This Compact History of the Popes reviews the unbroken line of the Vicars of Christ from St Peter down to the present Pope. The history of the Church as People of God is to a great extent shaped by the history of Papacy. The brief but insightful sketches of the lives of popes presented in this volume take the reader through the lanes of history and what unfolds before his/her eyes is the fascinating story of how God’s work proceeds in spite of human miseries and sins, and at times even through these. The candid and simple exposition of events and facts at times quite painful and shameful, far from scandalizing, will fill the reader with a sense of wonder: How the Church has sailed safely through such violent tempests as the tug-of-war between popes and anti-popes, power games between emperors and kings and feuds between rival noble families! Certainly the reader will feel grateful for the saintly popes who have guided the Church with wisdom and courage. But he/ she will also marvel at the miracle that the Church is as it emerges from the vicissitudes of papal history. No human institution could have withstood so many onslaughts from within and without!

Interesting and informative, this book makes rewarding reading for all those who wish to have an overall view of the papacy through twenty centuries of its turbulent history.