Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about 130 kilometres southeast of Rome, in the Latin Valley, Italy, 2 kilometres to the west of the town of Cassino and 520 m altitude. Site of the Roman town of Casinum, it is best known for its abbey, the first house of the Benedictine Order, having been established by Benedict of Nursia himself around 529, it was for the community of Monte Cassino. The first monastery on Monte Cassino was abandoned. Of the first monastery nothing is known; the second monastery was established by Petronax of Brescia around 718, at the suggestion of Pope Gregory II and with the support of the Lombard Duke Romuald II of Benevento. It was directly subject to the pope and many monasteries in Italy were under its authority. In 883 the monastery was abandoned again; the community of monks resided first at Teano and from 914 at Capua before the monastery was rebuilt in 949. During the period of exile, the Cluniac Reforms were introduced into the community; the 11th and 12th centuries were the abbey's golden age.
It acquired a large secular territory around Monte Cassino, the so-called Terra Sancti Benedicti, which it fortified with castles. It maintained good relations with the Eastern Church receiving patronage from Byzantine emperors, it encouraged fine art and craftsmanship by employing Byzantine and Saracen artisans. In 1057, Pope Victor II recognised the abbot of Monte Cassino as having precedence over all other abbots. Many monks rose to become bishops and cardinals, three popes were drawn from the abbey: Stephen IX, Victor III and Gelasius II. During this period the monastery's chronicle was written by two of its own, Cardinal Leo of Ostia and Peter the Deacon. By the 13th century, the monastery's decline had set in. In 1239, the Emperor Frederick II garrisoned troops in it during his war with the Papacy. In 1322, Pope John XXII elevated the abbey into a bishopric but this was suppressed in 1367; the buildings were destroyed by an earthquake in 1349, in 1369 Pope Urban V demanded a contribution from all Benedictine monasteries to fund the rebuilding.
In 1454 the abbey was placed in commendam and in 1504 was made subject to the Abbey of Santa Giustina in Padua. In 1799, Monte Cassino was sacked again by French troops during the French Revolutionary Wars; the abbey was dissolved by the Italian government in 1866. The building became a national monument with the monks as custodians of its treasures. In 1944 during World War II it was the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino and the building was destroyed by Allied bombing, it was rebuilt after the war. After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council the monastery was one of the few remaining territorial abbeys within the Catholic Church. On 23 October 2014, Pope Francis applied the norms of the motu proprio Ecclesia Catholica of Paul VI to the abbey, removing from its jurisdiction all 53 parishes and reducing its spiritual jurisdiction to the abbey itself—while retaining its status as a territorial abbey; the former territory of the Abbey, except the land on which the abbey church and monastery sit, was transferred to the diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo.
The history of Monte Cassino is linked to the nearby town of Cassino, first settled in the fifth century B. C. by the Volsci people who held much of central and southern Italy. It was the Volsci; the Volsci in the area were defeated by the Romans in 312 B. C; the Romans built a temple to Apollo at the citadel. Modern excavations have found no remains of the temple, but ruins of an amphitheatre, a theatre, a mausoleum indicate the lasting presence the Romans had there. Generations after the Roman Empire adopted Christianity the town became the seat of a bishopric in the fifth century A. D. Lacking strong defences the area was subject to barbarian attack and became abandoned and neglected with only a few struggling inhabitants holding out. According to Gregory the Great's biography of Benedict, Life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, the monastery was constructed on an older pagan site, a temple of Apollo that crowned the hill; the biography records that the area was still pagan at the time. He reused the temple, dedicating it to Saint Martin, built another chapel on the site of the altar dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
