Just as the history of the Church is not neat and tidy so the history of the popes is filled with inspiration and excitement but it also includes periods of scandal and corruption.

This following list of popes covers immense territory. In a sense, it outlines the story the Roman Church which is one major branch of Christianity. It includes periods of dynamic growth, as well as periods of heresy and schism. It is clear however that the vast majority of popes carried out their sacred trust with grace and dignity; others were swept into corruption, division, political intrigue, and scandal.

This page is based on dates listed in the Vatican's official list. The basic information includes the name of the pope and the dates of his particular pontificate."  In the milestone column there are some important developments during that occurred during that pope's reign.  The entries with an asterisk (*) highlight significant events from world history not necessarily issues for the Church.

This is a list of Popes not pontificates.  Pope, Benedict XVI is often listed as the 265th Pope but he is 263 in this list.  It seems that in 752 a man named Stephen was elected to the office but died before he could be consecrated.  Also Pope Benedict IX served 2 or 3 non consecutive terms depending on who is counting.

In most places on this site I do not use the title of Saint but I have left them in here.  This page still remains quite Catholic. (I even kept the colors of the page that forms the basis of it.) Additionally, for the protestant, I need to mension that the Blessed title given to some popes in the chart is the title given to someone who has been beatified, the first step prior to being canonized as a saint. 

We see in the time line the beginning of some traditions and the changing of others.  Latin begins to become the liturgical language of the Roman Church under St. Victor I, and St. Gregory (the Great) was the first pope to have been a monk for a couple of examples.


No.

Name

Rule

Milestone

1 St. Peter d. ca. 64 The first disciple called by Jesus; he is also credited with writing two Letters that appear in the New Testament. The first pope to be martyred and the first pope to be named a saint.
2 St. Linus 67-76  
3 St. Anacletus (Cletus) 76-88 His name is commemorated in Eucharist Prayer I, part of the Roman Catholic liturgy but not in other traditions.
4 St. Clement I 88-97 He is also known as Clement of Rome.

The first in this list, after Peter, of which anything historical is known.

5 St. Evaristus 97-105  
6 St. Alexander I 105-115 Inaugurated the custom of blessing houses with holy water.
7 St. Sixtus I 115-125 The Latin name Sixtus means "sixth", the sixth successor of Peter. Also called Xysts I.
8 St. Telesphoros 125-136 The tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of the Gloria are usually attributed to his pontificate, but some historians doubt that such attributions are accurate. (Acording to a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century, Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday.)
9 Hyginus 136-140 Along with St. Justin Martyr, Hyginus was well-known for defending Christianity.
10 St. Pius I 140-155 The first pope to function as Bishop of Rome.
11 St. Anicetus 155-166 Was in favor of celebrating easter on the Sunday following Passover, rather than on the Jewish Passover.
12 St. Soter 166-175 Declared that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest.
Introduced Easter as an annual liturgical feast in Rome.
13 St. Eleutherius 175-189 Served as a deacon to Pope Anicetus.
14 St. Victor I 189-198 Martyred in 201. The first African pope. Changed the language of the Mass from Greek to Latin. (Latin masses, however, did not become universal in the west until the latter half of the 4th century.) First Christian writer to write about theology in Latin. More concerned about the date of Easter than his predecessors.
15 St. Zephrynus 199-217

Zephyrinus ruled during a time of severe persecution under the Emperor Severus.  

According to St. Optatus, Zephyrinus also combated new heresies and apostases, chief of which were Marcion, Praxeas, Valentine and the Montanists.

16 St. Callistus I 217-222  Hippolytus split and formed his own congregation in Rome when Callistus took office. see antipopes
17 St. Urban I 222-230  
18 St. Pontian 230-235 Exiled by Roman authorities.
The first pope to abdicate his office.
Resignation documented only in the Liberian Catalogue, which records his resignation as 28 September 235, the earliest exact date in papal history. (Wikipedia)
19 St. Anterus 235-236 Died a natural death after serving as pope for less than two months.
20 St. Fabian 236-250 One of the most respected popes of the early Church.
21 St. Cornelius 251-253 Novatian left the church during Cornelius' reign, and Novatianism spread and lasted until late in the 4th century, when the end of persecution made their division unnecessary. The issue being the treatment of people seeking readmission into the church after they had renounced their faith during the presecutions.
22 St. Lucius I 253-254 Banished by Emperor Constantius II

Resignation is speculated to explain the succession of Antipope Felix II, although Liber Pontificalis argues that Liberius etained office in exile (Wikipedia).

