Pope John VI

Pope John VI led the Church for more than three years. His papacy was the first of the 8th century. He was the 85th Pope to hold the position. Despite his short tenure, the Pope accomplished a lot. His reign came at a rough time for Italy. Marred by war and changing politics, John VI was able to make lasting changes that improved Italy for years to come.


John VI was a Greek who was born in Ephesus. Not much is known about his early years. It’s thought that he spent most of his youth and education on the Coast of Ionia.

History with the Church

Prior to becoming pope, John VI held onto the position of Deacon. He was appointed during the turn of the century in the year 700. In the very same year, he elevated to the position of cardinal. Just a year later, he was elected as the 85th pope.


Pope John VI succeeded Pope Sergius I. During his time as Pope, John VI accomplished a lot in the realm of military operations and politics.

The first notable event happened when the Byzantine commander Theophylactus invaded the Italian mainland from Sicily. Pope John VI immediately intervened, forbidding him from using violence against the Romans.

Interestingly enough, this intervention proved beneficial for Theophylactus. Romans did not react well to his invasion. Pope John VI prevented him from being injured, which ultimately stopped wide-spread violence and destruction in Rome.

Another historic event happened when Lombard Duke Gisulf of Benevento crossed into Roman territory. Pope John VI persuaded Gisulf to withdraw his forces and return home. At the sight of Romans suffering, the Pope sent priests to the Lombard camp. There, they offered ransom so that Gisulf would let his Roman captives go.

Quick Facts About Pope John VI

  • Pope John VI was born around the year 655.
  • John VI’s birth name is not known. He adopted the “John” moniker when his papacy started.
  • John VI died on January 11th, 705. He was around 50 years old.
  • The exact cause of death for Pope John V is not known. He’s though to have died of natural causes due to his old age.
  • The papacy of Pope John VI began on October 30th, 701.
  • His tenure as Pope ended upon his death on January 11th, 705.
  • Pope John VI was succeeded by Pope John VII

Interesting Facts About Pope John VI

  • John VI was the first new pope of the 8th century.

  • He was the only pope in history to come from Asia Minor.

  • Pope John VI reigned during the Byzantine Papacy.

  • During his tenure, Pope John VI had to deal with several military events and shifts in Church politics.

  • The Pope ordered the restoration of St. Wilfred of York, a deposed bishop who tried countless times to get restored to his see.

  • Pope John VI oversaw several construction projects during his papacy.

All of the Popes that took the name “John”

There has been 21 popes that have taken the name of John.

John I (St.) (#53) (523 – 526)
John II (#56) (533 – 535)
John III (#61) (561 – 574)
John IV (#72) (640 – 642)
John V (#82) (685 – 686)
John VI (#85) (701 – 705)
John VII (#86) (705 – 707)
John VIII (#108) (872 – 882)
John IX (#117) (898 – 900)
John X (#123) (914 – 928)
John XI (#126) (931 – 935)
John XII (#131) (955 – 963)
John XIII (#134) (965 – 972)
John XIV (#137) (983 – 984)
John XV (#138) (985 – 996)
John XVII (#141) (1003)
John XVIII (#142) (1003 – 1009)
John XIX (#145) (1024 – 1032)
John XXI (#188) (1276 – 1277)
John XXII (#197) (1316 – 1334)
John XXIII (Blessed) (#262) (1958 – 1963)