Pope Saint John I (470-526) was a native of Tuscany, a Deacon for years, helping govern the Church in her temporal affairs and distribution of aid – he may have been the ‘Deacon John’ to whom the great philosopher Boethius dedicated his five religious tractates. Like the future Pope, Boethius was also to suffer martyrdom at the behest of his own king.
John was already old and frail when chosen as Pope in 523, but was the first Pope – that is, the Bishop of Rome, who is always Pope, and vice versa – to visit distant Constantinople, the great Eastern

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