A Good Bit
Five of the Catholic Church’s 266 popes were actually born in Syria. With a population of just 18 million, that’s a pretty good percentage. St. Peter, St. Anicetus, Pope John V, ST. Sergius I, Pope Sisinnius, Pope Constantine, and St. Gregory III were all Syrian popes.
There hasn’t been a Syrian pope since the eighth century, but the country is still tied with Germany for the fourth most popes from the country.
The first Roman emperor to embrace Christianity was actually Constantine. His conversion to Christianity was a turning point for the religion. For hundreds of years, the Romans actually persecuted Christians, but everything changed when Constantine went against the grain.
The people select their papal names as a way to tribute their predecessors. Apparently, Pope John is the most respected one because John is the most popular chosen name for a pope by far. John has been used 23 times, and second place would be Gregory and Benedict with 16.
The pope is a big figure when it comes to the church, but how much do you really know about him?