St. Zachary

Pope St. Zachary’s birthdate is not known, but he came from a Greek family in Calabria in the Italian southern toe. His father was a Roman Church deacon, Polichronus. Zachary’s early life is unknown, but he was unanimously elected pope immediately following the death of Pope Gregory III in November 741. He was the last pope to announce his ascension to the Constantinople patriarch.

A man of warm and gentle nature, Zachary was renowned for charitable acts along with shrewd, conciliatory behavior. He was involved in geopolitical matters and invoked a synod in Rome in 743 addressing church discipline. He restored many churches in Rome and the Lateran Palace.

Opposed to slavery, Zachary bought slaves from Venetian merchants in order to free them. He also translated into Greek the Latin dialogues of Gregory the Great. Zachary died in 752 on the Ides of March. His feast day is March 15th.

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