Chronological List Of Popes Through The Centuries
From St. Peter To Present
The Pope ( a term which means papa or father) is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church which is composed of the Latin Rite and the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the see of Rome.
- The official list of titles of the Pope is: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God.
"Vicar of Jesus Christ" (Vicarius Iesu Christi) is one of the official titles of the Pope. It is commonly used in the slightly abbreviated form "Vicar of Christ" (Vicarius Christi). While it is only one of the terms with which the Pope is referred to as "vicar", it is "more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from him", a vicarial power believed to have been conferred on Saint Peter when Christ said to him: "Feed my lambs. . . . Feed my sheep" (John 21:16-17). And also that He changed Simon's name to Peter (Petros also translated to Cephas both of which mean "the rock") and He said Peter was to be the rock on which he would build his Church (Matt. 16:18). Christ gave Peter alone the "keys of the kingdom" (Matt. 16:19).
- The term "pontiff" is derived from the Latin word pontifex, which literally means "bridge builder" (pons + facere). Pontifex Maximus (the greatest pontiff).
- There have been 265 popes from St. Peter to Pope Benedict XVI.
- A number of popes have been members of religious orders. Among them: 17 were Benedictines, 1 Caldomese, 6 Augustinians, 4 Canons Regular, 4 Dominicans, 4 Franciscans, 2 Conventual Franciscans and 2 Cistercians.