March 04, 2013

Saintly Pope Scoreboard

Quick run-through of centuries and papal saints:
1st-5th centuries = 49 saints, one uncanonized.

6th-9th centuries = 26 saints, 41 uncanonized

10th-13th centuries = 3 saints, 68 uncanonized and a half-dozen Blesseds.

14th-17th centuries = 1 saint, 45 uncanonized, about 3 Blesseds

18th-19th centuries = 1 Blessed, 13 uncanonized

20th century = 1 saint, 2 blessed, 2 venerables, 1 servants of God, 2 uncanonized


Bob the Ape said...

Note that the sharp drop in saintliness coincides with the establishment of the Papal States in 751-800, and the apparent recent resurgence starts at about the time that they were lost to the Kingdom of Italy. That the Papacy is, again, not a temporal power gives me some ground for optimism, that the next Pope will not be an Alexander VI or Leo X.

Side note: It's always tickled me that the early Church was so holy that even the first antipope was a saint (St. Hippolytus in 217).

TS said...

Sharp analysis there Bob.

TS said...

It's interesting that the sharp decline in saintliness doesn't occur immediately with Constantine's rule.

Tom said...

Also curious to note the sparsity of saintly popes during the High Middle Ages, when Everything was Perfect.

Tom said...

Also interesting to note the relative sparsity of sainted popes during the High Middle Ages, the Golden Years of Christendom.

(Am I the only one who can't get past Blogger's non-robot test in fewer than six tries? It's a good thing my comments are so important, or I'd never go through the hassle.)

TS said...

Ha, all six comments came through. I can sympathize since I have tremendous difficulty with the non-robot test while also having crucial things to say.

And on the High Middle Ages, yes I still recall being surprised when you once suggested that the 13th century wasn't quite the age everyone makes it out to be. Good to cast a skeptical eye on past ages where every Tom, Dick and Harry was a saint.

Gregg the Obscure said...

Well, even if the whole lot of Tom, Dick and Harry were saints in the XIII century, the popes then were Celestine, Innocent, Urban, Honorius, Boniface, etc. Had Pope Tom I gloriously reigned then, he'd have been a shoe-in.