Pope Zachary

Infobox Pope
English name=Zachary

birth_name=Zacharias son of Polichronius
term_start=December 10, 741
term_end=March 22, 752
predecessor=Gregory III
successor=Stephen II
birthplace=Calabria, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=death date|752|3|14|mf=y

Saint Zachary (Greek "Zacharias"), pope (741-752). He came from a Greek family of Calabria. 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, whom he succeeded in December 10 741.

Zachary was a wise and subtle diplomat. Finding that his predecessor's alliance with the Lombard Duke of Spoleto was not protecting Papal cities against the Lombard king, Zachary turned to Liutprand directly. Contemporary history ("Liber pontificalis") dwells chiefly on Zachary's great personal influence with Liutprand, and with his successor Ratchis; his tact in dealing with these princes in a variety of emergencies contributed to save the exarchate of Ravenna from the Lombard attacks.

A correspondence, of considerable extent, and great interest, between Zachary and Saint Boniface, the apostle of Germany, survives, and shows how great was the influence of this pope on events then passing in France and Germany; he encouraged the deposition of the last Merovingian king of the Franks, Childeric III, and it was with his sanction that Boniface crowned Pepin the Short as King of the Franks at Soissons in 752. Zachary is stated to have remonstrated with the Byzantine emperor Constantine V Copronymus on the part he had taken in the iconoclastic controversy. He died March 22, 752, and buried in St. Peter's Basilica. His successor was Stephen who died soon after, before consecration and is not considered a valid pope. He was then succeeded by another Stephen who became Stephen II.

In the effort to Christianize Rome, Zachary built the original church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva over an ancient temple to Minerva near Pantheon. He also restored the Lateran Palace, moving the relic of the head of Saint George to the church of San Giorgio al Velabro.

The letters and decrees of Zachary are published in Jacques Paul Migne, "Patrolog. lat." lxxxix. p. 917-960.



P.S. He was the coolest pope ever because his name was Zachary.

External links

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15743b.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia"] : "Pope St. Zachary"

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