List of murdered popes

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Several Roman Catholic popes have been murdered. 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.

Chronological list of martyr popes[edit]

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

The full list of popes from Peter up through John Paul II, including many mentioned as martyrs, is found in I Sommi Pontifici Romani, Annuario Pontificio, and the iconography of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. A secondary source, Liber Pontificalis or "Book of the Popes", adds "crowned with martyrdom" for half a dozen of the first 33 popes not specifically identified as martyrs in the primary sources. Several other popes are traditionally said to have been martyred, according to the Acts of the Martyrs and other sources of unknown authenticity.

Chronological list of popes murdered[edit]

Chronological list of popes who are alleged to have been murdered[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jacobus de Voragine; William Granger Ryan. The golden legend: readings on the saints. Princeton University Press. p. 39. 
  2. ^ Foul Play Suspected in Popes Death? Baltimore Afro-American - October 10, 1978
  3. ^ Kirsch, Johann Peter (1911), "St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles", Catholic Encyclopedia, 11, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2013-06-03 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab I Sommi Pontifici Romani
  5. ^ a b c d Liber Pontificalis
  6. ^ Annuario Pontificio
  7. ^ First pope listed as a martyr by Irenaeus' Against Heresies
  8. ^ Kirsch, Johann Peter (1911), "Pope St. Hyginus", Catholic Encyclopedia, 7, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2013-06-03 
  9. ^ Butler, Alban (1866). "July 11: St. Pius I., Pope and Martyr". The Lives of the Saints. 7. Dublin: James Duffy. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  10. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 129
  11. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope St. Eusebius
  12. ^ Pope Stephen (VI) VII New
  13. ^ Pope Benedict VI New
  14. ^ Pope John XIV
  15. ^ Mann, H. (1910). Pope John VIII. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved February 14, 2010 from New Advent:
  16. ^ Pope Leo V
  17. ^ Pope John X
  18. ^ Pope Clement II
  19. ^ "Pope Celestine V". List of Roman Catholic Popes. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Pope Boniface VIII
  21. ^ Yallop, David A. In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I. Toronto: Bantam Books, 1984. ISBN 978-0-553-05073-8.