Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Papal nicknames

Naturally, the first time I try to post a link to a particularly funny entry on someone else's blog, I can't figure out how to do it. Oh, well, I'll post the important stuff here, and then add the link once I've got it working (probably about the same time the letter "c" on my keyboard stops stiking...sticking). The Shrine of the Holy Whapping had a wonderful entry on papal nicknames, and how odd it was that we have only a few "greats" (Leo, Gregory) and nothing at all for most popes. So they came up with some good titles for popes of the past:

Liberius the Pretty Good but for Some Reason did not Make Sainthood (352-66)
Stephen (II) the Brief (752)
Lando the Forgotten (913-914; possibly retired to Cloud City)
John (XX) the-Not-Appearing-in-This-Film
Pius (II) the Poet (1458-1464)
Alexander (VI) the... We-Don't-Talk-about-him-in-Public-Anymore (1492-1503)
Marcellus (II), "As Seen on Palestrina!" (1555)
Pius (IV), No-not-him-But-the-Other-One (1559-65)
Pius (V) the Hammer of Liturgists (1566-72)
Gregory (XIII) the Hammer of...um...Inaccurate Calendar Thingies (or "the Bill Nye the Science Guy of the Counter-Reformation") (1572-85)
Urban (VII) the Generous (1590)
Gregory (XIV) the Shortlived (1590-91)
Leo (XI) the Really Shortlived (1605)
Urban (VIII) the Guy Who Put Bees Everywhere (1623-44)
Innocent (X) the Large Two-by-Four used to Whap People of Jansenism (1644-55)
Alexander (VII) the Often Confused with The Other Guy, but Who Did Nice Things and Liked Architecture (1655-67)
Clement (IX) the Smallish Ruler Used to Whap People's Knuckes, But Which Still Really Stings, of Jansenism (or, more seriously Clement (IX) the Friendly) (1667-69)
Pope Innocent (XI) the Vacuum-Cleaner of Nepotism (1676-89)
Innocent (XII) the Vacuum-Cleaner Special Attachment Nozzle, you know, the one to get the tough little dust-bunnies in the corners, of Jansenism (1691-1700)
Pius (VII), You Know, the One Who had to Put up with Napoleon (1800-23)
Pius (VIII) the Pressure-Washer of Liberalism (1829-30)
Pius (IX) the Prisoner (1846-1878)

I have to admit a fondness for Pope Urban VIII - I thought that bees really were an official Catholic symbol of...something or other. I didn't know it was just his family emblem. Years ago, the museum downtown had an exhibit of Vatican ornaments and vestments, and there were bees everywhere. I didn't know that this all came from just one guy. Anyway, I've got a little bronze bee pin that I wear as a secret symbol of my Catholic identity.

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