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Pope John IV (died October 12, 642) was elected pope, after a four-month sede vacante, December 24, 640.

Pope John was a native of Dalmatia (probably in the town of Salona). He was the son of the scholasticus (advocate) Venantius. At the time of his election he was archdeacon of the Roman Church, an important role in governing the see. As John's consecration (on December 24) followed very soon after his election, it is supposed that the papal elections were being confirmed by the Exarch of Ravenna rather than by the Emperor in Constantinople.

Troubles in his native land, caused by invasions of Slavs, directed John's attention there. To alleviate the distress of the inhabitants, John sent the abbot Martin into Dalmatia and Istriamarker with large sums of money for the redemption of captives. As the ruined churches could not be rebuilt, the relics of some of the more important Dalmatian saints were brought to Romemarker. John erected an oratory in their honour which still stands. It was adorned by the pope with mosaics depicting John himself holding in his hands a model of his oratory. John endeavoured there by to convert the Slavs in Dalmatia and Istria to Christianity. Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus says that Porga, duke of the Dalmatian Croats, who had been invited into Dalmatia by Heraclius, sent to an Emperor Heraclius for Christian teachers. It is supposed that the emperor to whom this message was sent was Emperor Heraclius himself, and that he sent to Pope John IV.

While still only pope-elect, John, with the other rulers of the Roman Church, wrote to the clergy of the North of Irelandmarker to tell them of the mistakes they were making with regard to the time of keeping Easter, and exhorting them to be on their guard against the Pelagian heresy. About the same time he condemned Monothelism. Emperor Heraclius immediately disowned the Monothelite document known as the "Ecthesis". To Heraclius' son, Constantine III, John addressed his apology for Pope Honorius I, in which he deprecated the attempt to connect the name of Honorius with Monothelism. Honorius, he declared, in speaking of one will in Jesus, only meant to assert that there were not two contrary wills in Him.

John was buried in the Basilica of St. Petermarker.

Bibliography

Sereno Detoni, Giovanni IV. Papa dalmata, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2006 ISBN 978-88-209-7889-1

Luciano Rota, I Papi Caio e Giovanni IV, in Istria e Dalmazia. Uomini e tempi, II, Dalmazia, Udine, Del Bianco 1992

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