Daily Saints

അനുദിന വിശുദ്ധർ (Saint of the Day) March 22nd – St. Zachary

അനുദിന വിശുദ്ധർ (Saint of the Day) March 22nd – St. Zachary

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അനുദിന വിശുദ്ധർ (Saint of the Day) March 22nd – St. Zachary

His predecessor’s alliance with the Lombard Duke of Spoleto put papal cities at risk when the Dukes of Spoleto and Benevento rebelled. Zachary turned to King Liutprand the Lombard directly. Out of respect for Zachary the king restored to the church of Rome all the territory seized by the Lombards and sent back the captives without ransom.[4] The contemporary history (Liber pontificalis) dwells chiefly on Zachary’s personal influence with Liutprand, and with his successor Ratchis. At the request of the Exarchate of Ravenna, Zachary persuaded Luitprand to abandon a planned attack on Ravenna and to restore territory seized from the city.[2]

Zachary corresponded with Saint Boniface, the apostle of Germany. He counseled Boniface about dealing with disreputable prelates such as Milo of Trier. “As for Milo and his like, who are doing great injury to the church of God, preach in season and out of season, according to the word of the Apostle, that they cease from their evil ways.”[5]

At Boniface’s request, the Pope confirmed three newly established Bishoprics of Wurzburg, Buraburg, and Erfurt. In 742 he appointed Boniface as papal legate to the Concilium Germanicum, hosted by Carloman. In a later letter Zachary confirmed the metropolitans appointed by Boniface to Rouen, Reims, and Sens. In 745 Zachary convened a synod in Rome to discourage a tendency toward the worship of angels.[6]

He sanctioned the deposition of the last Merovingian King of the Franks, Childeric III. In response to a question by Pepin the Short, the Pope said that in these circumstances, the de facto power was considered more important than the de jure authority, an endorsement Pepin was later able to present to an assembly of the Frankish nobles and army. Pepin was subsequently crowned King of the Franks by Boniface at Soissons in 752.

Zachary is stated to have remonstrated with the Byzantine emperor Constantine V Copronymus on the part he had taken in the iconoclastic controversy.[2]

Zachary built the original church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva over an ancient temple to Minerva near the Pantheon. He also restored the decaying Lateran Palace, moving the relic of the head of Saint George to the church of San Giorgio al Velabro. Also in Rome, some Venetian merchants bought many slaves in the city to sell to the Muslims of Africa; however, Zachary forbade such traffic and then paid the merchants their price, giving the slaves their freedom.[4][7]

Pope Zachary died on 15 March[1] 752 and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica. Zachary was succeeded by Stephen, who died soon before his consecration and is not considered a valid pope. He was then followed by another Stephen who became Stephen II. The letters and decrees of Zachary are published in Jacques Paul Migne, Patrolog. lat. lxxxix. p. 917–960.

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