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Answered 2009-04-30 10:16:14

Ten most influencial popes are as follows: 1. St Peter

The Apostle (AD 42-67) tapped by Jesus to lead the church. After his martyrdom in Rome the city became the epicentre of Christianity. 2. St Leo the Great

Rome's bishop (440-61) made himself pontifex maximus of the Christian church. 3. St Gregory the Great

Affirmed the papacy as the western secular leader and converted England to Christianity (590-604). 4. Innocent III

This medieval pope (1198- 1216) hand-picked emperors and approved monkish orders. 5. Boniface VIII

Imperious, pragmatic and power-hungry, Boniface (1294-1303) instituted the first Jubilee to make money. 6. Alexander VI

Ruthless Borgia pope (1492-1503) used the pontificate to destroy rival families. 7. Julius II

Warrior pope and patron of the arts (1513-21), he hired Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel and Raphael to decorate his apartment (see , . 8. Paul III

Scholarly and secular, but fighting Protestant reforms, Paul III (1534-49) founded the Jesuits and the Inquisition. 9. Sixtus V

Cleansed Papal States of corruption (1585-90) and masterminded a Baroque overhaul of Rome. 10. John Paul II

The first non-Italian Pope for over 400 years, John Paul II (1920-2005), was famed for his extensive travelling.

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