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pope_st_john_i_the_martyr_of_rome_523-526

St. John was elected Pope upon the death of Pope Hormisdas in 523 even though he was only an archdeacon.  Theodoric, the Goth, was the ruler of Italy at that time.  He favored the Arian brand of Christianity.  Theodoric tolerated and favored his Catholic subjects.  When John’s accession to the Papacy occurred, Theodoric’s policy under went a change.  He thought that the members of the Roman Senate, Constantinople, and the Emperor Justin I were plotting against his views.  Theodoric was convinced to negotiate with a delegation, headed by Pope John, to settle matters.  It was successful and also brought about the reconciliation of the Western and Eastern Churches which were plagued by a schism since 482.   Theodoric again thought they were plotting against him and ordered that when they returned to Ravenna they were to be imprisoned.  Pope John died a short time later as a result of his treatment.

FEAST DAY:  May 18

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