Pope Agapetus II

Agapetus II was the 129th Roman Catholic pope and the second man who chose the name Agapetus upon his election. He served as pope for more than nine years and followed Marinus II. Though not much is known about his life, this article will look at his time as pope in greater detail.

Noble Birth

Though history does not show when he was born, Agapetus II was born in Rome, Italy to a noble family. His father was Roman, while his mother was Greek. Anicius Faustus Albinus Basilius, who was an official within the Church, was cousins with his father.

Problems as Pope

Elected pope on May 10, 946, Agapetus had problems almost instantly due to an independently operating area of Rome. Ruled by Alberic II, this independent area claimed that the pope had no control over its citizens. Agapetus II could not issue new rules or release papal bulls that affected the community. Though he tried to bring the community into Rome and sent representatives to speak with Alberic II, the two areas reigned separately.

See of Reims

Other issues arose concerning the See of Reims in France. Two different men believed that they had the right to run the See. Agapetus II called a council meeting in Rome, which ended with the council granting authority of the See to one of the two, Artald of Reims. Hugh of Vermandois not only saw the Church rule against him, but he also saw the pope excommunicate his father.

Later Life

Pope Agapetus II served as pope for more than nine years and found himself called into disputes quite often. He oversaw a dispute in Pannonia between two men who both believed that deserved the city. The pope would later release two men from their roles as bishops after finding evidence that they sold leadership roles within the Church. He also demanded that two dukes give back the monasteries they took over to the original monks. After the death of Agapetus II, Octavianus became the next pope. He was the son of Alberic II.

Quick Facts About Pope Agapetus II

  • History does not note his exact date of birth. He was likely born circa 905 in Rome.
  • There are no records to indicate his birth name, but he was related to a high ranking member of the Church.
  • He died on November 8, 955 in Rome.
  • Pope Agapetus II died at the age of 50 and was buried close to Popes Leo V and Paschal II in the Lateran basilica.
  • The papacy of the pope began on May 10, 946.
  • His papacy ended on November 8, 955 after his death.
  • John XII became the next pope. He was a decedent of Alberic II.

Interesting Facts About Pope Agapetus II

  • Historians dub the time surrounding his rule as the Porncracy due to the number of benefits given to cardinals and other Church leaders. Agapetus II attempted to limit and end some of those benefits but to little success.
  • Agapetus II called upon Otto the Great and asked him to speak with Alberic II in an attempt to bring the communities together. Otto the Great would not follow through with those orders until after the pope’s death.
  • The pope served for a total of nine years and 182 days, which makes Agapetus II one of the longest-reigning popes in history.
  • St. John Lateran basilica is the final resting place for several popes. Pope Agapetus II sits close to two other popes in the basilica.
  • Historians note that Pope Agapetus II had little negative written about him during his time as pope. Most of his followers remembered him as a pious man who was quite cautious.