Pope Anastasius IV

Pope Anastasius IV was an Italian man who served as pope from 1153 to 1154. He was the fourth pope with the name Anastasius and the 168th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. This article will help readers learn more about Pope Anastasius IV.

Early Life

Before becoming pope, Anastasius was a normal boy known as Corrado. He was born in Rome circa 1073 and was appointed the cardinal deacon of a church in Sabina in December of 1127.

That same month, Anastasius received noticed that he was now a cardinal. Benedictus de Suburra, his father, helped him become a clerk for the Church before he became a cardinal deacon. Known as the Dean of the College of Cardinals for many years, his name came up in previous papal elections.

Papal Election

When Pope Honorius II passed away in 1130, many thought that Corrado was the next pope. Honorius II previously named Corrado to the position of cardinal and was close to him. Opposition within the Church led to two names brought up. Anacletus II, also known as Pietro Pierleoni, refused to follow Pope Innocent II and became an antipope.

After Pope Innocent II left to live in France because he feared for his life, Anacletus II ruled as his antipope, though Innocent II was still the official pope. Anastasius IV worked as a college dean until the Church finally called him as the next pope.

Work as Pope

Anastasius IV developed a strong reputation as a peacemaker during his short time as a pope. Emperor Frederick I had fought with four other popes over his position as an archbishop. By officially recognizing him, the pope helped in this frustrating chapter in history.

He also approved the appointment of Saint William of York as the See of York despite some opposition from within the Church. After working as a pope for more than 500 days, he passed away in Rome.

The Church immediately named Nicholas Breakspear as the next pope in a fast election that led to him assuming the role the following day under the name of Pope Adrian IV. No other man has chosen the name Anastasius since his death, which makes him the last Pope Anastasius in history.

Quick Facts About Pope Anastasius IV

  • He was born circa 1073 in the Holy Roman Empire and the Papal States of Rome.
  • Known as Anastasius IV in his later years, his birth name was Corrado Demetri della Suburra.
  • Anastasius IV died on December 3, 1154.
  • He was somewhere around the age of 80 or 81 when he passed away from natural causes.
  • His papacy began on July 8, 1153.
  • Anastasius ruled as pope until his death on December 3, 1154.
  • Church officials named Adrian IV the next pope later in December.

Interesting Facts About Pope Anastasius IV

  • During his time as pope, Anastasius IV officially named appointed three men to roles as cardinals.
  • Historians believe that he was one of the oldest men working in the College of Cardinals. Anastasius IV was also one of the oldest men to ever serve as pope.
  • Though elected as pope on July 8 of 1153, it took until July 12 for the Church to officially install him as the new pope.
  • Some of the other roles he held during his time as pope include the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ and Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of Rome.
  • Pope Anastasius IV was buried in a sarcophagus that is now in the Vatican Museum in Vatican City.
  • The Church has records written in his hand that include a treatise and several letters.

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)