, one month, and twenty-eight days.

Him is that he granted an estate, the Massa Veneris, in the territory of Minturnae, to Abbot Stephen of St. Mark's "near the walls of Spoleto" (St. Gregory I, Ep. ix, 87, I. al. 30). Famine followed the devastating Lombards, and from the few words the Liber Pontificalis has about Benedict, we gather that he died in the midst of his efforts to cope with these difficulties. He was buried in the vestibule of the sacristy of the old basilica of St. Peter. In an ordination which he held in December he made fifteen priests and three deacons, and consecrated twenty-one bishops.

Few of the records of transactions outside Rome that help us understand the history of the Papacy survive from Benedict's reign, and perhaps because of the disruption of the Lombards in Italy few ever existed.


Preceded by:
John III
Pope
575–579
Succeeded by:
Pelagius II

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