Have you ever wondered why some popes choose the names they do? Some (like the first popes) simply kept their names. Others (especially the most modern day popes) choose them based on the legacies of their predecessors. While there are some papal names that have been repeated quite a bit (John, Benedict, Leo, and Pius come to mind), there have also been 45 papal names that have been used only once. Considering that there have been 266 popes to date, that’s impressive.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have some of these names used once again? Men, here’s your chance to think of your potential papal name (if it ever comes to that). I present to you 45 gently used pope names you may want to consider.
Names that would fit in our modern times
Peter (1st pope, saint, 33-67)
Linus (2nd pope, saint, 67-76)
Fabian (20th pope, saint, 236-250)
Marcus (34th pope, saint, 336)
Francis (266th pope, 2013—present)
Popes that were never canonized
Vigilius (59th pope, 537-555)
Sabinian (65th pope, 604-606)
Adeodatus (II) (77th pope, 672-676)
Constantine (88th pope, 708-715)
Valentine (101st pope, 827)
Formosus (112th pope, 891-896)
Names that are a punster’s dream
Hyginus (9th pope, saint, 136-140)
Siricius (38th pope, 384-399)
Hilarius (46th pope, 468), ultimate pick for good dad jokes
Simplicius (47th pope, saint, 468-483)
Vitalian (76th pope, saint, 657-672), especially if he’s Italian..
Donus (78th pope, 676-678)
Names that sound like literary heroes
Pontain (18th pope, saint, 230-235)
Cornelius (21st pope, saint, 251-253)
Dionysius (25th pope, saint, 260-268)
Caius (28th pope, saint, 283-296)
Marcellinus (29th pope, saint, 295-304)
Names that you’ll probably never hear again
Anacletus (Cletus) (3rd pope, saint, 76-88)
Evaristus (5th pope, saint, 97-105)
Anicetus (11th pope, saint, 155-166)
Telesphorus (8th pope, saint, 125-136)
Soter (12th pope, saint, 166-175)
Eleutherius (13th pope, saint, 175-189)
Zephyrinus (15th pope, saint, 199-217)
Eutychian (27th pope, saint, 275-283)
Miltiades (32nd pope, saint, 311-314)
Zosimus (41st pope, saint, 417-418)
Symmachus (51st, saint, 498-514)
Hormisdas (52nd pope, saint, 514-523)
Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (68th pope, saint, 615-618)
Popes who were the first or last of their kind
Liberius (36th pope, 352-366), first pope on the list to not be canonized since St. Peter.
St. Agatho (79th pope, 678-681), the last pope with a unique to be canonized.
Pope Lando (122nd pope, 913-914) the last pope to have a unique name until Pope Francis, over a millennia later.
Popes who served a year or less
Severinus (71st pope. 640)
Anterus (19th pope, saint, 235-236)
Eusebius (31st pope, saint, 309 or 310)
Silverius (58th pope, saint, 536-537)
Conon (83th pope, 686-687)
Sisinnius (87th pope, 708)
Romanus (115th pope, 897)
Which names are your favorites? Which did you not know about? Let us know!
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