23 St. Stephen I 254-257

When Stephen, bishop of Rome, made a claim that he was a bishop over other bishops, Cyprian called a council of 87 north African bishops specifically to deny Stephen's claim.  Cyprian believed all bishops were the successor of Peter together, representing one united "episcopal throne" (On the Unity of the Church 4-5) (http://www.christian-history.org/roman-catholicism.html)

Other difference with Cyprian of Carthage over the rebaptism of heretics.

24 Sixtus II 257-258 Was beheaded by order of the Emperor Valerian.
25 St. Dionysius 260-268 His election to the papacy was delayed because of Christian persecution in Rome.
26 St. Felix I 269-274  
27 St. Eutychian 274-283  
28 St. Caius 283-296 Also called Gaius

*The Roman Empire is partitioned into West and East.

29 St. Marcellinus 296-304 Second Pope to resign the office. Said to have been tainted by offerings to the pagan gods during the Diocletian persecution. Resignation is documented only in the Liberian Catalogue. (Wikipedia)
30 St. Marcellus 308-309  
31 St. Eusebius 309-310  Not the church historian nor the supporter of Arius.
32 St. Melchiades 311-314

Also known as Miltiades or Melchiades the African.

*In 313 Edict of Milan legalizes Christianity and puts an end to official persecution.

33 St. Sylvester I 314-335 During his pontificate, the first ecumenical council in Nicaea) was held.
*Construction of St. Peter's Basilica begins in 330.
*Seat of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople in 331.
34 St. Mark 336 His papacy was cut short by his death within the year.
35 St. Julius I 337-352 He strongly defended the Council of Nicaea's teaching on the divinity of Christ.
36 Liberius 352-366 Banished by Constantius II for 2 years from 355 to 357 for rejecting Arian doctrine and refusing to support the condemnation of Athanasius, during which time the deacon Felix, known to the Roman Catholic Church as "antipope" Felix II, was made bishop.
37 St. Damasus I 366-384

Commissioned a new Latin translation of the Bible.

Ursicinus was elected pope at the same time as Damasus; Damasus won out with the support of the Roman prefect after rioting and bloodshed, and Ursicinus was banished. see antipopes

*The Edictum de Fide Catholica makes Christianity official religion of the Empire.
*Barbarian invasions begin in 375 and continue to 568.

38 St. Siricius 384-399 Augustine was bishop of Hippo in Africa during this time
39 St. Anastasius I 399-401  
40 St. Innocent I 401-417  
41 St. Zosimus 417-418  
42 St. Boniface I 418-422 He is the author of this familiar axiom, "Rome has spoken; the cause is finished."
43 St. Celestine I 422-432  
44 St Sixtus III 432-440 He showed remarkable leadership for building Church unity.
45 St. Leo I
(the Great)
440-461

He and Pope Gregory(590-604) are the only two popes to be called “the Great,” although some are now calling John Paul II “the Great.” Leo courageously confronted Attila the Hun and neutralized other barbaric invaders.

He is widely thought of as the first Pope in our modern sense of the office.  Many say that he is the first Pope to claim authority over all other Christians. The claim was largely ignored for the next 200 years by other Christians, including the Celtic Christians, and the four other Apostolic Sees of the East; particularly by the Patriarch of Constantinople. See Pentarchy.