Pope Gregory I's account of Benedict's seizure of Monte Cassino: "Now the citadel called Casinum is located on the side of a high mountain. The mountain shelters this citadel on a broad bench, it rises three miles above it as if its peak tended toward heaven. There was an ancient temple there in which Apollo used to be worshipped according to the old pagan rite by the foolish local farmers. Around it had grown up a grove dedicated to demon worship, where at that time a wild crowd still devoted themselves to unholy sacrifices; when the man of God arrived, he smashed the idol, overturned the altar and cut down the grove of trees. He built a chapel dedicated to St. Martin in the temple of Apollo and another to St. John where the altar of Apollo had stood, and he summoned the people of the district to the faith by his unceasing preaching." Pope Gregory I's biography of Benedict claims. In one story, Satan invisibly sits on a rock making it too heavy to remove until Benedict drives him off. In another story, Satan taunts Benedict and collapses a wall on a young monk, br
Territorial Abbey of Nonantola
Nonantola Abbey, dedicated to Saint Sylvester, is a former a Benedictine monastery and prelature nullius in the commune of Nonantola, c. 10 km north-east of Modena, in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. The abbey church is the co-cathedral of the diocese of Modena-Nonantola; the abbey was founded in 752 by Saint Anselm, Duke of Friuli and brother-in-law of the Lombard king Aistulf. The latter richly endowed the new abbey, starting its role as one of the main landed proprietors of northern Italy. Pope Stephen II appointed Anselm its first abbot, presented some relics of Saint Sylvester to the abbey, named in consequence S. Silvestro de Nonantula. After the death of Aistulf in 756, Anselm was banished to Monte Cassino by the new king, but was restored by Charlemagne after seven years. In 813 the abbot Peter of Nonantola was chosen as Imperial ambassador to Constantinople, his successor, held the same post in 828. In 883 the abbey was chosen as the place of a conference between Charles the Fat and Pope Marinus I.
In 900 the monastery and church were destroyed by invading Hungarians, all who had not fled were killed. Reconstruction began immediately. Up to the 11th century Nonantola was an imperial monastery, its discipline suffered on account of imperial interference in the election of abbots: Nonantola was in fact one of the most powerful abbeys of Europe and control over it was considered a major issue by the emperors and popes, it had a famous scriptorium and the abbot Godeschalc had a new basilica built in 1058. At the beginning of the Investiture Conflict it sided with the emperor, until forced to submit to the pope by Matilda of Tuscany in 1083, it declared itself for the papal party in 1111. In that year the famous monk Placidus of Nonantola wrote his De honore Ecclesiæ, one of the most able and important defences of the papal position, written during the Investiture Conflict; the decline of the monastery can be dated to 1419, when it came under the jurisdiction of commendatory abbots. In 1514 abbot Gian Matteo Sertorio gave it to the Cistercians, but the abbey continued to decline until it was suppressed by Pope Clement XIII in 1768.
Alternatively it may have been replaced by Duke Francesco III d'Este in 1783, during the abbacy of Francesco Maria d'Este, with a collegiate foundation of canons. Pope Pius VII restored it as a monastery on 23 January 1821, with the provision that the prelature nullius attached to it should belong to the Archbishop of Modena, into which the exempt territory was absorbed in 1986 to form the Diocese of Modena-Nonantola; the monastery itself was appropriated by the Italian government in 1866. The Town Hall of Nonantola is now accommodated in some of the remaining monastic buildings, in one of which 11th century frescoes have been discovered; the Museo Benedettino Nonantolano e Diocesano di Arte Sacra is now housed in the premises, as are the important abbey archives and library. The Basilica is a Romanesque edifice built during the tenure of abbot Damian, which in the early 20th century was restored to its original early 12th century condition; the church has two aisles, with the presbytery. The crypt, with sixty-four columns, dates from the 8th century and contains relics of seven saints: Saint Anselm the founder.
