The best Popes in History? – An OverviewPrint this page
Every Pope remembered was controversial. That does not stop them from being among the best popes in history.
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Best Popes ever:
1. Pope Leo III (750-816)
He is the Pope that crowned Charlemagne as the emperor of Rome. He lived in a time when kings and emperors still had more control than the pope, but archaeologist have evidence indicating that Pope Leo III was a head adviser of Charlemagne. As such, he encouraged the Carolingian Renaissance and the spread of the Catholic faith through the Germanic regions. This prowess earned him his place among the best popes in history.
2. Gregory the Great (1073-1085)
It can come as no surprise that Gregory makes the list of the best popes in history. He paved the way for every pope after him. Living in the fall of Rome, he pulled the country together and established the independence of papacy, which put the Pope above all other earthly rulers.
3. Julius II (1443-1513)
Julius gave us the greatest artist of all time. Though criticized during his papacy, his contribution to world culture makes him one of the best popes in history. Julius II commissioned the iconic St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel, which the Catholic faith is so strongly associated.
4. Blessed Pius IX (1792-1876)
He lived during the industrial revolution, the time of science yet managed to spark a spiritual revival at the same time. For this feat, he earned his place among the best popes in history. He was liberal. He embraced technology, ordering the construction of railways and streetlights in Rome. Though rescinded today, his declaration of Immaculate Conception was a beacon of hope for the woman pushing for woman's suffrage.
5. Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
One may think Pope John Paul II makes the list of best popes in history simply because he is still fresh in our minds as the beloved pope that traveled the world, but he is more than that. He is the pope that helped drive communism out of his native Poland. He is also the pope that created a bridge between the Catholic Church and the other major religions of the world making reconciliation for past wrongs.