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"The Great" Popes

Vatican View Section | The Popes | What is Papal Infallibility?

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"The Great" Popes

Sources: Various  |  Last update: 5/31/05

Important Notice: Not an official listing. May include approximations. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. Use of site is subject to our terms of use. For more terms information, see below and click here


Click link below or scroll down to view:

St. Leo I (the Great)

St. Gregory I (the Great)

St. Nicholas I (Often Called 'the Great')

Also Try: "Great" Popes: When a Pope Should Be & Should Not Be Called Great (User-Submitted Article)


    

"The Great" Popes

Supreme Pontiff

Detail 

(dates*, ages, prior name, feast, comment/attributes, etc.)

45. St. Leo I (the Great)

Birth Date: late 4th century

Beginning of Reign: Late 440

End of Reign: November 10, 461

Date of Death: November 10, 461

Approx. Age at Beginning of Reign: N/A

Lived to Approx. Age: N/A

Approx. Length of Reign: Approx. 21 years

Prior Name (if different):

Feast Day (if applicable): November 10

 

Doctor of the Church and first pope (of two) to be called "great". Promoted and asserted papal primacy. Personally persuaded Attila the Hun to withdraw from Italy. Known for famous 'Tome' asserting the two natures in Christ.

64. St. Gregory I (the Great)

Birth Date: c. 540

Beginning of Reign: September 3, 590

End of Reign: March 12, 604

Date of Death: March 12, 604

Approx. Age at Beginning of Reign: 50

Lived to Approx. Age: 64

Approx. Length of Reign: Just over 13.5 years

Prior Name (if different):

Feast Day (if applicable): September 3 / March 12

 

Doctor of the Church, second pope (of two) to be called "great", and first pope who was a monk. Relative of two previous popes (Felix II and Agapitus). Converted his mansion to a monastery of which he was a monk until called from his severely ascetic life (which is blamed for the ruination of his health). After trying to refuse the papacy, he was reluctantly consecrated pope. He negotiated peace treaties with the Lombards, extended the patronage of the Roman See, promoted monasticism, enforced clerical celibacy, defended papal primacy, and wrote voluminous works. He is credited with codification of the Roman Canon and is associated with the sacred music treasure, Gregorian Chant.

Top | The Popes

Often Called 'the Great'...

Supreme Pontiff

Detail 

(dates*, ages, prior name, feast, comment/attributes, etc.)

106. St. Nicholas I

Birth Date: c. 820

Beginning of Reign: April 24, 858

End of Reign: November 13, 867

Date of Death: November 13, 867

Approx. Age at Beginning of Reign: 38

Lived to Approx. Age: 47

Approx. Length of Reign: Approx. 9.5 years

Prior Name (if different):

Feast Day (if applicable): November 13

 

Maintained and boldly asserted his papal primacy. Remained firm against repeated attempts at coercion. Defended the sanctity of marriage. Encouraged missionary work. The schism between the East and West may be dated from his pontificate. He is often called St. Nicholas "the Great".

Top | The Popes

* All dates A.D.


Important Notice: We make no guarantee regarding any item herein. Information and listings herein may not be comprehensive and may include details that are unverifiable, disputed, subjective, etc. All dates / ages / lengths of reign, etc. may be approximates / estimates even if not indicated as such. Ages, lengths of reign, etc. may be rounded and may be based on simple calculations (e.g. based on years). Accomplishments, attributes, martyrdoms, charges, etc. may be disputed. Attributes / accomplishments / charges, etc. are not comprehensive and may not include individual's most important / salient attributes / accomplishments / charges, etc. Numbering of popes may be disputed. Some popes / anti-popes may be unfairly classified / misclassified. Listings are unofficial and are subject to change. Feast days may vary, are subject to change, and may be based on the traditional calendar. Popes indicated with "St." may not be formally canonized. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any item herein. By using this site you agree to all terms. For more terms information, click here.  


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Also See...

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* Election of a Pope/Conclave (Topic Page)

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* Infallibility (Topic Page)

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