- Nicholas the Great
Son of the Theodore, who held the title Defensor. An excellent student, known for his piety and eloquence. Ordained as a sub-deacon by Pope Sergius II, and then a deacon by Pope Leo IV. Elected pope after the disintegration of the empire of Charlemagne when Christianity was threatened by apathy and indifference, and churchmen were becoming worldly. Nicholas became a vigorous, politically active pope who strengthened the Holy See. He arbitrated temporal and religious disputes, often setting important precedents, such as upholding the right of a bishop to appeal to Rome against his archbishop. Worked to prevent the proposed divorce of Lothair of Lotharingia, who wished to re-marry. Even when Holy Roman Emperor Louis II occupied Rome, Nicholas refused to yield, and finally forced Lothair to reinstate his wife. Challenged the right of Photius to occupy the see of Constantinople, and tried to get Saint Ignatius of Constantinople re-instated. Worked with Boris I to introduce Roman ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Bulgaria, which had recently been converted by the Byzantines.
- “Pope Saint Nicholas I“. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 March 2015. Web. 27 May 2015. <>