Related to Pope Stephen III and Pope Sergius II. Married layman, and father of one daughter. His wife and daughter were murdered by Eleutherius who had forceably married the girl. Monk. Cardinal. Twice refused the papacy, but was chosen in 867 at the age of 75. Worked to keep the peace among Charlemagne‘s greedy descendants. Compelled King Lothair of Lorraine to take back his lawful wife. He upheld the unlimited right of bishops to appeal to the Pope.
During his reign, the Bulgarians broke away from Rome, keeping unity with Constantinople. Worked for the re-unification of the Eastern and Western Churches at the Council of Constantinople in 869. Supported Saints Cyril and Methodius in their work with the Slavs, and approved their Slavonic version of the liturgy. Ordained Methodius as archbishop in 869.
- late 872 of natural causes