Election of John XXI, Only Portugese Pope

Election of John XXI, Only Portugese Pope

Pope John XXI
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John XXI is elected pope, but his reign will last just a few months. He will die in May from injuries sustained when the ceiling of his observatory collapses upon him.

The only Portugese pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, John XXI will also be the only pope which Dante will depict as residing in Paradise.

The reign of Pope John XXI will be characterized primarily by attempts to establish peace and justice across Europe — for example, he will admonish papal tax collectors who abuse their positions and power.

Technically, Pope John XXI should have been John XX and not John XXI: there have only been nineteen pontiffs with the name John, but a mistake in counting has been made, and so he takes the name John XXI.

Pope John XXI is primarily a scholar — he has been a physician and even published a book about philosophy and medicine. He is so engrossed in scholarship, in fact, that as pope he will leave the day-to-day administration of the Church to Cardinal Orsini, who will succeed John and become Pope Nicholas III.

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