Pope Adrian II was the 106th pope and the second with the name Adrian. He served only five years and passed away on the same date at which he became pope. This article will offer some facts about his life and papacy.
One of the only popes born into a noble family, Adrian II was born in Rome and grew up in Italy. Two of his family members served as pope. Though the Church chose Adrian II twice before, he turned down the vocation in favor of remaining with his family. He married a woman during his younger years called Stephania. The two lived together happily for many years and even had a daughter.
Adrian II was one of the oldest men ever called to serve as pope up through that point. He was already in his seventies and still living with his wife and daughter when he accepted the position.
Adrian II move to Lateran Palace and brought his family with him. The former Cardinal was a popular choice for some because he had a commitment to charity, but others thought that he was too old for the position and claimed that he didn’t want to be pope.
Issues and Problems
Louis II had issues with the predecessor of Adrian II and worried about the new pope as he followed the practices and had the same beliefs as the last. He ordered Arsenius to keep a close watch on the man.
Arsenius was a bishop in Orte at the time and worked closely with Anastasius, his nephew. Eleutherius, the son of Arsenius developed an attraction to Adrian’s daughter and would force the young woman to marry him at some point. He then attacked Lateran Palace in 868 and kidnap the pope’s wife and daughter, both of whom he would murder.
Pope Adrian II was the first pope successful in bringing together the east and west. This created 10 different groups that he oversaw at the time.
When he passed away in the winter of 872, he became known for his work with the Slavic countries and territories, including approval of the missionary work that some of the residents of those countries did. John VIII became the new pope just days after his death.
Quick Facts About Pope Adrian II
- Adrian II was born in Rome, Italy in 792, though scholars are unsure of his exact birth date.
- Historians do not make note of his birth name, but he used the name Adrian during his early life.
- Adrian died on December 14, 872.
- The cause of his death is unknown. Historians recorded that the died not long after crowing another man.
- His papacy began on December 14, 867.
- The papacy of Pope Adrian II ended on December 14, 872 upon his death.
- John VII was the successor to Adrian II.
More Interesting Facts About Pope Adrian II
- Both Sergius II and Stephen V were relatives of Pope Adrian II who served as pope.
- In 1872, Adrian II crowned Louis II as the Holy Roman Emperor at Pentecost. This was his last public act as pope before his death later that year.
- Adrian II was both one of the oldest men ever elected as pope and one of the only to have a wife and child.
- Some historians believe that he had more than one daughter, though records show that he only brought one with him when elected.
- Though Adrian II could not keep Bulgarian Catholics attached to the congregation, he gave approval for those in other areas to use the Slavic language in their services, which brought more people to the Church.