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Catholic Dictionary

Term

JOAN, POPESS

Definition

Name of a legendary person who appears in history periodically as a female pope. There was a reference to her in a chronicle about 1250, but there is no possible place in the line of popes at that time where she could be placed, nor are there any grounds to support her existence. Her picture has never been included in the papal portraits, nor does Liber Pontificalis mention her. She exists only as a fable in Roman folklore.