St. John I
John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian. (The Arians did not believe that Jesus is God.) Theodoric let Catholics alone at the beginning of his reign. Later, however, he changed and became arrogant and suspicious of everyone. He imagined there was a conspiracy against him. After a while, he believed the whole world was out to get his throne and his power. The one person who most certainly did not want either was the pope.
Theodoric was trying to get Pope John involved in his political problems. The emperor was having trouble with Emperor Justin I of Constantinople. It had been reported that Justin was being too hard on the Arians in the east. Theodoric sent a delegation to negotiate with Justin. The delegation was headed by Pope John I. Emperor Justin received
the pope and his companions with rejoicing. Justin was very willing to change his harsh policy. Pope John's mission went very well. But Emperor Theodoric was not pleased. He imagined that Pope John and Justin I were against him. The pope was returning to Rome and got as far as Ravenna, Theodoric's capital. Pope John was kidnapped and thrown into prison by Theodoric's soldiers. There the pope died of thirst and starvation in 526.
Let us ask always the Holy Spirit for light and guidance so that we may see the goodness in people.