List of popes who died violently (It’s is more than you think!)


List of popes who died violently (It's is more than you think!)

Several Roman Catholic popes had violent deaths. The circumstances have ranged from martyrdom (Pope Stephen I) to war (Lucius II), to a beating by a jealous husband (Pope John XII). A number of other popes have died under circumstances that some believe to be murder, but for which definitive evidence has not been found.


Martyr popes

In tradition, the first popeSaint Peter, was crucified upside-down.

  • Saint Peter (c.67), traditionally martyred by crucifixion
  • Pope Linus (Saint) (c.67-c.76)
  • Pope Anacletus or Cletus (Saint) (c.79-c.92)
  • Pope Clement I (Saint) (c.92-c.99), thrown into sea with anchor around his neck
  • Pope Evaristus (c.99-c.108); not listed in the Roman Martyrology
  • Pope Alexander I (Saint) (c.106-c.119); recognition as the martyred Saint Alexander (feast day May 3) rescinded in 1960
  • Pope Sixtus I (Saint) (c.119-c.128)
  • Pope Telesphorus (Saint) (c.128-c.138)
  • Pope Anicetus (Saint) (155-166), traditionally martyred.
  • Pope Soter (Saint) (166-175), died a martyr
  • Pope Eleuterus (Saint) (175-189), died a martyr
  • Pope Victor I (Saint) 189-199, died a martyr
  • Pope Calixtus I (Saint) (217-222), died a martyr
  • Pope Urban I (Saint) 222-230, died a martyr
  • Pope Pontian (Saint) 230-235, condemned to mines in Sardinia and died on island of Tavolara
  • Pope Anterus (Saint) Elected 235-12-21, martyred at hands of Emperor Maximus
  • Pope Fabian (Saint) Elected 236-1-10 and died a martyr 250-1-20 during persecution by Decius
  • Pope Cornelius (Saint) Elected March 251 and died a martyr June 253.
  • Pope Lucius I (Saint) Elected 253-6-25 and martyred 254-3-5.
  • Pope Stephen I (Saint) Elected 254-5-12 and martyred 257-8-2.
  • Pope Sixtus II (Saint) Elected 257-8-30 and martyred 258-8-6.
  • Pope Dionysius (Saint) Elected 259-7-22 after year of persecutions and died 268-12-26, martyred
  • Pope Felix I (Saint) Elected 269-1-5 and died 274-12-30, martyred
  • Pope Eutychian (Saint) Elected 275-1-4 and martyred 283-12-7.
  • Pope Caius (Saint) Elected 283-12-17 and martyred 296-4-22, but not at hands of his uncle, Diocletian
  • Pope Marcellinus (Saint) Elected 296-6-30 and martyred 304-10-25 during persecution of Diocletian
  • Pope Marcellus I (Saint) Elected 308-5-27 after 4-year vacancy and martyred 309-1-16.
  • Pope Eusebius (Saint) Elected 309-4-18 and martyred in Sicily 309-8-17.
  • Pope John I (Saint) , Elected August 13, 523, during the Ostrogothic occupation of the Italian peninsula. Was sent as an envoy by Ostrogoth king Theodoric to Constantinople. Upon return, Theodoric accused John I of conspiracy with the Byzantine empire. Imprisoned and starved to death on 18 May 526.
  • Pope Martin I (Saint) Elected in 649. Died in exile 655-9-16

Murdered popes

Pope Francis prays during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 26. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters) (Feb. 26, 2014) See POPE-AUDIENCE Feb. 26, 2014.

Prayer For Pope Francis

 O God, shepherd and ruler of all the faithful,

look favorably on your servant Francis,
whom you have set at the head of your Church as her shepherd;

Grant, we pray, that by word and example
he may be of service to those over whom he presides
so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care,
he may come to everlasting life.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who, lives and reigns with you in the
unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.