Pope Vigilius, born in Rome, died in Syracuse in 555. While yet a deacon he was designated by Pope Boniface II. (530-'32) as his successor in the papal see; but this act was repealed as uncanonical. During the pontificates of Agapetus I. and Sylverius, Vigilius was apocrisiarius or papal envoy at Constantinople. He sided with the imperial government against Pope Sylverius, and was sent to Rome to procure his imprisonment and exile. This being accomplished, Vigilius was proclaimed pope in 537, but is considered to have been an antipope till 540, when Sylverius died.. Among many letters of doubtful authenticity is one said to have been written by Vigilius in 538, at the request of the empress Theodora, to the heads of the Monophysites, in which he approved of their views, and condemned the anti-Monophysite decisions of Pope Leo I.; but later (after 540) he refused to favor the Monophysites. For the course afterward' adopted by this pope in the Monophysite controversy see Constantinople, Councils of.