46 St. Hilary 461-468  
47 St. Simplicius 468-483 *City of Rome falls – Emperor Romulus is Exiled
48 St. Felix III 483-492 Felix II was a temporary pope installed by the emperor Constantius II while Liberius was banished from 355 – 357, thus some lists have this pope as Felix II and likewise drops the number on all subsequent Pope Felixes. This list follows the Catholic Church Tradition.
49 St. Gelasius 492-496 He was first pope to be called "Vicar of Christ."
50 Anastasius II 496-498  
51 St. Symmachus 498-515  
52 St. Hormisdas 514-523 Before becoming a Roman deacon, Hormisdas was married, and his son would in turn become Pope under the name of Silverius. (Wikipedia)
53 St. John I 523-526 He was first pope to travel to the East (Constantinople).
54 St. Felix IV 526-530  
55 Boniface II 530-532 He was the first pope of German extraction.
56 John II 533-535 Schaff's History of the Christian Church makes it 532, and the Catholic Encyclopedia lists the time with a question mark.
57 Agapitus 535-536 Also called Agapitus I

He strongly opposed the Arian heresy, which held that that Jesus Christ was not divine the Son of God.

58 St. Silverius 536-537 Son of Pope Hormisdas, was deposed and exiled by empress Theodora of Constantinople, brought back by emperor Justinian to stand trial, convicted, and forced by his successor Pope Vigilius to abdicate again. He starved to death on an island in the Gulf of Gaeta. (atheism.about.com 4/11/15)
59 Vigilius 537-555

Vigilius was chosen by Boniface II to be his successor, but the general outcry against the new process caused him to withdraw his choice. John II followed Boniface II, who reigned for only two years, and he was followed by Agapetus I. Vigilius was appointed to represent Silverius in Constantinople. The Emperoress Theodora is said to have paid Vigilius to accept the embrace the monophysite doctrine in exchange for being made Pope.

In 537 the commander of the Byzantine army, Belisarius, secured Rome and pressured the Roman church into deposing Pope Silverius after a short 17-month reign. This happened despite the city being beseiged by the king of the Goths, who had secured Silverius' appointment in the place of Pope Agapetus I.

Some lists show an overlap with Silverius.

60 Pelagius I 556-561  
61 John III 561-574 *Muhammad (570-632), the founder of Islam, was born.
62 Benedict I 575-579  
63 Pelagius II 579-590 He was the second pope of German extraction.
64 St. Gregory I (the Great) 590-604 The first pope to have been a monk, his name is closely associated with Gregorian chant.
65 Sabinian 604-606  
66 Boniface III 607 He died of natural causes nine months into his papacy.
67 Boniface IV 608-615 His pastoral style was modeled on Pope Gregory's papacy.
68 St. Deusdedit 615-618 During his pontificate, Rome suffered the ravages of an earthquake and the plague.
69 Boniface IV 619-625 Known for his compassion for the poor, he distributed his entire wealth to the needy.
70 Honorius 625-638  
71 Severinus 640 He died two months after his consecration.
72 John IV 640-642  
73 Theodore I 642-649  
74 St. Martin I 649-655

He was the last pope to be recognized as a martyr.

Exiled in 653 by Emperor Constans II for opposing the monothelitism—one will rather than a divine and human will in Christ—espoused by the patriarchs of Constantinople.

