Pope John XVII

Pope John XVII served as the 140th leader of the Catholic Church. His papacy was short, lasting less than six months. His legacy is not as favorable as many other popes. He was heavily influenced by powerful Romans, being viewed as a puppet to one noble family.

Background and History with the Church

Born Giovanni Siccone, the future pope John XVII did not join the Church right away. He lived in Biveretica, which was a region of Rome. Before his career with the Church started, Giovanni got married and three sons.


The election of Pope John XVII occurred in May of 1003. He was nominated by Crescentius III. Crescentius III was part of a very powerful noble family. The family had a lot of influence in Rome. They even led opposition forces against the Holy Roman Emperor and elected Antipopes.

Pope John XVII didn’t have much say during his papacy. He was considered to be a puppet for Crescentius. The only major accomplishments he had were approving missions to evangelize the Slavs. Other than that, Crescentius III had most of the control.

Quick Facts About Pope John XVII

  • John XVII was born sometime in 995.
  • At birth, he was given the name Giovanni Siccone. He adopted his papal name upon consecration.
  • Pope John XVII died on November 6th, 1003.
  • It’s not known how Pope John XVII. There’s no evidence of foul play or violence, so most historians agree that he died of natural causes. He was 48 years old at the time of his death.
  • Pope John XVII started his papacy on May 16th, 1003.
  • His reign ended on November 6th, 1003.
  • Pope John XVII was succeeded by Pope John XVIII

Interesting Facts About Pope John XVII

  • Giovanni Siccone led a relatively normal life before he decided to enter the priesthood. he even had three sons that would go on to enter holy orders.
  • Pope John XVII did not accomplish much during his tenure as pope.
  • He was heavily influenced by a powerful Roman family.
  • The body of Pope John XVII is buried in Lateran Basilica.
  • John XVII’s tomb shows that even the people of Rome knew that he did not have much power 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)

See all Popes here.