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) to war (Lucius II), 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.
- Saint Peter (c.67), traditionally martyred by upside-down crucifixion
- Pope Linus (Saint) (c.67-c.76)
- Pope Anacletus or Cletus (Saint) (c.79-c.92)
- Pope Clement I (Saint) (c.92-c.99), thrown into sea with anchor around his neck
- Pope Evaristus (c.99-c.108), not listed in the Roman Martyrology but executed
- Pope Sixtus I (Saint) (c.119-c.128)
- Pope Telesphorus (Saint) (c.128-c.138)
- Pope Anicetus (Saint) (155-166), traditionally martyred
- Pope Soter (Saint) (166-175), died a martyr 
- Pope Eleuterus (Saint) (175-189), died a martyr
- Pope Victor I (Saint) 189–199, died a martyr
- Pope Calixtus I (Saint) (217-222), died a martyr
- Pope Urban I (Saint) 222–230, died a martyr
- Pope Pontian (Saint) 230–235, condemned to mines in Sardinia and died on island of Tavolara
- Pope Anterus (Saint), elected 21 November 235, martyred at hands of Emperor Maximus
- Pope Fabian (Saint), elected 10 January 236 and died a martyr during persecution and decapitated by Decius
- Pope Cornelius (Saint), elected March 251 and died a martyr June 253
- Pope Lucius I (Saint), elected 25 June 253 and martyred 5 March 254
- Pope Stephen I (Saint), elected 12 May 254 and martyred 2 August 257
- Pope Sixtus II (Saint), elected 30 August 257 and martyred 6 August 258
- Pope Dionysius (Saint), elected 22 July 259 after year of persecutions and died 26 December 268, martyred
- Pope Felix I (Saint), elected 5 January 269 and died 30 December 274, martyred
- Pope Eutychian (Saint), elected 4 January 275 and martyred 7 December 283
- Pope Caius (Saint), elected 17 December 283 and martyred 22 April 296 but not at hands of his uncle Diocletian
- Pope Marcellinus (Saint), elected 30 June 296 and martyred 25 October 10 during persecution of Diocletian
- Pope Marcellus I (Saint), elected 27 May 308 after 4-year vacancy and martyred 16 January 309
- Pope Eusebius (Saint), elected 18 April 309 and martyred in Sicily 17 August 309.
- 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 the Great to Constantinople. Upon return, Theodoric accused John I of conspiracy with the Byzantine empire. Imprisoned and starved to death on 18 May 526.
- Pope Martin I (Saint) Elected in 649. Died in exile 16 September 655.
- John VIII (872–882), allegedly poisoned and then clubbed to death
- Stephen VI (896–897), strangled
- Leo V (903), allegedly strangled
- John X (914–928), allegedly smothered with pillow
- John XII (955–964), allegedly murdered by the jealous husband of the woman with whom he was in bed
- Benedict VI (973–974), strangled
- John XIV (983–984), died either by starvation, ill-treatment or direct murder
- Pope Alexander I (Saint) (c.106-c.119), recognition as the martyred Saint Alexander (feast day May 3) rescinded in 1960
- Pope Hyginus (Saint) (c.138-c.142), martyrdom
- Pope Pius I (Saint) (c.142-c.154), martyred by the sword according to old sources. Claim of martyrdom removed from the 1969 General Roman Calendar after recent revisions.
- Clement II (1046–1047), allegedly poisoned
- Celestine V (1294–1296), allegedly murdered while in post-abdication captivity. Allegations blame his successor, Pope Boniface VIII.
- Boniface VIII (1294–1303), allegedly (though unlikely) died from the effects of ill-treatment one month before.
- Jacobus de Voragine; William Granger Ryan (1993). The golden legend: readings on the saints. Princeton University Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780691001548.
- Foul Play Suspected in Popes Death? Baltimore Afro-American - October 10, 1978
- Kirsch, Johann Peter (1911), "St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles", Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2013-06-03
- I Sommi Pontifici Romani[full citation needed]
- Liber Pontificalis[full citation needed]
- Annuario Pontificio[full citation needed]
- Alexis-François Artaud de Montor (1911). The lives and times of the popes : including the complete gallery of the portraits of the pontiffs reproduced from "Effigies pontificum romanorum Dominici Basae": being a series of volumes giving the history of the world during the Christian era. archive.org. p. 21. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019. Quote: "Ignatius died of the wounds that were inflicted by ferocious beasts; Evaristus died under the hands of executioners, more cruel than the wild beasts themselves."
- First pope listed as a martyr by Irenaeus' Against Heresies
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope St. Eusebius
- Mann, H. (1910). Pope John VIII. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved February 14, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08423c.htm
- Pope Stephen (VI) VII New Advent.org
- Pope Leo V NewAdvent.org
- Pope John X NewAdvent.org
- Mann, Horace K. (1910). The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Vol. IV: The Popes in the Days of Feudal Anarchy, 891-999. p. 264
- Pope Benedict VI New Advent.org
- Pope John XIV NewAdvent.org
- Kirsch, Johann Peter (1911), "Pope St. Hyginus", Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2013-06-03
- Butler, Alban (1866). "July 11: St. Pius I., Pope and Martyr". The Lives of the Saints. Vol. 7. Dublin: James Duffy. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
- "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 129
- Pope Clement II NewAdvent.org
- Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1906) History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages vol. 5 part 2
- Pope Boniface VIII NewAdvent.org