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Pat Ehnes wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a few questions regarding former Popes.

  • Who was the Pope who convened Vatican Council II?
  • Who was the Pope who closed Vatican Council II?
  • Finally, would you be able to tell me one significant fact about the last five Popes?

Thank you,


  { Which Pope(s) convened and closed Vatican II and can you tell me about the last five Popes? }

John replied:

Hi, Pat —

Pope John XXIII opened the Council and Pope Paul VI closed the Council.

As for a "significant fact", I personally think that knowing they are the Vicars of Christ on Earth and they were all commissioned by Our Lord to be the Supreme Juridical Leader of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is a "significant fact".

This "fact" goes for all Popes, past, present and future.  This is an "awesome" responsibility before God in my eyes.

Thanks for writing,


Mike replied:

Hi, Pat —

Popes, past, present and future do many, many things that mark their Papacy as unique so to give you one significant fact about the past five Popes would be based on ones personal opinion.

I can't give you one thing that stands out, but I can give you the resources to look into each of the past ten Popes backgrounds. The following was taken from the Vatican web site. Each Pope's web page have links to an array of:

  • Encyclicals
  • Apostolic Constitutions
  • Apostolic Exhortations
  • Apostolic Letters
  • Audience speeches, and more.

Some are in English, some are not.

  1. Pope Francis [biography]
  2. Pope Benedict XVI [biography]
  3. Blessed Pope John Paul II [biographical profile] [important dates]
  4. Pope John Paul I [biography]
  5. Pope Paul VI [biography]
  6. Pope John XXIII [biography]
  7. Pope Pius XII [biography] [in Italian only]
  8. Pope Pius XI [biography] [in Italian only]
  9. Pope Benedict XV [biography] [in Italian only]
  10. Pope Pius X [biography]
  11. Pope Leo XIII [biography]

Hope this helps,


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