Pope Sabinian (Latin: Sabinianus, d. 22 February 606) was Pope from 13 September 604 to his death in 606, during the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) domination of the Papacy; he was the fourth former apocrisiarius to Constantinople to be elected pope.
|Papacy began||13 September 604|
|Papacy ended||22 February 606|
|Born||Blera, Eastern Roman Empire|
22 February 606 (aged 76)|
Rome, Eastern Roman Empire
|Previous post||Cardinal-Deacon of the Holy Roman Church (15 October 590 - 13 September 604)|
Sabinian was born at Blera (Bieda) near Viterbo. He had been sent by Pope Gregory I as Apostolic nuncio, to Constantinople, but he apparently was not entirely satisfactory in that office. He returned to Rome in 597. He was probably consecrated pope on 13 September 604.
The erudite Italian Augustinian Onofrio Panvinio (1529–1568), in his Epitome pontificum Romanorum (Venice, 1557), attributes to him the introduction of the custom of ringing bells at the canonical hours and the celebration of the Eucharist. The first attribution of this was in Guillaume Durand's thirteenth-century Rationale Divinorum Officiorum.
During his reign, Sabinian was seen as a counterfoil to his predecessor Pope Gregory I.He incurred unpopularity by his unseasonable economies, although the Liber Pontificalis states that he distributed grain during a famine at Rome under his pontificate. Whereas Gregory distributed grain to the Roman populace as invasion loomed, when the danger had passed Sabinian sold it to them. Because he was unable or unwilling to allow the people to have the corn for little or nothing, there grew up in later times a number of idle legends in which his predecessor was represented punishing him for avarice. Sabinian died 22 February 606. His funeral procession through the city had to change course to avoid hostile Romans.
The Liber Pontificalis praises him for "filling the church with clergy," in contrast to Gregory, who tended to fill ecclesiastical positions with monks rather than the diocesan clergy.
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Sabinianus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sabinianus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 966.
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- Duffy, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Yale University Press, 2001, p. 72–73. ISBN 0-300-09165-6
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