A new Pope – and an old one

The day that Pope Francis I was elected was an appropriate day for Special Collections & Archives to discover that a Liverpool University Library manuscript of the writings of a previous Pope – Gregory I – is actually the oldest book in our collections.

Previously dated to the mid 13th century, LUL MS.F.3.13 contains the text of Gregory I’s De Cura Pastorali in a contemporary medieval binding, and it has now been redated by visiting scholar Erik Kwakkel to the mid 12th century.

Pope Gregory I (also known as Gregory the Great) was widely admired by adherents of both Catholic and Protestant churches (John Calvin declared him ‘the last good Pope’) and is appropriately known as the patron saint of students.

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Eric Kwakkel examining Liverpool University Library MS.F.3.13

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