Pope Pelagius II

Pope Pelagius II (died 7 February 590) was the bishop of Rome from 26 November 579 to his death.[1]


Pelagius II
Bishop of Rome
ChurchCatholic Church
SeeHoly See
Papacy began26 November 579
Papacy ended7 February 590
PredecessorBenedict I
SuccessorGregory I
Personal details
Birth namePelagius
BornRome, Ostrogothic Kingdom
Died7 February 590
Rome, Eastern Roman Empire
Other popes named Pelagius

Pelagius was a native of Rome, but probably of Ostrogothic descent, as his father's name was Winigild. Pelagius appealed for help from Emperor Maurice against the Lombards, but to no avail, forcing Pelagius to "buy" a truce and turn to the Franks, who invaded Italy, but left after being bribed by the Lombards.[1]

Pelagius labored to promote clerical celibacy, and he issued stringent regulations on this matter.[1] During his pontificate, the bishop of Milan, who had broken communion with Rome in the Schism of the Three Chapters, returned to full communion around 581, while other bishops in Northern Italy remained in schism.[1]

Pelagius ordered the construction of the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, a church shrine over the place where Saint Lawrence was martyred. During his reign, the Visigoths of Spain converted, but he also faced conflict with the See of Constantinople over the adoption of the title of "Ecumenical Patriarch," which Pelagius believed to undermine the authority of the papacy.[1][2][3]

Pelagius fell victim to the plague that devastated Rome at the end of 590. His successor, Gregory I, thought his regulations of clerical celibacy too strict, and modified them to some extent.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mann, Horace K. (1911). "Pope Pelagius II" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Duffy, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Yale University Press, 2001. pp 62–63. ISBN 0-300-09165-6.
  3. ^ Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. Chronicle of the Popes: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Papacy from St. Peter to the Present, Thames & Hudson, 2002, p. 47. ISBN 0-500-01798-0.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Benedict I
Succeeded by
Gregory I