Pope Alexander II
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (June 2016)|
|Papacy began||30 September 1061|
|Papacy ended||21 April 1073|
|Birth name||Anselmo da Baggio|
|Born||Milan, Holy Roman Empire|
|Died||21 April 1073
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
|Previous post||Bishop of Lucca (1057–61)|
|Other popes named Alexander|
He was born in Milan of a noble family. As bishop of Lucca, he had been an energetic coadjutor with Hildebrand of Sovana in endeavouring to suppress simony and enforce clerical celibacy. (In this role, he is sometimes known as Anselm the Elder or Anselm I to distinguish him from his nephew St Anselm who succeeded to his office.) The papal election of 1061, which Hildebrand had arranged in conformity with the papal decree of 1059 (see Pope Nicholas II), was not sanctioned by the imperial court of Germany. True to the practice observed in preceding papal elections, the German court nominated another candidate, Cadalus, bishop of Parma, who was proclaimed Pope at the council of Basel under the name of Honorius II. He marched to Rome and for a long time threatened his rival's position. At length, however, Honorius was forsaken by the German court and deposed by a council held at Mantua; Alexander II's position remained unchallenged.
In 1065, Pope Alexander II wrote to Béranger, Viscount of Narbonne, and to Guifred, bishop of the city, praising them for having prevented the massacre of the Jews in their district, and reminding them that God does not approve of the shedding of innocent blood. That same year, he admonished Landulf VI of Benevento "that the conversion of Jews is not to be obtained by force." Also in the same year, Alexander called for a Crusade against the Moors in Spain. Alexander II issued orders to the Bishops of Narbonne, instructing crusaders en route "that you protect the Jews who live among you, so that they may not be killed by those who are setting out for Spain against the Saracens ... for the situation of the Jews is greatly different from that of the Saracens. One may justly fight against those [the Saracens] who persecute Christians and drive them from their towns and their own homes."
In 1066, he entertained an embassy from William, duke of Normandy, after his successful invasion of Brittany. The embassy had been sent to obtain his blessing for William's prospective invasion of Anglo-Saxon England. Alexander gave it, along with a papal ring, the Standard of St. George, and an edict to the autonomous Old English clergy guiding them to submit to the new regime. These favors were instrumental in the submission of the English church following the Battle of Hastings. Count Eustace carried his Papal insignia, a gonfanon with three tails charged with a cross, which William of Poitiers says was given to William I to signify the Pope's blessing of his invasion to secure a submission to Rome.
In 1072 Alexander commanded the reluctant Polish priest Stanislaus of Szczepanów to accept appointment as Bishop of Kraków - becoming one of the earliest native Polish bishops. This turned out to be a significant decision for the Polish Church (and for Polish history in general): once appointed, Stanislaus was a highly assertive Bishop who got into conflict with Polish king Bolesław II the Bold, was assassinated by him and was eventually canonized and venerated as a major Polish Saint.
Alexander II oversaw the suppression of the "Alleluia" during the Latin Church's celebration of Lent. This is followed to this day, and in the Tridentine rite "Alleluia" is also omitted during the Advent season.
Alexander II was succeeded as pope by his associate Hildebrand, who took the title of Gregory VII.
- Cardini, Franco, Europe and Islam, (Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999), 40.
- Loughlin, James. "Pope Alexander II." Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 1 Aug. 2014
- Simonsohn, pp 35–37.
- Jonathan P. Phillips, The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom, St. Edmundsbury Press Ltd., 2007, p. 246.
- Jonathan P. Phillips, The Second Crusade: Walking to Santiago de Compostela, Penn State University Press, 1996, p. 101.
- O'Callaghan, Joseph (2003). Reconquest and crusade in medieval Spain. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-8122-3696-5.
- Houts, Elisabeth M. C. Van, The Normans in Europe, (Manchester University Press, 2000), 105.
- "Flags in the Bayeux Tapestry". Enyclopædia Romana.
- Cabrol, p 46.
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Alexander II". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
- Simonsohn, Shlomo. The Apostolic See and the Jews, Documents: 492–1404.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alexander (popes)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Cabrol, Fernand. Liturgical Prayer: Its History and Spirit. 2003. p. 46.
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