75 St. Eugene I 654-657 The overlap between Eugene and Martin is because Eugene was chosen successor before Martin I died.  Martin I died in exile.
76 St. Vitalian 657-672  
77 Adeodatus II 672-676  
78 Donus 676-678  
79 St. Agatho 678-681 He restored friendly relations between Rome and Constantinople.
80 St. Leo II 682-683 He was very pastoral in helping the poor and in advancing the quality of Church music.
81 St. Benedict II 684-685  Emperor Constantine IV was unavailable to approve the nomination of Benedict, so it was many months before he could be ordained
82 John V 685-686 Illness marked his entire pontificate.
83 Conon 686-687  
84 St. Sergius 687-701 He introduced the singing of the Agnus Dai "Lamb of God" at Mass.
85 John VI 701-705  
86 John VII 705-707  
87 Sisinnius 708 He died of natural causes twenty days after his election.
88 Constantine 708-715 He spent one full year in Constantinople to improve relations between Rome and the East.
89 St. Gregory II 715-731  
90 St. Gregory III 731-741 He promoted missionary efforts to Germany and England.  (Note:Tertullian mensions the gospel having subdued Briton in the second century.)
91 St. Zachary 741-752  
92 Stephen II 752-757 Some lists include as him St Steven II a man who died before he was consecrated. If this is done this St Steven would be numbered St Steven III. The Catholic Encyclopedia article calls him Pope Stephen (II) III and describes political intrigue during his term.
93 St. Paul I 757-767 Brother and close advisor of Pope Stephen II, he is the only example of a new pope succeeding his older brother.
94 Stephen III 768-772  
95 Adrian I 772-795 Peaceful conditions allowed him to build and restore many churches in Rome.
96 St. Leo III 795-816 From Leo III to John XIII there is significant confusion in papal sucession.
97 Stephen IV 816-817  
98 St. Paschal I 817-824  
99 Eugene II 824-827  
100 Valentine 827 He died less than two months after being consecrated.
101 Gregory IV 827-844  
102 Sergius 844-847  
103 St. Leo IV 847-855  
104 Benedict III 855-858  
105 St. Nicholas I 858-867 First Pope to wear a crown
106 Adrian II 867-872  
107 John VIII 872-882 The first pope to be assassinated, poison was the cause of death.
108 Marinus I 882-884  
109 Adrian III 884-885  
110 Stephen V 885-891  
111 Formosus 891-896  
112 Boniface 896 He died of natural causes after about fifteen days in office.
113 Stephen VI 896-897  
114 Romanus 897 Little is known of his short pontificate.
115 Theodore II 897 He was in office about twenty days.
116 John IX 898-900  
117 Benedict IV 900-903  
118 Leo V 903

He was overthrown after less than two months in office. 

Some say Leo V was Pope from July 903 to his death in 904. He was pope during the period known as the dark ages (Saeculum obscurum). He was thrown into prison in September 903 by the Antipope Christopher, and was probably killed at the start of the pontificate of Pope Sergius III. If his deposition is not considered valid (as in the modern Vatican list), then his papacy may be considered to have ended with his death in 904. (wikipedia)

119 Sergius III 904-911 He represents the beginning of one of the most corrupt periods of the papacy, that is, the pornocracy or rule of the harlots. This is also the time of the Investiture Controvercy with much political turmoil.
120 Anastasius 911-913  
121 Lando 913-914  
122 John X 914-928 His entire pontificate was filled with political intrigue.
123 Leo VI 928  
124 Stephen VII 928-931  
125 John XI 931-935  
126 Leo VII 936-939  
127 Stephen VIII 939-942  
128 Marinus II 942-946  
129 Agapitus 946-955  
130 John XII 955-964  
131 Leo VIII 963-965 Marks the end of the pornocracy
Considered an Antipope from 963 to 964
True pope from 964 to 965
132 Benedict V 964-966 At one point, King Otto deported Benedict and reinstated the previous pope, Leo VIII.
*Poland is Christianized beginning in 966.
133 John XIII 966-972 There is confusion about the legitimate claims to the papacy from Leo III to John XIII.
134 Benedict VI 973-974  
135 Benedict VII 974-983 He increased the frequency of "ad limina visits." (Ad limina means to the threshold and refers to Bishops visiting the pope on a regular basis.) This practice still continues today, each diocesan bishop meets personally with the pope to discuss the state of the diocese.
136 John XIV 983-984 Changed name to John since he was unwilling to keep his baptismal name of Peter.
137 John XV 985-996 The first pope to formally canonize a saint (St. Ulric in 993).
138 Gregory V 972-999 The first German pope.
139 Sylvester II 999-1003 The first French pope.
140 John XVII 1003 Authorized Polish missionaries to work among the Slavs.
141 John XVIII 1004-1009 Abdicated the papacy shortly before his death to become a monk.
142 Sergius IV 1009-1012 He changed name to Sergius since he was unwilling to keep his baptismal name of Peter.
143 Benedict VIII 1012-1024 He was the first of three laymen from the same family who were consecutively elected to the papacy.
Said to have bought the papacy.
Mandated the celibacy of priests.
144 John XIX 1024-1032 He succeeded his older brother Benedict VIII to the papacy.
Also said to have bought the office.
145 Benedict IX 1032-1044 The nephew of his two immediate predecessors. One of the youngest popes, he was the only man to have been Pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy. He had few qualifications for the office other than powerful connections. The Catholic Encyclopedia calls him "a disgrace to the Chair of Peter."

