Pope Anastasius III

Pope Anastasius III was the 102nd pope and the second named Anastasius. He was Italian by birth and held the position for more than two years. Those interested in learning more about the 10th-century pope can keep reading.

Early Life

Though Anastasius III was pope for more than two years, there are not many historical records available about his life or time as pope. He was born in Rome, which was then part of the Papal States sometime around 865. His father was named Lucian and was noble by birth. He likely grew up in a family that had the means necessary to send him to school. Anastasius III was appointed a cardinal deacon in 908 and elevated to the role of cardinal later that same year. He continued working as a cardinal until becoming pope in 911 after spending more than three years as a cardinal. Anastasius was one of several Italians who became pope during the early years of the Church.

Papal Election

As with other details about his life, information on the papal election of 911 is scarce. Pope Sergius III had a close connection to the Theophylact family and had an alleged affair with the ruler’s daughter. That relationship resulted in a familial line that leads to Pope John XI. Much controversy surrounded his reign, which led to the Church looking for someone neutral to serve as the next pope. The members elected Anastasius III to the role.

Time as Pope

The most important thing noted during the Anastasius III period is the work he did in Germany. He worked to unite some of the branches of the Church operating in Germany. That work not only brought followers back to the Church, but it ensured that they would follow the teachings in Rome. Anastasius would also evangelize a group of men and women living in France known as the Normans of Rollo. The drawings and illustrations of the pope often depict him as a young man because he was around the age of 46 when he became pope and 48 when he died. St. Peter’s Basilica is the final resting place of Pope Anastasius III.

Quick Facts About Pope Anastasius III

  • Pope Anastasius III was born in Rome circa 865 and was in his 40s when he became pope.
  • Anastasius was his birth name and the name he used as pope.
  • The exact date of his death is unknown. He passed away in June of 913.
  • There are no records of his death, but historians believe it was likely due to natural causes.
  • His papacy began on April 14, 911.
  • The papacy of Pope Anastasius III ended right after his death.
  • Pope Lando succeeded Anastasius III as pope but only reigned for less than a year.

Interesting Facts About Pope Anastasius III

  • Rumors still exist that state Anastasius was the illegitimate son of a former pope. Pope Sergius III was his predecessor but never responded to claims about this familial connection.
  • The Count of Tusculum, Theophylact, ruled Rome before and after Anastasius’s death. His family was also in control of the Church and the official records, which explains why there isn’t much information available at the popes from this era.
  • Pope Anastasius III is one of dozens of popes and other religious leaders buried in and around St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • Though the official records show that Anastasius III was pope for more than 700 days, he likely served for two years and a few months.
  • As he was only 48 when he passed away, Anastasius III was one of the youngest popes in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

All Popes named Anastasius

There has has been 4 Popes that have taken the name Anastasius in the history of the papacy. Below are links to all of them. Also check out all of the other Popes the begin with the letter A.

Anastasius I (St.) (#39) (399 – 401)
Anastasius II (#50) (496 – 498)
Anastasius III (#121) (911 – 913)
Anastasius IV (#169) (1153 – 1154)