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With all the talk about Pope Benedict XVI resigning, I thought I would take the opportunity to look back at some of my favorite popes.  I managaed to narrow it down to 4.  The man above was Pope Hilarius (unfortunately there was no Pope Hilarius II).  His personal and papal name was Hilarius, and he went by Papa Hilarius.  Papa Hilarius.  He was pope from 461-468.

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Next is Pope-elect Stephen II.  Stephen was elected pope and then died three days later, before being official consecrated as pope, so I guess he wasn’t technically a pope.  However, his sucessor also used the name Stephen II.  So there was an actual Pope Stephen II.  There were a total of 9 popes named Stephen.  I have nothing against the name Stephen, I just find it to be funny sounding with any sort of title before it.  So the fact that there were 9 of them makes it extra funny.

Next is Pope Lando, named for the famous Star Wars character, Lando Calrissian.  Pope Lando was only pope for 6 months, from July or August 913 to February or March 914.  Turns out there were a lot of popes who held the office for less than a year.  Fun fact: the longest serving pope was Pope Pius IX (31 + years).  Pope Lando didn’t really do anything memorable.  Here’s some more pictures of Lando Calrissian:

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Finally, there’s Pope Sylvester II.  He was the first French pope.  I originally liked Sylvester because I thought he had a weird sounding pope name, like Stephen.  But then I looked into his biography a little more and discovered that he was even more interesting than I originally thought.  First, his name was Gerbert.  Second, there are all sorts of crazy legends associated with Gerbert, such as his magical robot head.  Check it out for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sylvester_II .  Here’s a picture of Gerbert hanging out with the Devil:

File:Silvester II. and the Devil Cod. Pal. germ. 137 f216v.jpg

Who’s your favorite pope?

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