The customs and traditions associated with a popes death have changed quite a bit from the time when popes were buried in the underground catacombs of Rome. Various ceremonies, rites, and rituals developed over time, but a formal procedure for the death of the pope wasnt initiated until the early fourteenth century, and even then, the protocol wasnt always followed to the letter.
This comprehensive reference book provides information on the deaths, funerals, and burial places of each pope and antipope from St. Peter (Apostle) to John Paul I. Among some of the most interesting are the deaths of Innocent X, who was almost gnawed by rats because no one would bury him; Alexander VI, who was stuffed into an old carpet and pummeled into his coffin; and Formosus, whose corpse was physically put on trial. The Introduction presents a brief history of papal funerals and tombs, and also covers modern burials. A unique feature of the book is its presentation of all papal epitaphs, in their original language and in Englishmany translated for the first time.