Born to a noble family; his father, John, was an Italian municipal ruler.
As a deacon he served as papal nuncio to Pope Agapitus I to Constantinople in 536.
Influential in the Byzantine court of Emperor Justinian.
Obtained the condemnation of Origen in 543.
Imperial representative in Rome in 545.
Assisted the starving Roman people during a seige by the Goths.
Chosen 60th pope in 556 after an inter-regnum of ten months.
His reign began with controversy - many bishops were against him, and there were even accusations that he had caused the death of Pope Vigilius.
Unable to avert the schism which broke out in Northern Italy, but he did prevent it in Gaul.
He organized ecclesiastical tribunals, suppressed abuses in the clergy, and reorganized the patrimony of Saint Peter.
Fragments of his correspondence survive.