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According to the legend, in the 9th century a young English woman disguised herself as a man, taking the name Johannes Anglicus, and became a monk. In July 853 A.D., with Papal elections far less complex than those of today, this female monk succeeded Pope Leone IV, becoming Pope Giovanni VII (Johannes Septimus).

She is said to have ruled until Easter of 855 when, following a mass at St. Peter’s, the papal procession passed through the neighborhood of Celio en route to the 9th century papal residence, St. John in Lateran. The excited crowds surrounded the Pope’s horse at the crossroads of Via dei SS. Quattro and Via dei Quercetti. This caused the horse to rear, sending the pregnant Papessa Giovanna into premature labour, and thereby divulging her secret.

That spot is marked today by an ancient portico, where tourists and Romans alike stop by and leave flowers. This spot is just three blocks from the Colosseum, at the foot of the hill leading up to the medieval SS. Quattro Coronati abbey-fortress....

Pope Joan's Shrine

....Scholars for at least the past four centuries have rigorously debunked this myth, but legends which continue strong for over a millennium tend to weave themselves tightly into the local fabric and to still be worth celebrating.

Related threads:
Jeopardy Question Last Night: "Who is Pope Joan?"
Pope Joan (Diane Sawyer looks at FEMALE POPE)
ABC Pushes Anti-Catholic "Pope Joan" Tale
ABC's Bogus "Pope Joan" Story Also Hocked Debunked "Rule of Thumb" Myth
The Fable of “Pope Joan” [Debunks Diane Sawyer on ABC]
The lady was a pope
Movie About "Pope Joan" Set for Release
Pout Like A Pope, Baby! [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Joan film sparks Roman Catholic Church row
Mystery of the pregnant pope: New film reopens one of the Vatican's most enduring wounds
When Will Pope Joan -- AKA the Lady-Pope Biopic -- Come to the U.S.?
A Primer on the Persistent Myth of "Pope Joan"
Is it Saint Swithin’s Day Already?

1 posted on 01/07/2011 7:10:32 AM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Where was the husband?

2 posted on 01/07/2011 7:13:51 AM PST by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: Alex Murphy; Patrick Madrid
The myth of pope Joan is debunked in:

By the way Murphy, when are you going to get around to posting the article about the recent exoneration of the Priest who was falsely accused of molestation?

6 posted on 01/07/2011 10:21:10 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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