Pope Adrian III

Pope Adrian III or Hadrian III (Latin: Adrianus or Hadrianus; died July 885) was Pope from 17 May 884 to his death.[1] According to Jean Mabillon, his birth name was Agapitus.[2] He served for little more than a year, during which he worked to help the people of Italy in a very troubled time of famine and war.

Pope Saint

Adrian III
Papacy began17 May 884
Papacy ended8 July 885
PredecessorMarinus I
SuccessorStephen V
Personal details
Birth nameAdrian or Agapitus
BornRome, Papal States
Died8 July 885
Modena, Carolingian Empire
Feast day8 July
Venerated inCatholic Church
Canonized2 June 1891
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
by Pope Leo XIII
Other popes named Adrian


He was born at Rome. He laboured hard to alleviate the misery of the people of Italy, prey to famine and to continuous war.[3] He is also known to have written a letter condemning the Christians of both Muslim-ruled and Christian-ruled parts of Spain for being too friendly with the Jews in these lands.[4]

He died in July 885 at San Cesario sul Panaro (Modena) not long after embarking on a trip to Worms, in modern Germany. The purpose the journey was to attend an Imperial Diet after being summoned by the Frankish King Charles III, the Fat, to settle the succession to the Holy Roman Empire[5] and discuss the rising power of the Saracens.

His death and subsequent burial in the church of San Silvestro Nonantola Abbey near Modena[6] is commemorated in the sculpted reliefs (c.1122) that frame the doorway of this church. His relics are found near the high altar, and his tomb at once became a popular place of pilgrimage. His cult was confirmed in 1891, and his feast day is 8 July.[6]

See also


  1.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope St. Adrian III" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. According to Reginald L. Poole (1917), "The Names and Numbers of Medieval Popes", The English Historical Review, 32 (128), 465–78, at 467, Mabillon has probably confused Adrian III, who succeeded Marinus I, with Agapetus II, who succeeded Marinus II a century later.
  3. Monks of Ramsgate. “Hadrian III”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 September 2013
  4. Bernard S. Bachrach (1977). Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Western Europe (reprint ed.). University of Minnesota Press. p. 190. ISBN 9780816608140.
  5. Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to John Paul II, (HarperCollins, 2000), 143.
  6. François Bougard (2002), "Hadrian III", in Philippe Levillain, ed., The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, vol. 2 (New York and London: Routledge), 682.

Further reading

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Marinus I
Succeeded by
Stephen V
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