Pope Zachary
Overview
 
Pope Saint Zachary was Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 of the Catholic Church from 741 to 752. A Greek from Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, he was the last pope of the Byzantine Papacy
Byzantine Papacy
The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii or the inhabitants of Byzantine Greece, Byzantine Syria, or Byzantine Sicily...

. Most probably he was a deacon of the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732 and was on intimate terms with Gregory III
Pope Gregory III
Pope Saint Gregory III was pope from 731 to 741. A Syrian by birth, he succeeded Gregory II in March 731. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by the iconoclastic controversy in the Byzantine Empire, in which he vainly invoked the intervention of Charles Martel.Elected by...

, whom he succeeded on December 10, 741.

Zachary was a wise and subtle diplomat
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

. Finding that his predecessor's alliance with the Lombard
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 Duke of Spoleto
Spoleto
Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines. It is S. of Trevi, N. of Terni, SE of Perugia; SE of Florence; and N of Rome.-History:...

 was not protecting Papal cities against the Lombard
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 king, Zachary turned to Liutprand directly.
Encyclopedia
Pope Saint Zachary was Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 of the Catholic Church from 741 to 752. A Greek from Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, he was the last pope of the Byzantine Papacy
Byzantine Papacy
The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii or the inhabitants of Byzantine Greece, Byzantine Syria, or Byzantine Sicily...

. Most probably he was a deacon of the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732 and was on intimate terms with Gregory III
Pope Gregory III
Pope Saint Gregory III was pope from 731 to 741. A Syrian by birth, he succeeded Gregory II in March 731. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by the iconoclastic controversy in the Byzantine Empire, in which he vainly invoked the intervention of Charles Martel.Elected by...

, whom he succeeded on December 10, 741.

Zachary was a wise and subtle diplomat
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

. Finding that his predecessor's alliance with the Lombard
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 Duke of Spoleto
Spoleto
Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines. It is S. of Trevi, N. of Terni, SE of Perugia; SE of Florence; and N of Rome.-History:...

 was not protecting Papal cities against the Lombard
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 king, Zachary turned to Liutprand directly. Contemporary history (Liber pontificalis
Liber Pontificalis
The Liber Pontificalis is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century. The original publication of the Liber Pontificalis stopped with Pope Adrian II or Pope Stephen V , but it was later supplemented in a different style until Pope Eugene IV and then Pope Pius II...

) dwells chiefly on Zachary's great personal influence with Liutprand, and with his successor Ratchis
Ratchis
Ratchis was the Duke of Friuli and King of the Lombards . His father was Duke Pemmo. His Roman wife was Tassia. He ruled in peace until he besieged, for reasons unknown, Perugia. Pope Zachary convinced him to lift the siege and he abdicated and entered, with his family, the abbey of Montecassino...

. His tact in dealing with these princes in a variety of emergencies contributed to save the Exarchate of Ravenna
Exarchate of Ravenna
The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy was a centre of Byzantine power in Italy, from the end of the 6th century to 751, when the last exarch was put to death by the Lombards.-Introduction:...

 from the Lombard attacks.

A correspondence, of considerable extent and of great interest, between Zachary and Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface , the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton , was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz...

, the apostle of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, survives, and shows how great was the influence of this pope on events then passing in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Germany. He encouraged the deposition of the last Merovingian king of the Franks, Childeric III
Childeric III
Childeric III was the last King of the Franks in the Merovingian dynasty from 743 to his deposition by Pope Zachary in March 752...

, and it was with his sanction that Boniface crowned Pepin the Short as King of the Franks at Soissons
Soissons
Soissons is a commune in the Aisne department in Picardy in northern France, located on the Aisne River, about northeast of Paris. It is one of the most ancient towns of France, and is probably the ancient capital of the Suessiones...

 in 752. Zachary is stated to have remonstrated with the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 emperor
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 Constantine V
Constantine V
Constantine V was Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775; ); .-Early life:...

 Copronymus on the part he had taken in the iconoclastic
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

 controversy. He died on March 22, 752, and was buried in St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

. His successor was Stephen
Pope-elect Stephen
Stephen was a priest of Rome elected Pope in March of 752 to succeed Pope Zachary; he died of stroke a few days later, before being ordained a bishop...

 who died soon before his consecration and is not considered a valid pope. He was then succeeded by another Stephen who became Stephen II
Pope Stephen II
Pope Stephen II was Pope from 752 to 757, succeeding Pope Zachary following the death of Pope-elect Stephen. Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy.-Allegiance to Constantinople:...

.

In the effort to Christianize Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Zachary built the original church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva
Santa Maria sopra Minerva
The Basilica of Saint Mary Above Minerva is a titular minor basilica and one of the most important churches of the Roman Catholic Dominican order in Rome, Italy. The church, located in the Piazza della Minerva in the Campus Martius region, is considered the only Gothic church in Rome. It houses...

 over an ancient temple to Minerva
Minerva
Minerva was the Roman goddess whom Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic...

 near the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

. He also restored the Lateran Palace
Lateran Palace
The Lateran Palace , formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran , is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main Papal residence....

, moving the relic of the head of Saint George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

 to the church of San Giorgio al Velabro
San Giorgio al Velabro
San Giorgio in Velabro is a minor basilica church in Rome, Italy, devoted to St. George.The church is located in the ancient Roman Velabrum, near the Arch of Janus, in the rione of Ripa. Sited near the River Tiber, it is within a complex of Republican-era pagan temples associated with the port of...

.

The letters and decrees of Zachary are published in Jacques Paul Migne
Jacques Paul Migne
Jacques Paul Migne was a French priest who published inexpensive and widely-distributed editions of theological works, encyclopedias and the texts of the Church Fathers, with the goal of providing a universal library for the Catholic priesthood.He was born at Saint-Flour, Cantal and studied...

, Patrolog. lat.
Patrologia Latina
The Patrologia Latina is an enormous collection of the writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers published by Jacques-Paul Migne between 1844 and 1855, with indices published between 1862 and 1865....

lxxxix. p. 917–960.

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