My Favorite Popes And Their Contributions to The Church

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Adeodatus II – He was the first to use in his letters the formula “Health and Apostolic Benediction.”

Alexander III – He excommunicated Barbarossa because of his misdeeds.

Alexander IV – He canonized St. Clare and confirmed the reality of the stigmata of St. Francis. He forbade summary trials in the question of heresy, and condemned the “flagellanti.”

Alexander VI – By a simple mark on the maps of the new lands of America he decided the destiny of the new continent. He celebrated the 8th Jubilee (1500). During his pontificate, a Holy Door was opened for the first time is St. Peter’s, St. Paul’s, and St. Mary Major’s.

Benedict VIII – He made laws against simony and dueling.

Benedict XIII – On the occasion of the 17th Jubilee (1725), he inaugurated the marvelous flight of steps of Trinita dei Monti in Rome. He canonized St. Louis Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus, patron of Poland.

Benedict XIV – Together with St. Leonard, he propagated the devotion of the “Via Crucis,” and he celebrated the 18th Jubilee (1750). He undertook to continue the papal portraits in the Basilica of St. Paul in Rome.

Benedict XVHe beatified St. Joan of Arc.

Boniface V – He instituted the privilege of sanctuary for those persecuted who sought refuge in churches. Mohammed begun preaching during his pontificate.

Boniface VIII – He celebrated the first Holy Year (1300) and decreed that it be repeated every 100 years. He founded the Sapienza University in Rome.

Callistus II – During his pontificate, an agreement was reached at Worms which recognized the pope’s right to nominate bishops. He proclaimed the 2nd Crusade.

Callistus III – He ordered the universal ringing of bells at midday every day. He brought about the growth of Christianity in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. He instituted the Feast of Transfiguration.

Celestine IV – The cardinals were unable to reach an agreement on his election, so the Roman Senate closed them “under lock and key” in the ancient palace of the Settizonio on the Coelian Hill. From this episode is derived the word “conclave.”

Clement II – He canonized St. Viborata, a Hungarian martyr.

Clement III – He encouraged the Third Crusade in which the King of England, Richard, the Lion-Hearted participated.

Clement V – Under the influence of Philip the Fair, fixed the residence of the Holy See at Avignon. The so-called “Captivity of Avignon” lasted 70 years. He founded the University of Oxford.

Clement VI – He bought the city of Avignon for 18,000 gold florins. He protected the Jews. He reduced the interval between Holy Years from 100 years to 50 years and celebrated the second one in 1350.

Clement VII – Henry VIII of England was excommunicated and promptly abjured the Catholic faith. This pope celebrated the 9th Jubilee.

Clement VIII – He succeeded in pacifying France and Spain. He celebrated the 12th Jubilee (1600) and he established the devotion of the Forty Hours. During his pontificate, Maderno sculpted St. Cecilia, the patron of music, as he saw her in her tomb when it was first opened.

Clement IX – He celebrated the 15th Jubilee (1675).

Clement XII – He repealed the law forbidding the Lottery; the first numbers that were drawn were: 56-11-54-18-6. He excommunicated all those associated with the masonic movement.

St. Damasus I – The first pope who introduced the use of the Hebrew term “alleluia.” He initiated the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Latin known as the Latin Vulgate.

Eugene II – To him is attributed the institution of seminaries. He also formed a supreme council for the putting into effect of the canons and ecclesiastical law. This was supposed to be the origin of the present Roman Curia.

St. Felix I – He asserted the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. He began the burying of martyrs under church altars and of celebrating Mass on their tombs.

Formosus – The first pope whose corpse was exhumed and thrown into the Tiber River after a mock trial.

St. Gregory I – He instituted the Gregorian Chant.

Gregory VI – He personally led his army in protecting himself from invasion. He was forced to abdicate. To him is attributed the forming of the first pontifical army.

Gregory IX – He excommunicated Frederick II for his attitude towards the Crusade. Hecanonized St. Francis, St. Anthony, and St. Dominic. He instituted the “Holy Inquisition.” He approved the collection of Divine Offices. He prepared the 6th Crusade.