Nonantola Abbey Official website Centro Studi Storici Nonantolani: The Saints of Nonantola Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Nonantola". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Pope Marinus I
Pope Marinus I was Pope from 16 December 882 until his death in 884. He succeeded John VIII from around the end of December 882. Born at Gallese, Marinus was the son of a priest, he was ordained as a deacon by Pope Nicholas I. Before his election as Pope, he served as Bishop of Caere, which made his election controversial, because, at this stage of history, a bishop was expected never to leave office to move to another see. On three separate occasions he had been employed by the three popes who preceded him as legate to Constantinople, his mission in each case having reference to the controversy started by Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople. In 882, he was sent on behalf of Pope John VIII to Athanasius of Naples to warn him not to trade with the Muslims of southern Italy. Among his first acts as pope were the restitution of Formosus as Cardinal Bishop of Portus and the anathematizing of Photius. Due to his respect for Alfred the Great, he freed the Anglo-Saxons of the Schola Anglorum in Rome from tribute and taxation.
He is recorded to have sent a piece of the True Cross to Alfred as a gift. He died in May or June 884, his successor being Adrian III; because of the similarity of the names Marinus and Martinus, Popes Marinus I and Marinus II were, in some sources, mistakenly given the name Martinus. Thus, when the new Pope in 1281 took the name Martin, he became Pope Martin IV. List of Catholic saints List of Francis; the Photian Schism: History and Legend. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
The Cistercians the Order of Cistercians, are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are known as Bernardines, after the influential St. Bernard of Clairvaux; the term Cistercian, derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, near Dijon in eastern France. It was in this village that a group of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Molesme founded Cîteaux Abbey in 1098, with the goal of following more the Rule of Saint Benedict; the best known of them were Robert of Molesme, Alberic of Cîteaux and the English monk Stephen Harding, who were the first three abbots. Bernard of Clairvaux entered the monastery in the early 1110s with 30 companions and helped the rapid proliferation of the order. By the end of the 12th century, the order had spread throughout France and into England, Scotland, Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe; the keynote of Cistercian life was a return to literal observance of the Rule of St Benedict.
Rejecting the developments the Benedictines had undergone, the monks tried to replicate monastic life as it had been in Saint Benedict's time. The most striking feature in the reform was the return to manual labour agricultural work in the fields, a special characteristic of Cistercian life; the Cistercians made major contributions to culture and technology in medieval Europe: Cistercian architecture is considered one of the most beautiful styles of medieval architecture. The original emphasis of Cistercian life was on manual labour and self-sufficiency, many abbeys have traditionally supported themselves through activities such as agriculture and brewing ales. Over the centuries, however and academic pursuits came to dominate the life of many monasteries. A reform movement seeking a simpler lifestyle began in 17th-century France at La Trappe Abbey, became known as the Trappists; the Trappists were consolidated in 1892 into a new order called the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, abbreviated as OCSO.
The Cistercians who did not observe these reforms and remained within the Order of Cistercians and are sometimes called the Cistercians of the Common Observance when distinguishing them from the Trappists. In 1098, a Benedictine abbot, Robert of Molesme, left his monastery in Burgundy with around 20 supporters, who felt that the Cluniac communities had abandoned the rigours and simplicity of the Rule of St. Benedict; the monastery church of Cluny Abbey, the largest in Europe, had become wealthy from rents, feudal rights and pilgrims who passed through Cluniac houses on the Way of St. James; the massive endowments and responsibilities of the Cluniac abbots had drawn them into the affairs of the secular world, their monks had abandoned manual labour to serfs to serve as scholars and "choir monks". On March 21, 1098, Robert's small group acquired a plot of marshland just south of Dijon called Cîteaux, given to them expressly for the purpose of founding their Novum Monasterium. Robert's followers included Alberic, a former hermit from the nearby forest of Colan, Stephen Harding, a member of an Anglo-Saxon noble family, ruined as a result of the Norman conquest of England.
