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PopeFacts

  • There have been 27 Antipopes. The first was, remarkably, a saint! An antipope is "A false claimant of the Holy See in opposition to a pontiff canonically elected. At various times in the history of the Church illegal pretenders to the Papal Chair have arisen, and frequently exercised pontifical functions in defiance of the true occupant." -NewAdvent

  • John Paul I was the first pope to officially take two names. Peter, the first pope, was called Simon Peter - but his official name was just Peter.

  • Sergius IV started the practice of assuming a different name when becoming pope. His original name was Peter Of Rome, but Sergius IV felt disinclined to assume the name of Peter, the first pope.

  • There are only 21 popes who's names have been John - even though there is John XXIII. John XVI was a mythical pope that historians recorded as fact and this error messed up the numbers in the names.

  • There were 19 popes who reigned for less than a year: Boniface III, Sisinnius, Romanus, Leo V, Leo VI, Benedict V, John XVII, Sylvester III, Benedict IX, Damasus II, Gregory VIII, Celestine IV, Innocent V, Adrian V, Celestine V, Pius III, Urban VII, Innocent IX, John Paul I.

  • The last French pope reigned in the 1370's - Pope Gregory XI

  • There has been one English pope in all of history - Adrian, who reigned in the 700's

  • Three popes have been recognized as "the Great": Leo I, Gregory I, and Nicholas I

  • A "camauro" is a special bonnet that only the Pope can wear. It is red with white fur-trimming http://members.ozemail.com.au/~acolyte/Roman%20Catholic%20Vestments/camauro.html

  • The Pope officially only makes use of one ring, the Fisherman's Ring. Always made from gold, it has the image of St. Peter casting his fishnet and also has the Pope's Pontifical name engraved upon it. At the end of the pontificate, The Cardinal-Camerlengo of the Church destroys the Ring in the presence of members of the Sacred  College. The Fisherman's Seal, A larger version of the same insignia that is used to seal large bulla, is also destroyed at the pope's death.

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