Pope Sergius IV

Pope Sergius IV

Infobox Pope
English name=Sergius IV

birth_name=Pietro Martino Boccapecora
term_start=July 31 1009
term_end=May 12, 1012
predecessor=John XVIII
successor=Benedict VIII
birthplace=Rome, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=death date|1012|5|12|mf=y
deathplace=Rome, Italy

Sergius IV (born in Rome, died May 12, 1012), born Pietro Martino Boccapecora, was Pope from July 31, 1009 until his death. The date of his birth is unknown. His birth name is believed to have been Pietro Martino (Peter Martin) Boccapecora. This name essentially translated to "Peter Pig's Snout." [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13729b.htm Catholic Encyclopedia entry] ] Pietro adopted the name Sergius IV upon accession to the pontificate. He is sometimes cited as the first Pope to adopt a new name, although Pope John II (533–535) and Pope Agapetus I (535–536) are other possible originators of this tradition.

Boccapecora was the son of a shoemaker (also named Pietro) who lived in the city of Rome. Despite his family's poor background, he performed well after entering the Church, and rose quickly through the ranks. In 1004, he became Bishop of Albano. Upon the abdication of Pope John XVIII (1004–09) he was elected Pope, and adopted the name of Sergius IV.

The power held by Sergius IV was often overshadowed by Crescentius III, the ruler of the city of Rome at the time. Some historians have claimed that Sergius IV was essentially a puppet ruler for Crescentius III. Others, however, claimed that the Pope resisted Crescentius III's power. There is some evidence that Sergius IV gave political backing to an anti-Crescentius faction in the city.

Acts sometimes attributed to Pope Sergius IV include measures to relieve famine in the city of Rome, the exemption of certain monasteries from episcopal rule, and a papal bull calling for Islam to be driven from the Holy Land after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed in 1009 by the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. Some historians have suggested that this bull was actually invented around the time of the First Crusade, in order to help justify that expedition to Jerusalem. More recently though, historians have forcefully argued for the document's authenticity.

Sergius IV died on May 12, 1012, and was followed in the papacy by Pope Benedict VIII (1012–24). There was some suspicion that the pope was murdered, as he died within a week of Crescentius, considered by many to have been his patron. Sergius was buried in the Lateran Basilica, and is sometimes venerated as a Saint by the Benedictines.


* [http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=904 Catholic Online]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pope Sergius II —     Pope Sergius II     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Sergius II     Date of birth unknown; consecrated in 844, apparently in January; d. 27 Jan., 847. He was of noble birth, and belonged to a family which gave two other popes to the Church.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Sergius — could refer to: *Pope Sergius I *Pope Sergius II *Pope Sergius III *Pope Sergius IV …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Sergius IV —     Pope Sergius IV     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Sergius IV     Date of birth unknown; consecrated about 31 July, 1009; d. 12 May, 1012. Peter Pig s Snout (Bucca Porci) was the son of Peter the shoemaker, of the ninth region of Rome (Pina) …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Sergius I — Infobox Pope English name=Sergius I term start=December 15, 687 term end=September 8, 701 predecessor=Conon successor=John VI birth date=??? birthplace=Palermo, Sicily dead=dead|death date=death date|701|9|8|mf=y deathplace=??? other=Sergius… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Sergius II — Infobox Pope English name=Sergius II birth name=??? term start=January, 844 term end=January 24, 847 predecessor=Gregory IV successor=Leo IV birth date=??? birthplace=Rome, Italy dead=dead|death date=death date|847|1|24|mf=y deathplace=???… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Sergius III —     Pope Sergius III     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Sergius III     Date of birth unknown; consecrated 29 Jan., 904; d. 14 April, 911. He was a Roman of noble birth and the son of Benedict. He became a strong upholder of the party opposed to… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Sergius III — Infobox Pope English name=Sergius III birth name=Sergius term start=January 29 904 term end=April 14, 911 predecessor=Leo V successor=Anastasius III birth date=??? birthplace=Rome, Italy dead=dead|death date=death date|911|4|14|mf=y… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Honorius I —     Pope Honorius I     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Honorius I     Pope (625 12 October, 638), a Campanian, consecrated 27 October (Duchesne) or 3 November (Jaffé, Mann), in succession to Boniface V. His chief notoriety has come to him from… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Joan (2009 film) — Pope Joan Release poster Directed by Sönke Wortmann Produced by Be …   Wikipedia

  • Sergius — can refer to:Roman Catholic Popes*Pope Sergius I *Pope Sergius II *Pope Sergius III *Pope Sergius IVEastern Orthodox Patriarchs*Patriarch Sergius I of Moscow Patriarch 1943 1944. *Patriarch Sergius I of Constantinople Patriarch 610 638.… …   Wikipedia