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Pope St. Benedict II

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Date of birth unknown; died 8 May, 685; was a Roman, and the son of John. Sent when young to the schola cantorum , he distinguished himself by his knowledge of the Scriptures and by his singing, and as a priest was remarkable for his humility, love of the poor, and generosity. He became pope 26 June, 684, after an interval of over eleven months. To abridge the vacancies of the Holy See which followed the deaths of the popes, he obtained from the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus a decree which either abolished imperial confirmations altogether or made them obtainable from the exarch in Italy [cf. "Liber Diurnus RR. PP.", ed. Sickel (Vienna, 1889), and Duchesne's criticism, "Le Liber Diurnus" (Paris, 1891)]. He adopted Constantine's two sons by receiving locks of their hair sent him by the emperor. To help to suppress Monothelitism, he endeavoured to secure the subscriptions of the Spanish bishops to the decrees of the Sixth General Council (see ep. in P.L., XCVI, 423), and to bring about the submission to them of Macarius, ex- Bishop of Antioch. He was one of the popes who favoured the cause of St. Wilfred of York (Eddius, "Vita Wilfridi", ed. Raine in "Historians of York", I, 62 sqq. Cf. Raine, "Lives of the Archbishops of York", I, 55 sqq.). Many of the churches of Rome were restored by him; and its clergy, its deaconries for the care of the poor, and its lay sacristans all benefited by his liberality. He was buried in St. Peter's.

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