Second term 1045-1046 deposed by Council of Sutri
Third term 1047-1048 deposed and excommunicated

146 Sylvester III 1045 Considered an antipope in some lists
147 Gregory VI 1045-1046 Accused of simony for bribing Benedict IX to resign.

Abdicated or deposed at the Council of Sutri

148 Clement II 1046-1047 Appointed Pope by Hennery II of Germany
149 Damasus II 1048 He died of malaria early in his papacy.
150 St. Leo IX 1049-1054 *East-West Schism becomes 'final' in 1054
151 Victor II 1055-1057  
152 Stephen IX 1057-1058  
153 Nicholas II 1058-1061 A Moderate reformer, he changed procedures for electing a pope, only allowed cardinal electors. (Eliminating the secular nobility in an attempt to separate the Church from influence of the Romas Nobles.)
154 Alexander II 1061-1073 He was known as a reformer pope. 
Oversaw the suppression of the 'Alleluia' during the Latin Church's celebration of Lent.
In 1065 called for a crusade against the Moors in Spain.
155 St. Gregory VII 1072-1085 Known for the Gregorian Reforms
He expanded the reformist agenda of Alexander II.
156 Blessed Victor III 1086-1087  
157 Blessed Urban II 1088-1099 *The first university with the authority to grant degrees is established in Italy in 1088.
*The Crusades, a series of attacks by Western Christians against the Muslims to take control over Jerusalem, continues for the next 92 years.
158 Paschal II 1099-1118  
159 Gelasius II 1118-1119  
160 Callistus Calixtus II 1119-1124 First Lateran Council
161 Honorius II 1124-1130  
162 Innocent II 1130-1143 He convened the Second Lateran Council in 1139.
163 Celestine II 1143-1144  
164 Lucius II 1144-1145  
165 Blessed Eugene II 1145-1153 He proclaimed the Second Crusade in 1145.
166 Anastasius 1153-1154  
167 Adrian IV 1154-1159 He was the first and only English pope.
168 Alexander III 1159-1181 He imposed penance on King Henry II for the murder of St. Thomas of Becket (1172).
169 Lucius III 1181-1185 Spent most of his pontificate outside of Rome.
170 Urban III 1185-1187  
171 Gregory VIII 1187 He was elected at age 87 and died two months later.
172 Clement III 1187-1191 He was preoccupied with plans for launching the Third Crusade.
173 Celestine III 1191-1198  
174 Innocent III 1198-1216 He was the highpoint of the medieval papacy and exercised considerable political and spiritual power.
Ordered 2 Crusades
Decreed Transubstantiation.
Forbade the reading of the Bible in the vernacular.
Instituted the Inquisition.
*In 1215, King John issues the Magna Carta.
175 Honorius III 1216-1227 He approved rules for the new Franciscan, Dominican, and Carmelite orders.
176 Gregory IX 1227-1241 He canonized Francis of Assissi in 1226, Anthony of Padua in 1232, and Dominic in 1234.
177 Celestine IV 1241 He died of natural causes about two weeks after being elected.
178 Innocent IV 1243-1254 He was first pope to approve the use of torture in the Inquisition to obtain evidence of heresy.
179 Alexander IV 1254-1261 He canonized Clare of Assisi.
180 Urban IV 1261-1264 *The highpoint of Gothic architecture, the massive Chartres Cathedral in France, is consecrated in 1260.
181 Clement IV 1265-1268 *St. Thomas Aquinas begins writing the SummaTheologica, which unifies faith and reason.
182 Blessed Gregory X 1272-1276 This conclave met for three years to elect a new pope.
183 Blessed Innocent V 1276 He was the first Dominican pope, the papal custom of wearing a white cassock probably originated with this pope.
184 Adrian V 1276 He died only five weeks after his election.
185 John XXI 1276-1277 He was the first and only medical doctor to be pope.
186 Nicholas  1277-1280 He was the first pope to make the Vatican Palace his residence.
187 Martin IV 1281-1285  
188 Honorius IV 1285-1287  
189 Nicholas IV 1288-1292 He was the first Franciscan to be elected pope.
*The Crusades formally end in 1291.
190 St. Celestine V 1294 He was one of the very few popes to resign from the papacy. With no administrative experience, Celestine fell under the control of secular politicians. To protect the church, he resigned. He was the first pope to establish canons for resignation.
191 Boniface VIII 1294-1303  
192 Blessed Benedict XI 1303-1304  
193 Clement V 1305-1314 His papacy began the period known as the Avignon popes.
194 John XXII 1316-1334 He was the second of the Avignon popes.
195 Benedict XII 1335-1342  
196 Clement VI 1342-1352 He advanced the practice of indulgences, the abuse of which would contribute to the Protestant Reformation 200 years later.
*The bubonic plague kills one-third of Europe's population between 1348 and 1350.
197 Innocent VI 1352-1362  
198 Blessed Urban V 1362-1370  
199 Gregory XI 1371-1378 Persuaded by Saint Catherine of Siena to return the seat of the papacy to Rome, he was the last of the Avignon popes.
200 Urban VI 1378-1389 He was the last non-cardinal to be elected pope. The years 1378-1417 are known as "the Great Western Schism," a period of crisis when rival popes claimed papal authority.
201 Boniface IX 1389-1404  
202 Innocent VII 1404-1406  
203 Gregory XII 1406-1415 Resigned end the Great Western (Papal) Schism.
Abdicated during the Council of Constance which had been called by his opponent, Antipope John XXIII.
