Born: c. 1210 (Lisbon)
Died: May 20, 1277
Pope: September 8, 1276 - May 20, 1277 (8 months)
The only Portugese pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, John XXI also happens to be the only pope which Dante depicted as residing in Paradise. His reign was characterized by attempts to promote peace and justice - for example, he admonished papal tax collectors who abused their positions and power.
Technically, John should have bee named John XX and not John XXI because there had only been nineteen pontiffs before him who had taken the name John. However, a mistake in the counting was made and he was designated John XXI.
John was first and foremost a scholar - he had been a practising physician and published a number of books dealing with philosophy and medicine. He was so engrossed in scholarship, in fact, that he left the day-to-day administration of the Church to Cardinal Orsini, who would become Pope Nicholas III. Orsini succeeded John after John died from injuries sustained when the ceiling of his observatory collapsed upon him.
Also Known As: none
Alternate Spellings: none
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