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Pope Zacharias
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Pope Zacharias

Saint Zacharias, or Zachary pope (741-752), from a Greek family of Calabria, appears to have been on intimate terms with Gregory III, whom he succeeded (November 741).

Zacharias was a wise and subtle diplomat. Finding that his predecessor's alliance with the Lombard Duke of Spoleto was not protecting Papal cities against the Lombard king, Zacharias turned to Luitprand directly. Contemporary history (Liber pontificalis) dwells chiefly on Zacharias' great personal influence with Luitprand, and with his successor Rachis; it was largely through his tact in dealing with these princes in a variety of emergencies that the exarchate of Ravenna was rescued from becoming a Lombard duchy.

A correspondence, of considerable extent, and great interest, between Zacharias and Saint Boniface, the apostle of Germany, survives, and shows how great was the influence of this pope on events then passing in France and Germany; he encouraged the deposition of the last Merovingian king of the Franks, Childeric III, and it was with his sanction that Boniface crowned Pepin the short as king of the Franks at Soissons in 752. Zacharias is stated to have remonstrated with the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Copronymus on the part he had taken in the iconoclastic controversy. He died March 14, 752, and was succeeded by Stephen II

The letters and decrees of Zacharias are published in Jacques Paul Migne, Patrolog. lat. lxxxix. p. 917-960.

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Preceded by:
Pope Gregory III
- chronological list
Succeeded by:
Pope Stephen II

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopędia Britannica.