204 Martin V 1417-1431 His election to the papacy marked the end of the Great Western Schism.
205 Eugene IV 1431-1447 He was unsuccessful in trying to reestablish union between Latin and Greek Churches.
206 Nicholas V 1447-1455 He was the first of the Renaissance popes and a strong patron of the arts.
207 Callistus III 1455-1458 He was the first Spanish pope. He reopened the case of Joan of Arc and declared her innocent of witchcraft.
*The Gutenberg Bible is printed (a version of the Vulgate).
208 Pius II 1458-1464 Canonized Catherine of Siena.
209 Paul II 1464-1471 He reneged on promise to reform the Church.
210 Sixtus IV 1471-1484 Built the Sistine Chapel (that is named for him) and began what became the vatican arcives.
211 Innocent VIII 1484-1492  
212 Alexander VI 1492-1503 *Christopher Columbus lands in America.
213   1503 He died only seventeen days after his consecration as pope.
214 Julius II 1503-1513 He commissioned plans for the new St. Peter's Basilica.
215 Leo X 1513-1521  
216 Adrian VI 1522-1523 He was the first pope of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
217 Clement VII 1523-1534 Clement is the pope who refused to grant King Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
218 Paul III 1534-1549 He convened the Council of Trent and worked for Church renewal. 
*In 1543, Copernicus disputes that Earth is the center of the universe.
219 Julius III 1550-1555  
220 Marcellus II 1555 He died of a stroke less than one month after election to papacy.
221 Paul IV 1555-1559 He is the pope who created the Index of Forbidden Books.
222 Pius V 1559-1565 He reconvened the Council of Trent, after it had been suspended for ten years.
223 St. Pius V 1566-1572 He enforced the decrees of the Council of Trent and published the Roman Catechism.
224 Gregory XIII 1572-1585 He adopted the Gregorian calendar, which is still in use today. He also was a strong supporter of the missions in India, China, and Japan.
225 Sixtus V 1585-1590 He reorganized the Roman Curia, which then remained unchanged until Vatican II.
226 Urban VII 1590 He died of malaria, one week after his election.
227 Gregory XIV 1590-1591  
228 Innocent IX 1591  
229 Clement VIII 1592-1605 He was the fourth pope elected within a period of 1 1/2 years.
230 Leo XI 1605 In poor health when elected pope, he died less than one month after the election.
231 Paul V 1605-1621 Known for his positive accomplishments in Church renewal, ironically, he is best remembered as the pope who censured Galileo for teaching the Earth revolves around the sun.  This is not quite the story see Galileo.
232 Gregory XV 1621-1623 He introduced the idea of electing a pope by secret ballot. He also canonized Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, and Francis Xavier.
233 Urban VIII 1623-1644 He is the pope who consecrated the new St. Peter's Basilica.
234 Innocent X 1644-1655  
235 Alexander VII 1655-1667 He allowed missionaries in China to use Chinese rites.
*In 1666, Newton discovers the Law of Gravity.
236 Clement IX 1667-1669  
237 Clement X 1670-1676  
238 Blessed Innocent XI 1676-1689 He is widely admired for positive contributions to preaching and catechesis.
239 Alexander VIII 1689-1691  
240 Innocent XII 1691-1700 Known and respected as a reformist pope, especially in simplifying administrative procedures.
241 Clement XI 1700-1721 He is the pope who made the feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) a universal holy day of obligation.
242 Innocent XIII 1721-1724  
243 Benedict XIII 1724-1730  
244 Clement XII 1730-1740  
245 Benedict XIV 1740-1758 He is the author of the first papal encyclical, The Duties of Bishops.
246 Clement XIII 1758-1769  
247 Clement XIV 1769-1774  
248 Pius VI 1775-1799 He denounced the French Revolution and was later imprisoned by Napoleon.
*The American Declaration of Independence is signed in 1776.
249 Pius VII 1800-1823 *In 1804, Napoleon declares himself emperor of France.
250 Leo XII 1823-1829 He called a Holy Year in 1825 to strengthen the bond between the papacy and Catholics.
251 Pius VIII 1829-1830 He approved the decrees of the First Council of Baltimore.
252 Gregory XVI 1831-1846 He was the last monk to be elected pope.
253 Pius IX 1846-1878 His thirty-one year pontificate is the longest in history. He called the First Vatican Council, which defined papal infallibility and supremacy. 
*The American Civil War takes place between 1861-1865
*Charles Darwin publishes his theory of evolution.
254 Leo XIII 1878-1903 Known for his efforts to bring the Church into open dialogue with the world, Leo XIII is considered the first of the modern popes. His encyclical "Of New Things" continues to be the standard of the Church's commitment to social justice.
255 St. Pius X 1903-1914 His papal motto was, "To restore all things in Christ." He is widely admired for lowering the age for First Communion to age seven.
*In 1908, Henry Ford introduces the world's first automobile.
256 Benedict XV 1914-1922 He is remembered as a peacemaker both within the Church and among the countries who participated in World War I.
257 Pius XI 1922-1939 Pius XI is the first pope to use the radio as a means of pastorally reaching the world.
258 Pius XII 1939-1958

