Pope Conon was the only man to choose the name Conon upon becoming pope and the 83rd pope in the history of the Church. He served for 335 and was something of a compromise chosen to make two sides happy. This article will look at the reasons he became pope and what he did during his tenure.
Known as Konon during his early years, Pope Conon was born in Thracia, which was a small territory in the Byzantine Empire. Some records indicate that his father was a soldier for the local military. To help their child succeed, his parents sent him to Sicily to get an education. Due to the rising taxes and other problems plaguing the area, he moved to Rome.
Work for the Church
Before he became pope, Conon worked for the Church in different roles. He became a priest while living in Rome and worked as a missionary bishop. Pope Leo II later made him a cardinal. Conon became known as a man of the people who worked for them and their needs.
Rome was in flux in the 680s as more people moved from the east to escape unruly leaders. When Pope John V died in August of 686, two separate factions emerged. One included the military and called for the appointment of a priest named Theodore. The second faction included most if not all of the clergy who supported an archpriest named Peter. Based on his looks and actions, the two sides agreed to a compromise and appointed Conon.
Pope Conon supported Franconia, which was a small region of Germany. He made Killian a bishop and encouraged him to do some of the missionary work that later helped him become a saint. Conon also took the side of Justinian II because he lowered the taxes on ordinary citizens. Some criticized Conon for that relationship because he exchanged papal properties for the tax decrease. Conon was also known for helping Justinian bring back more than 10,000 citizens from Lebanon.
Quick Facts About Pope Conon
- Pope Conon was born circa 630 in Thracia, which was part of the Byzantine Empire. He was Greek by birth.
- Before becoming pope, he used the name Konon, the same name his parents gave him at birth.
- He died on September 21, 687.
- Conon was around the age of 57 when he passed away in Rome. There are no records that show his exact cause of death.
- His papacy began on October 21, 686.
- Conon remained pope until his death on September 21, 687.
- Sergius II was appointed as the next pope in December of 687.
Interesting Facts About Pope Conon
- Pope Conon earned the nickname as the Handsome Pope due to his good looks. The drawings of the pope depict him as a young man with strong facial features.
- Due to the feuding between the clergy and military, it took more than two months for the two sides to agree on Conon as the next pope.
- Conon was pope for 11 months or 335 days. He is one of the few popes in history who served for less than one year.
- Just one day after his death, Church officials moved his body and had Pope Conon buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.
- The final resting place of Pope Conon is no longer open to the public. His tomb was one of several destroyed when the Church tore down the old basilica and replaced it with a new one of the same name.
- There are rumors that Conon would have won the election if the two sides did not reach an agreement. As more people moved from the east, there was more support for him than any of the other candidates.