Spirituality for Today – March 2014 – Volume 18, Issue 8

The 91st Pope
Saint Zacharias

An image of Saint Zacharias, the 91st PopeSaint Zacharias, the 91st Pope

Pope Saint Zacharias (741-752) – Politically, Pope Zacharias employed skillful diplomacy in regard to the ever variable Lombards and the emperor in Constantinople. He abated tensions with the Lombards in Northern Italy and tactfully avoided the hot-button issue of iconoclasm with the emperor. He received favors from the emperor for his support of the imperial court and his success in cooling the militaristic fever of the Lombards.

Pope Zacharias continued the papal backing of the missionary work of Boniface in Germany and provided Pepin III with the support he requested in affirming his royal title. The Merovingian line of kings now, in the person of Pepin, would be replaced by the Carolingian line of rulers.

Although not a builder of churches, he used his scholarly and cultured background in translating into Greek the famous Dialogues of Pope Gregory the Great. Pope Zacharias, the last of the Greek popes, brought to the Greek speaking world the thoughts and wisdom of Pope Gregory.

Pope Zacharias is buried in the basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam