Pope Adrian III

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adrian III
Bishop of Rome
ChurchCatholic Church
Papacy began17 May 884
Papacy ended8 July 885
PredecessorMarinus I
SuccessorStephen V
Personal details
Died8 July 885
Modena, Carolingian Empire
Feast day8 July
Venerated inCatholic Church
Canonized2 June 1891
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
by Leo XIII
Other popes named Adrian

Pope Adrian III or Hadrian III (Latin: Adrianus or Hadrianus; died July 885) was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 17 May 884 to his death. He served for little more than a year, during which he worked to help the people of Italy in a very troubled time of famine and war.


Adrian III was born in Rome. According to Jean Mabillon, his birth name was Agapitus. Reginald L. Poole believes that Mabillon confused Adrian III, who succeeded Marinus I, with Agapetus II, who succeeded Marinus II a century later.[1]


Adrian laboured hard to alleviate the misery of the people of Italy, prey to famine and to continuous war.[2] He is also known to have written a letter condemning the Christians of both Muslim-ruled and Christian-ruled parts of Spain for being too friendly with the Jews in these lands.[3]

Adrian died in July 885 at San Cesario sul Panaro (Modena), not long after embarking on a trip to Worms, in modern Germany. The purpose of the journey was to attend an Imperial Diet after being summoned by Emperor Charles the Fat to settle the imperial succession[4] and discuss the rising power of the Saracens.

Adrian's death and subsequent burial in the church of San Silvestro Nonantola Abbey near Modena[5] is commemorated in the sculpted reliefs (c. 1122) that frame the doorway of this church. His relics are found near the high altar, and his tomb at once became a popular place of pilgrimage. His cult was confirmed by Pope Leo XIII on 2 June 1891, and his feast day is celebrated on 8 July.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reginald L. Poole (1917), "The Names and Numbers of Medieval Popes", The English Historical Review, 32 (128), 465–78, at 467.
  2. ^ "Monks of Ramsgate. "Hadrian III". Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 September 2013".
  3. ^ Bernard S. Bachrach (1977). Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Western Europe (reprint ed.). University of Minnesota Press. p. 190. ISBN 9780816608140.
  4. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to John Paul II, (HarperCollins, 2000), 143.
  5. ^ a b François Bougard (2002), "Hadrian III", in Philippe Levillain, ed., The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, vol. 2 (New York and London: Routledge), 682.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Pope
Succeeded by