Above: The Vatican Flag
Image in the Public Domain
SAINT ZACHARY OF ROME (DIED 752)
Bishop of Rome
Of Greek ancestry, St. Zachary was born at Calabria. He became Bishop of Rome on December 3, 741, and remained in that office until he died on March 15, 752.
Bishops of Rome have often had to deal with political situations and function as diplomats. St. Zachary was no exception. The Lombards threatened Rome itself. The Pope intervened diplomatically several times (in 742, 743, and 749), securing the release of prisoners, the return of confiscated estates and seized lands, and the cessation of hostilities. He also opposed Byzantine Iconoclasm, dealing diplomatically with the imperial palace while providing shelter for nuns who had to flee Constantinople due to that controversy. And St. Zachary recognized Pepin III “the Short,” formerly Mayor of the Palace, as the Frankish monarch, displacing the feeble Merovingian Dynasty and its last king, Childeric III (reigned 743-751).
St. Zachary earned a reputation for managing church affairs efficiently, giving aid to the poor, and manifesting scholarship. He translated the Dialogues of Pope St. Gregory I “the Great” into Greek.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
DECEMBER 16, 2011 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF GUSTAF AULEN, SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN
THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELAIDE, HOLY ROMAN EMPRESS
THE FEAST OF MARIANNE WILLIAMS, ANGLICAN MISSIONARY
you raised up faithful bishops of your church,
including your servant Saint Zachary of Rome.
May the memory of his life be a source of joy for us and a bulwark of our faith,
so that we may serve and confess your name before the world,
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35
1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21
John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60
Revised on December 24, 2016