Pope Name Change
Papal Name Change
Why Do Popes Change Their Names?
Why Does Pope Change His Name?
Why Does Pope Take a New Name?
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Question / Issue:
"Why do Popes change
their names upon elevation to the papacy?"
Answer / Resources:
[click link(s) below, as applicable]
Popes have changed
their name upon elevation to the papacy for about a thousand years. It may
signify the "new life" they will lead as pope as well as their willingness to
renounce self. They may choose a name of a previous pope or saint (or another
name). The first name change connected with the papacy occurred when Christ
changed Simon's name to Peter (for "rock"). [Note that name changes occurring in
Scripture were significant (e.g. Simon became
Peter, Saul became Paul, Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel).] In the
6th century, Pope John II changed his name from Mercurius (Mercury) due to its
pagan association and Pope John XIV changed his name in the 10th century in
honor of the first pope (his given name was Peter). Since the end of the 10th
century, it became common to change one's name upon election to the papacy.
here for information on previous names of the Popes.]
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