John Catelinus, a Roman, was born of a distinguished
family and became Pope John III on July
17, 561. Pope John III was particularly concerned for the people's
This era marks a true transition period from ancient to
early medieval times. Pope John III is
noted for his care of the monuments of Christian antiquity and sanctioned
the completion of the Church of Saints Philip and James, a Byzantine
structure radiant with mosaics.
Bishop Salonius of Embrun and Bishop Sagittarius of Gap
were two bishops who had been condemned in a synod at Lyons in 567. They
convinced King Guntram of Burgundy that they had been unjustly condemned,
and the king appealed to Pope John III. Considerate of the king's
letters of endorsement, Pope
John III restored Bishop Salonius and Bishop Sagittarius to their
Sees; however, their later deeds caused them to be deposed again at the
synod of Chalons in 579.
Important was Pope John III’s relationship with General
Narses. General Narses had safeguarded Italy from the Goths and
continued to protect the country during the pontificate of Pope John III. General Narses destroyed
several armies of barbarians on behalf of threatened Italians.
Pope John III took
leave for many months in the Church of Saints Tiburtius and Valerian in the
Catacomb of Praetextatus along The Appian Way. Upon the death of
General Narses in 572, Pope John III returned from the catacombs to the
Lateran Palace. Because of his respite in the catacombs, Pope John III
was instrumental in the preservation of the catacombs.
Pope John III died
July 13, 574, and was buried in Saint Peter's Basilica.