His papacy was indelibly marked by the times--namely, World War II and the following cold war period. He devoted his energy to world peace, fighting Communism, and to Marian piety. 

In 1999 by the British journalist and author John Cornwell puplished a book called Hitler's Pope that was critical of his actions during WW II.  The book has been widely discredited.

*In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launches the first satellite.

259 John XXIII 1958-1963 Perhaps the most beloved of all popes, John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council whose impact includes expanding the role of the laity, liturgical renewal, collegiality of bishops, and ecumenism.
*Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring ushers in the ecology movement.
260 Paul VI 1963-1978 He continued the work of Vatican II and became the first pope to travel around the world by airplane.
261 John Paul I 1978 He was the first pope to take a double name. Died of natural causes after 33 days.
262 John Paul II (The Great) 1978-2005 The first Polish pope in history is also the most traveled pope in history. His extensive writings and speeches cover just about every major issue from freedom to materialism, to the modern search for meaning and the sacred, to world peace to social justice among all countries--rich and poor.
263 Pope Benedict XVI 2005-2013 Theologian and musician
First Pope to retire since Pope since Gregory XII.
Resigned citing health issues.
264 Francis I 2013-present First Jesuit pope
First pope from South America

Primarily based on: http://www.faithfirst.com/html/popeJohn/timeline/timeline.html 8/20/11

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes 8/20/11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_resignation 3/3/13

http://www.christian-history.org/list-of-all-popes.html 11/6/15