Easy Question about the Pope


#1

Can someone tell me when the tradition of Popes taking a new name originated? And why it was started? (Not counting Simon Peter.) All the early popes, like Linus, Anancletus, Clement used their own names, I think.

thx


#2

This papal tradition dates to 533 and the election of Pope John II, whose birth name was Mercurius, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Mercurius, whose name was a form of"Mercury," a pagan Roman god, believed that a successor of St. Peter should not carry a name belonging to a pagan religion, and he chose to change his name upon his election to honor a previous pope.


#3

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