Spirituality for Today – November 2012 – Volume 17, Issue 4

The 75th Pope
Saint Eugenius (Eugene) I

An image of Pope Saint Eugenius (Eugene)I, the 75th PopePope Saint Eugenius (Eugene) I, the 75th Pope

Pope Saint Eugenius I (655-657) – The new pope was an elderly man noted for his gentle manner. He is elected while the previous pope, Martin I, was alive, but in hopeless exile. The electing clergy of Rome rightfully may have regarded Pope Martin as never returning to Rome and thus, functionally, resigned.

Pope Eugenius adopted a conciliatory approach to the emperor. Peter, Patriarch of Constantinople, devised a new formula for dealing with the problem of Monothelism (heresy claiming that Christ had two natures and one will) which stated that Christ had a human nature and a divine nature- each with its own will – but the divine person of Christ had one will. This confusing statement seems to propose that Christ had three wills? Nevertheless, the envoys accepted the proposal and the schism ended. Back in Rome, the formula of Peter was met with outrage. The schism was on again.

War with the Moslems consumed all of the emperor's energies, and thus he delayed what, most likely, would have been the arrest of yet another pope and then his exile. Pope Eugenius, however, died before any of this happened.

Pope Eugenius I is buried in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam