Spirituality for Today – October 2013 – Volume 18, Issue 3

The 86th Pope
John VII

An image of Pope John VII, the 86th PopeJohn VII, the 86th Pope

Pope John VII (705-707) – Pope John was a Greek and the first pope elected from the family of an imperial official. His father was responsible for the upkeep of the Palatine palace. His lineage assured positive relations with the ruling Lombards. Although of Greek ancestry, the strain with the Eastern emperor, Justinian II continued by the pope's refusal to affirm the decrees of the Trullan Council (692). In the area of church art, his Greek roots manifested themselves. Pope John, indeed, was a patron of the arts and restored a number of churches, decorating them in frescoes and with mosaics. He built a papal resident near the Palatine palace.

He is buried in Saint Peter's within a crypt under the new Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary that he had constructed in the basilica.

Habemus papam