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Pope Alexander II

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Pope Alexander II

Anselm(o) I redirects here. There was also St Anselm I (bishop of Milan).
Alexander II
Papacy began 30 September 1061
Papacy ended 21 April 1073
Predecessor Nicholas II
Successor Gregory VII
Personal details
Birth name Anselmo da Baggio
Born ?
Milan, Holy Roman Empire
Died 21 April 1073(1073-04-21)
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Previous post Bishop of Lucca (1057–1061)
Other popes named Alexander

Pope Alexander II (died 21 April 1073), born Anselmo da Baggio,[1] was Pope from 30 September 1061 to his death in 1073.


He was born in Milan of a noble family.[2] As Anselm I, bishop of Lucca, he had been an energetic coadjutor with Hildebrand of Sovana in endeavouring to suppress simony and enforce the clerical celibacy. The papal election of 1061, which Hildebrand had arranged in conformity with the papal decree of 1059 (see Pope Nicholas II), was not sanctioned by the imperial court of Germany. True to the practice observed in preceding papal elections, the German court nominated another candidate, Cadalus, bishop of Parma, who was proclaimed Pope at the council of Basel under the name of Honorius II. He marched to Rome and for a long time threatened his rival's position. At length, however, Honorius was forsaken by the German court and deposed by a council held at Mantua; Alexander II's position remained unchallenged.

In 1065, Pope Alexander II wrote to Béranger, Viscount of Narbonne, and to Guifred, bishop of the city, praising them for having prevented the massacre of the Jews in their district, and reminding them that God does not approve of the shedding of blood. That same year, he admonished Landulf VI of Benevento "that the conversion of Jews is not to be obtained by force."[3] Also in the same year, Alexander called for a crusade against the Moors in Spain.[4]

In 1066, he entertained an embassy from the Duke of Normandy Guillaume II, Guillaume le Bâtard,(after his successful invasion of Brittany),[5] (later known as William the Conqueror). The embassy had been sent to obtain his blessing for the Norman conquest of England. This he gave to them, giving them a papal ring, the Standard of St. Peter,[6] and a papal edict to present to the English clergy saying that William was given the papal blessing for his bid to the throne. These favours were instrumental in the submission of the English church following the Battle of Hastings.

Alexander II oversaw the suppression of the "Alleluia" during the Latin Church's celebration of Lent.[7] This is followed to this day, and in the Tridentine rite "Alleluia" is also omitted during the Advent season.

Alexander II was followed by his associate Hildebrand, who took the title of Gregory VII.


  1. ^ Cardini, Franco, Europe and Islam, (Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 1999), 40.
  2. ^ Loughlin, James. "Pope Alexander II." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 1 Aug. 2014
  3. ^ Simonsohn, pp 35–37.
  4. ^ Jonathan P. Phillips, The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom, (St. Edmundsbury Press Ltd., 2007), 246.
  5. ^ Breton-Norman War
  6. ^ Houts, Elisabeth M. C. Van, The Normans in Europe, (Manchester University Press, 2000), 105.
  7. ^ Cabrol, p 46.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Nicholas II
Succeeded by
Gregory VII
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