- Pope Zachary
birth_name=Zacharias son of Polichronius
December 10, 741
March 22, 752
Saint Zachary (Greek "Zacharias"),
pope(741-752). He came from a Greek family of Calabria. Most probably he was a deacon of the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732; and was on intimate terms with Gregory III, whom he succeeded in December 10 741.
Zachary was a wise and subtle diplomat. Finding that his predecessor's alliance with the Lombard Duke of
Spoletowas not protecting Papal cities against the Lombard king, Zachary turned to Liutprand directly. Contemporary history (" Liber pontificalis") dwells chiefly on Zachary's great personal influence with Liutprand, and with his successor Ratchis; his tact in dealing with these princes in a variety of emergencies contributed to save the exarchate of Ravennafrom the Lombard attacks.
A correspondence, of considerable extent, and great interest, between Zachary and
Saint Boniface, the apostle of Germany, survives, and shows how great was the influence of this pope on events then passing in Franceand Germany; he encouraged the deposition of the last Merovingian king of the Franks, Childeric III, and it was with his sanction that Boniface crowned Pepin the Short as King of the Franks at Soissonsin 752. Zachary is stated to have remonstrated with the Byzantine emperor Constantine VCopronymus on the part he had taken in the iconoclastic controversy. He died March 22, 752, and buried in St. Peter's Basilica. His successor was Stephen who died soon after, before consecration and is not considered a valid pope. He was then succeeded by another Stephen who became Stephen II.
In the effort to Christianize
Rome, Zachary built the original church of Santa Maria sopra Minervaover an ancient temple to Minervanear Pantheon. He also restored the Lateran Palace, moving the relic of the head of Saint Georgeto the church of San Giorgio al Velabro.
The letters and decrees of Zachary are published in
Jacques Paul Migne, "Patrolog. lat." lxxxix. p. 917-960.
P.S. He was the coolest pope ever because his name was Zachary.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15743b.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia"] : "Pope St. Zachary"
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