Saints of the Day – Deusdedit I, Pope

Pope Saint Adeodatus IArticle

(also known as Adeodatus)

Born in Rome; died in Rome November 8, 618. Son of a subdeacon, Stephen, Deusdedit was consecrated pope on October 19, 615. He encouraged the secular clergy and devoted much of his time to aiding the needy, especially during the disastrous earthquake that devastated Rome in August 618. He also worked untiringly for the plague-stricken when the pestilence followed in Rome. His pontificate was filled with troubles, civil commotions, and natural disasters. Rebels flouted the imperial authority both at Ravenna and Naples. Up north at Ravenna the exarch John, along with other imperial officials, had been murdered. Down south at Naples a certain John of Compsa had risen in revolt, taken over the town, and proclaimed his independence of the Emperor Heraclius.

Heraclius, who had succeeded the weak Phocas in 610, was not the man to allow his empire to fall to pieces. He sent his able chamberlain, the Patrician Eleutherius to correct the problems in his Italian dominions. Eleutherius acted with vigor. First he restored order in Ravenna. Then he marched south along the Flaminian Way. After pausing in Rome to receive a warm welcome from the loyal Pope, he marched on Naples, stormed the city, and put the rebel John to death. Instead of letting well enough alone, however, Eleutherius turned on the Lombards and rekindled a war which soon he was forced to end by once more buying off those tough barbarians.

Pope Deusdedit was especially fond of his secular clergy and seems to have leaned on them rather than on monks for support. His love for his secular clergy was manifested even after death, for in his will he left a sum of money to be distributed among them.

According to tradition, he was the first pope to use lead seals (bullae) on papal documents, which in time came to be called bulls. There still exists such a leaden bulla dating from this pope’s reign. In all ancient Benedictine menologies he is called a Benedictine monk, but there is no certain evidence for it (Benedictines, Brusher, Delaney).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2020. Web. 27 November 2020. <>