Pope Marinus II – Biography & Facts

Pope Marinus II was the 128th pope, serving under the saeculum obscurum. Sometimes incorrectly named ‘Martinus, his real surname refers to the sea. The many exciting and insightful facts about Pope Marinus II’s life and legacy will be explored in this article.

The Saeculum Obscurum

Meaning the Dark Ages in Latin, the saeculum obscurum lasted from 904 to 964. Though there is a great deal of speculation about its origins, these Papal Dark Ages were marked by political manipulation of the Church by the Theyophylacti family in Rome. Pope Marinus II was the tenth of twelve popes to serve during this time. His papacy began with approval from Alberic II, the then ruler of Rome, and the son of Marozia Theyophylacti.

Clergy Reformations

One of Pope Marinus II’s more notable appointments concerns Archbishop Frederick of Mainz. In 943, Pope Marinus II extended his position both as a representative of the Pope and a messenger of the Church to Germany and France. In part, this was to deal with the violent tensions with the German King Otto the Great.

Pope Marinus II also sought to correct injustices within the Church’s rank. One such example comes from his discipline towards Bishop Sico of Capua. During his papacy, the bishop took over one of the churches without permission from the Pope. The church was given to local Benedictine monks in good faith. Pope Marinus II interceded and righted the issue.

Quick Facts About Pope Marinus II

  • He was born in the Papal States of Rome, Italy circa 900.
  • He has no other name attributed to him. In Latin, his name is Marinus Secundus.
  • At the age of approximately 46, he died on May 1, 946.
  • He was buried in the portico of St. Peter’s after dying of natural causes.
  • He became pope on October 30, 942 at the approximate age of 42.
  • His papacy lasted three and a half years, ending on May 1, 946 with his death.
  • Before him, Pope Steven VIII held the office.
  • Pope Agapetus II followed him, serving over nine years.

Interesting Facts About Pope Marinus II

  • He issues bulls, or papal decrees, to honor and establish several of his favorite monasteries.
  • His papacy served on the Palatine Hill in Pope John VII’s palace.
  • He allegedly met Ulrich of Ausburg before either were prominent Church figures.