For almost 300 years, the office of the pope was almost certainly a death sentence. 28 of the first 31 consecutive popes were violently murdered.

Pope Soter (Saint) (166-175), died a martyr [4]

Pope Eleuterus (Saint) (175-189), died a martyr [4]

Pope Victor I (Saint) 189-199, died a martyr [4]

Pope Calixtus I (Saint) (217-222), died a martyr [4]

Pope Urban I (Saint) 222-230, died a martyr [4]

Pope Fabian (Saint) Elected 236-1-10 and died a martyr 250-1-20 during persecution by Decius[4]

Pope Cornelius (Saint) Elected March 251 and died a martyr June 253.[4]

Pope Lucius I (Saint) Elected 253-6-25 and martyred 254-3-5.[4]

Pope Stephen I (Saint) Elected 254-5-12 and martyred 257-8-2.[4][1]

Pope Sixtus II (Saint) Elected 257-8-30 and martyred 258-8-6.[4]

Pope Dionysius (Saint) Elected 259-7-22 after year of persecutions and died 268-12-26, martyred [4]

Pope Felix I (Saint) Elected 269-1-5 and died 274-12-30, martyred [4]

Pope Eutychian (Saint) Elected 275-1-4 and martyred 283-12-7.

Pope Eusebius (Saint) Elected 309-4-18 and martyred in Sicily 309-8-17.


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes_who_died_violently

List of popes who died violently

A collection of popes who have had violent deaths through the centuries. The circumstances have ranged from martyrdom (Pope Stephen I)[1] to war (Lucius II),[2] to a beating by a jealous husband (Pope John XII). A number of other popes have died under circumstances that some believe to be murder, but for which definitive evidence has not been found.

Martyr popes[edit]

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

In tradition, the first pope, Saint Peter, was crucified upside-down.

Saint Peter (c.67), traditionally martyred by crucifixion[3]

Pope Linus (Saint) (c.67-c.76)[4][5]

Pope Anacletus or Cletus (Saint) (c.79-c.92)[6][4]

Pope Clement I (Saint) (c.92-c.99), thrown into sea with anchor around his neck[4]

Pope Evaristus (c.99-c.108);[4][5] not listed in the Roman Martyrology

Pope Alexander I (Saint) (c.106-c.119);[4][5] recognition as the martyred Saint Alexander (feast day May 3) rescinded in 1960

Pope Sixtus I (Saint) (c.119-c.128)[4][5]

Pope Telesphorus (Saint) (c.128-c.138)[4][7]

Pope Anicetus (Saint) (155-166), traditionally martyred.[4]

Pope Soter (Saint) (166-175), died a martyr [4]

Pope Eleuterus (Saint) (175-189), died a martyr [4]

Pope Victor I (Saint) 189-199, died a martyr [4]

Pope Calixtus I (Saint) (217-222), died a martyr [4]

Pope Urban I (Saint) 222-230, died a martyr [4]

Pope Pontian (Saint) 230-235, condemned to mines in Sardinia and died on island of Tavolara[4]

Pope Anterus (Saint) Elected 235-12-21, martyred at hands of Emperor Maximus [4]

Pope Fabian (Saint) Elected 236-1-10 and died a martyr 250-1-20 during persecution by Decius[4]

Pope Cornelius (Saint) Elected March 251 and died a martyr June 253.[4]

Pope Lucius I (Saint) Elected 253-6-25 and martyred 254-3-5.[4]

Pope Stephen I (Saint) Elected 254-5-12 and martyred 257-8-2.[4][1]

Pope Sixtus II (Saint) Elected 257-8-30 and martyred 258-8-6.[4]

Pope Dionysius (Saint) Elected 259-7-22 after year of persecutions and died 268-12-26, martyred [4]

Pope Felix I (Saint) Elected 269-1-5 and died 274-12-30, martyred [4]

Pope Eutychian (Saint) Elected 275-1-4 and martyred 283-12-7. [4]

Pope Caius (Saint) Elected 283-12-17 and martyred 296-4-22, but not at hands of his uncle, Diocletian [4]

Pope Marcellinus (Saint) Elected 296-6-30 and martyred 304-10-25 during persecution of Diocletian [4]

Pope Marcellus I (Saint) Elected 308-5-27 after 4-year vacancy and martyred 309-1-16.[4]

Pope Eusebius (Saint) Elected 309-4-18 and martyred in Sicily 309-8-17. [4][8]

Pope John I (Saint), Elected August 13, 523, during the Ostrogothic occupation of the Italian peninsula. Was sent as an envoy by Ostrogoth king Theodoric to Constantinople. Upon return, Theodoric accused John I of conspiracy with the Byzantine empire. Imprisoned and starved to death on 18 May 526. [4]

Pope Martin I (Saint) Elected in 649. Died in exile 655-9-16

Murdered popes[edit]

John VIII (872–882): Allegedly poisoned and then clubbed to death[9]

Stephen VI (896–897): Strangled[10]

Leo V (903): Allegedly strangled[11]

John X (914–928): Allegedly smothered with pillow[12]

John XII (955–964): Allegedly murdered by the jealous husband of the woman with whom he was in bed[13]

Benedict VI (973–974): Strangled[14]

John XIV (983–984): Either by starvation, ill-treatment or direct murder[15]

Clement II (1046–1047): Allegedly poisoned[16]

Celestine V (1294, died 1296): Allegedly murdered while in post-abdication captivity; allegations blame his successor, Pope Boniface VIII[17]

Boniface VIII (1294–1303): Allegedly (though unlikely) from the effects of ill-treatment one month before[18]

Dubious[edit]

Pope Hyginus (Saint) (c.138-c.142);[4] martyrdom[19]

Pope Pius I (Saint) (c.142-c.154), martyred by the sword according to old sources;[20] Claim of martyrdom removed from the 1969 General Roman Calendar after recent revisions[21]

See also[edit]

Lists[edit]

List of canonised popes

List of popes

List of popes by length of reign

List of popes from the Borgia family

List of popes from the Conti family

List of popes from the Medici family

List of popes sorted alphabetically

List of Sovereigns of the Vatican City State

Related topics[edit]

Annuario Pontificio

History of the papacy

Index of Vatican City-related articles

Legends surrounding the papacy

Liber Pontificalis

Oldest popes

Prophecy of the Popes

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