Feast Day : May 8
The date of Benedict’s birth is not known. He was a native of Rome, the son of John. As a youth, he was active in Church affairs. He was ordained a priest and became a respected scholar of the Scriptures and an expert in sacred chants. He was distinguished further by his humility, his generosity, and his love for the poor.Benedict was elected to the Chair of St. Peter to succeed Pope St. Leo II (r. 682–683) upon the latter’s death in June 683, though he was not consecrated until June 26 of the following year. The delay in Benedict’s consecration was due to the wait for the traditional approval of the emperor. The consecrations of Leo II and several other of his predecessors had been delayed for the same reason. In order to prevent this from happening again, Benedict sought and obtained a decree from Emperor Constantine Pogonatus (Constantine the Bearded) that abolished the practice of imperial confirmation. During his brief reign, Benedict was an active head of the Church throughout Europe. He opposed the Monothelitism heresy and worked to bring several Spanish bishops in line with his views. He was also one of several popes to support the Englishman, St. Wilfred of York, who was trying to return to his see after having been forced out by St. Theodore. Benedict was also energetic in his support of the Church of Rome, restoring several churches and supporting the clergy and lay sacristans. Benedict died on May 8, 685, and was laid to rest in St. Peter’s.