Celebrating the Memorial of Pope John I (c. 470 – May 18, 526), pope reigning from August 13, 523 to May 18, 526. He was a native of Siena. He is the first pope known to have visited Constantinople while in office. While a deacon in Rome, he is known to have been a partisan of the Antipope Laurentius. In a libellus written to Pope Symmachus in 506, John confessed his error in opposing him, anathematized Peter of Altinum and Laurentius, and begged pardon of Symmachus. As one of the seven deacons of Rome, fe signed the acta of the Roman synod of 499 and 502. He may also be the deacon John to whom Boethius dedicated three of his five religious tractates written between 512 and 520. John was very frail when he was elected to the papacy. Despite his protests, he was sent by the Arian King Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths to Constantinople to secure a moderation of Emperor Justin's decree of 523 against the Arians. Theodoric threatened that if John should fail in his mission, there would be reprisals against the orthodox Catholics in the West. Emperor Justin is recorded as receiving John honorably and promised to do everything the embassy asked of him, with the exception of restoring converts from Arianism to Catholicism to their original beliefs. Although Pope John was successful in his mission, when he returned to Ravenna, Theodoric's capital, Theodoric had John arrested on the suspicion of having conspired with Emperor Justin. He was imprisoned at Ravenna, where he died of neglect and ill treatment. His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.
May 18, 2013 12:00pm