Pope Romanus

Pope Romanus served as the 114th Pope. We know very little about his life today. This brief article provides information about his papacy and times.

Brief History of Pope Romanus

Few online sources report information about Pope Romanus. Despite the fact his grave reportedly lies in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, the dates of his papal election and his date of death remain unknown (a surprising situation). Some historians surmise his birth occurred circa 867. If correct, this date would indicate he became Pope around the age of 30.

The father of Pope Romanus may have been a priest named Constantine. Born near Rome in Gallese, Pope Romanus possibly served as Cardinal of St Peter ad Vincula before becoming Pope in August, 897. He reportedly lived during a period of considerable dissension among church leaders. An historian and chronicle writer who compiled a history several decades after his death named Flodoard described him as a virtuous Pope.

During his papacy, Pope Romanus annulled some previous papal decrees issued by his predecessor, Pope Stephen VI. He did approve two Bishops, Gerona and Elna. He also permitted Vitalis, the Abbot of Farfa Abbey, to wear the vestments of the office of an Archbishop (the pallium).

Pope Romanus served as Pope for a period of only four months and 20 days. Historians today allegedly don’t know whether he passed away in office or whether he abdicated or suffered deposition. His burial at the Vatican might indicate that he passed away in office. Flodoard reports Pope Romanus became a monk after serving as the Pope. His successor, Pope Theodore II, reportedly served as a Pope for only 20 days.

Quick Facts About Pope Romanus

Today, historians don’t know the date of Pope Romanus’ birth. Some conjecture he was born around 867 in Gallese, near Rome.

Birth Name: The birth name of Pope Romanus remains unknown.

The date of death of Pope Romanus also remains unknown today. Some historians believe he either died at the end of his papacy, or he became a monk afterwards. Apparently, his grave today lies at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

How He Died ? The cause of death of Pope Romanus remains unknown.

Papacy Began in August, 897

Pope Romanus received election to the Papacy in August, 897. He became Pope shortly after the deposition of his predecessor, Pope Stephen VI.

Papacy Ended in November, 897

Pope Romanus served as Pope for four months and 20 days.

Successor: Pope Theodore II succeeded Pope Romanus

List of Events In The Life of Pope Romanus

86717.0AppointedCardinal-Priest of San Pietro in Vincoli
86717.0Elevated to Cardinal
14 Aug 89747.6ElectedPope (Roma, Italy)
Nov 89747.8DiedPope (Roma, Italy)

Interesting Facts About This Pope

  • Anura Gurugé reportedly contends the uncle of Pope Romanus served as Pope Marinus I between 882 and 884.

  • In 1675, Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi depicted Pope Romanus in a book printed in Rome.

  • Several medals dating from the 1600 reportedly also carry the likeness of Pope Romanus according to the British Museum

  • The name of Pope Romanus in English translates as “Roman Pontiff.”

See the full list of Popes