Skip to main content

Sergius I, Pope, St.


Pontificate: Dec. 15, 687 to Sept. 7, 701; b. Palermo, Sicily; d. Rome. Sergius, born of a Syrian family from Antioch living in Palermo, went to Rome under Pope ad eodatus, was ordained, and under Leo II became titular priest of St. Susanna. After Pope conon's death, a triple election of the archdeacon Paschal, the archpriest Theodore, and Sergius, was resolved in Sergius's favor (December of 687). Theodore submitted but Paschal died in prison five years later, unrepentant. The exarch John Platyn demanded the gold promised him by Paschal if elected, and Sergius was forced to pay before Platyn would permit his consecration. Sergius rejected the reforming decrees of the quinisext or Trullan council (692) that opposed Roman practices and laws: canons 3, 13, and 30 sanctioned a married clergy; canon 36 called for the exaltation of Constantinople as had the Councils of Constantinople I and Chalcedon; and canons 52 and 55 differed sharply from western Lenten practices. Papal legates in Constantinople signed the acts, but Sergius disavowed their action. Emperor Justinian II arrested two councilors of the pope and tried to capture the pope himself, but the militias of Ravenna, the Pentapolis, and Rome prevented this. Schismatic Aquileia, alienated by the three chap ters controversy, was restored to unity through the Lombard King Cunipert and the pope. Sergius baptized King caedwalla of wessex (689), sent the pallium to Abp. brithwald of canterbury, ordered wilfrid of york restored to his see, and granted the privileges aldhelm had requested. He wrote to jarrow abbey asking that a learned monk (bede?) be sent to aid the curialists in Rome. Sergius was also on good terms with the Frankish kingdom, and it was he who blessed and encouraged wil librord's mission to the Frisians. Sergius added the Agnus Dei to the Mass and introduced processions on the four great feasts of Our Lady.

Feast: Sept. 9.

Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. p. ewald (repr. Graz 1956) 1:244245. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 188692) 1:371382. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. h. leclercq (Paris 190738) 3.1:560581. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 1.2:77104. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) 5:316323, 407409. g. barone adesi, Monachesimo ortodosso d'Oriente e Dritto romano nel tardo antico (Milan 1990). É. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 14.2:191316. o. bertolini, Roma di fronte a Bisanzio e ai Longobardi (Bologna 1941); "I papi e le relazioni politiche di Roma coniducati Longobardi," Rivista di storia della Chiesa iri Italia 8 (1954) 122. r. m. cholu, Married Clergy, and Ecclesiastical Continence in Light of the Council in Trullo (691) (Rome 1986). j. herrin, "'Femina byzantina' The Council in Trullo on Women," Dumbarton Oaks Papers (1992) 97105. h. ohme, "Das Concilium Quinisextum. Neue Einsichten zu einem umstrittenen Konzil," Orientalia Christiana Periodica 58 (Rome 1992) 367400. c. g. pitsakis, "Le droit matrimonial dans les canons du concile in Trullo," Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum 24 (1992) 158185. m. van esbroeck, Aux origines de la Dormition de la Viérge. Études historiques sur les traditions orientales (1995). j. n.d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 8283.

[c. m. aherne]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sergius I, Pope, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 16 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Sergius I, Pope, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (September 16, 2019).

"Sergius I, Pope, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.