Gregory XI – After the intervention of St. Catherine of Siena he brought the Holy See back to Rome. The Roman Senate donated a part of the Vatican Hill to him. He included St. Mary Major’s among the Basilicas for gaining a jubilee indulgence.

Gregory XIII – He reformed the universal calendar.

Gregory XIV – Excommunicated Henry IV of France.

Gregory XVI – He relied on the powers of the Holy Alliance (Austria, Prussia, Russia) in order to govern the Papal Estates, He reduced the legal age from 25 to 21. He founded the Egyptian and Etruscan museums.

Honorius I – He instituted the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the 14th of September.

Honorius III – With Andrew II of Hungary, he organized the 5th Crusade.

Innocent III – He activelypromoted the Fourth Crusade.

Innocent IV – He instituted the Feast of the Visitation. He undertook the 5th Crusade with St. Louis IX of France.

Innocent VIII – He assisted Columbus in his undertaking to discover the Western route to the Indies (America).

Innocent XII – He celebrated the16th Jubilee.

John XV – He was the first pope to undertake theprocess of canonization of a saint: Ulderic.

John XXII – He instituted the Feast of theMost Holy Trinity. He was also responsible for the institution of the Sacra Rota and for the building of the Papal Palace at Avignon.

Julius III – He celebrated the10th Jubilee (1550).

St. Leo III – He founded the PalatineSchool from which was derived theUniversity of Paris.

St.Leo IV – He was the first pontiff to put the date on official documents. He built walls around the Vatican Hill and the Leonine City.

Leo XII –Removed Galileo’s works from the Index. He celebrated the 20th Jubilee (1825). He reconstructed the Basilica of St. Paul which had been destroyed by fire.

Leo XIII – He issued the encyclical “Rerum Novarum” which dealt with labor and social politics. He was the first pope to be filmed. He celebrated the 22nd Jubilee, and St. Peter’s was illuminated for the first time.

Martin V – He celebrated the 5th Holy Year (1423) and, for the first time, a Holy Door was opened in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

St. Nicholas I – He appointed 15th of August as the Feast of the Assumption.

Nicholas II – He called a synod at Rome which forbade the investiture of bishops without papal authorization. It was also decided that the election of the pope should be reserved to cardinal bishops and cardinal priests.

Nicholas III – He was the first pope to reside permanently in the Vatican, and he began the laying out of the famous gardens. He sent missionaries to convert the Tartar kings.

Nicholas IV – He promoted the progress of study instituting the Universityof Montpellier. He strengthened the missions and, in league with Genoa, fought the Saracens. He was the first Franciscan pope.

Nicholas V – Hebegan the construction of the present St. Peter’s Basilica. He helped the Spaniards in their final bid to get rid of the Saracens. He founded the Vatican Library. He celebrated the 6th Holy Year (1450).

Paschal II – During his pontificate, the Churchof Mary of the people was built.

St. PaulI – He visited the prisons and freed those prisoners condemned for debts. He discovered the remains of St. Petronila who, according to tradition, was the daughter of St. Peter.

Paul II – So that each generation could receive the benefit of a special pardon, he reduced to 25 years the interval between the Holy Years.

Paul III – A great patron of culture and the arts, he nominated Michelangelo as architect for life of St. Peter’s. In the climate created by the “Counter-Reform” he gave approval to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

St. Pius V – He excommunicated Elizabeth of England. He was the inspirer of the Christian victory over the Saracens at Lepanto. He decreed the use of the Roman Missal.

Pius VII – In accord with Napoleon, he obtained a Concordat which improved the position of the Church in France. He created thepapal flag.

Pius VIII – He began the postal service of the Vatican State. He strengthened missionary activity in the world.

Pius IX – He celebrated the 21st Jubilee (1875) but without opening the Holy Doors. He proclaimed the Infallibility of the Pope when he speaks ex-cathedra. The longest-reigning pope.

St. Pius X – He decreed the elevation of the Host and Chalice.

Pius XI – On the 11th of February 1929 he concluded with Benito Mussolini a Concordat between the Church and the Italian State. On the 19th Centenary of the Redemption (1933) he celebrated a Holy Year. Marconi  constructed the VaticanRadio.


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