Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Pope St. Agatho

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 1
Pope St. Agatho

by Michael Ott

Born towards the end of the sixth century in Sicily; died in Rome, 681. It is generally believed that Agatho was originally a Benedictine monk at St. Hermes in Palermo, and there is good authority that he was more than 100 years old when, in 678, he ascended the papal chair as successor to Pope Donus. Shortly after Agatho became Pope, St. Wilfred, Archbishop of York, who had been unjustly and uncanonically deposed from his see by Theodore of Canterbury, arrived at Rome to invoke the authority of the Holy See in his behalf. At a synod which Pope Agatho convoked in the Lateran to investigate the affair, Wilfred was restored to his see. The chief event of Agatho's pontificate is, however the Sixth Œcumenical Council, held at Constantinople in 680, at which the papal legates presided and which practically ended the Monothelite heresy. Before the decrees of the council arrived in Rome for the approval of the pope, Agatho had died. He was buried in St. Peter's, 10 January, 681. Pope Agatho was remarkable for his affability and charity. On account of the many miracles he wrought he has been styled Thaumaturgus, or Wonderworker. His memory is celebrated by the Latin as well as the Greek church.

Mann, Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages (London, 1902); Butler, Lives of the Saints (London,1877); Montalembert, The Monks of the West (Boston), II, 383 sqq; Moberly in Dict. of Christ. Biogr. (London, 1877); Lobkowitz, Statistik der Papste (Freiburg and St. Louis, 1905).

MICHAEL OTT