During the first year, the monks set about constructing lodging areas and farming the lands of Cîteaux, making use of a nearby chapel for Mass. In Robert's absence from Molesme, the abbey had gone into decline, Pope Urban II, a former Cluniac monk, ordered him to return; the remaining monks of Cîteaux elected Alberic as their abbot, under whose leadership the abbey would find its grounding. Robert had been the idealist of the order, Alberic was their builder. Upon assuming the role of abbot, Alberic moved the site of the fledgling community near a brook a short distance away from the original site. Alberic discontinued the use of Benedictine black garments in the abbey and clothed the monks in white habits of undyed wool, he returned the community to the original Benedictine ideal of manual work and prayer, dedicated to the ideal of charity and self sustenance. Alberic forged an alliance with the Dukes of Burgundy, working out a deal with Duke Odo I of Burgundy concerning the donation of a vineyard as well as stones with which they built their church.
The church was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin Mary on November 16, 1106, by the Bishop of Chalon sur Saône. On January 26, 1108, Alberic died and was soon succeeded by Stephen Harding, the man responsible for carrying the order into its crucial phase; the order was fortunate that Stephen was an abbot of extraordinary gifts, he framed the original version of the Cistercian "Constitution" or regulations: the Carta Caritatis. Although this was revised on several occasions to meet contemporary needs, from the outset it emphasised a simple life of work, love and self-denial; the Cistercians regarded themselves as regular Benedictines, albeit the "perfect", reformed ones, but they soon came to distinguish themselves from the monks of unreformed Benedictin
Pope Sylvester I
Pope Sylvester I, was the 33rd Pope of the Catholic Church from 314 to his death in 335. He succeeded Pope Miltiades, he filled the See of Rome at an important era in the history of the Western Church, yet little is known of him. The accounts of his papacy preserved in the Liber Pontificalis contain little more than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Church by Constantine I, although it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus, his feast is celebrated as Saint Sylvester's Day in Western Christianity on December 31, while Eastern Christianity commemorates it on January 2. During his pontificate, the great churches founded at Rome by Constantine, e.g. the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Old St. Peter's Basilica were built, several cemeterial churches were built over the graves of martyrs. Sylvester did not attend the First Council of Nicaea in 325, where the Nicene Creed was formulated, but he was represented by two legates and Vincentius, he approved the council's decision.
One of the Symmachian forgeries, the Vita beati Silvestri, preserved in Greek and Syriac, is an apocryphal alleged account of a Roman council, including legends of Sylvester's close relationship with the first Christian emperor. These appear in the Donation of Constantine. Long after his death, the figure of Sylvester was embroidered upon in a fictional account of his relationship to Constantine, which seemed to support the Gelasian doctrine of papal supremacy, papal auctoritas guiding imperial potestas, the doctrine, embodied in the forged Donation of Constantine of the eighth century. In the fiction, of which an early version is represented in the early sixth-century Symmachean forgeries emanating from the curia of Pope Symmachus, the Emperor Constantine was cured of leprosy by the virtue of the baptismal water administered by Sylvester; the Emperor, abjectly grateful, not only confirmed the bishop of Rome as the primate above all other bishops, he resigned his imperial insignia and walked before Sylvester's horse holding the Pope's bridle as the papal groom.
The Pope, in return, offered the crown of his own good will to Constantine, who abandoned Rome to the pope and took up residence in Constantinople. "The doctrine behind this charming story is a radical one," Norman F. Cantor observes: "The pope is supreme over all rulers the Roman emperor, who owes his crown to the pope and therefore may be deposed by papal decree"; such a useful legend gained wide circulation. Pope Sylvester II, himself a close associate of Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, chose the name Sylvester in imitation of Sylvester I. In the West, the liturgical feast of Saint Sylvester is on 31 December, the day of his burial in the Catacomb of Priscilla; this is the last day in the year and, accordingly, in German-speaking countries and in some others close to them, New Year's Eve is known as Silvester. In some other countries, the day is referred to as Saint Sylvester's Day or the Feast of Saint Sylvester. In São Paulo, Brazil, a long-distance running event called the Saint Silvester Road Race occurs every year on 31 December.
The Donation of Constantine is a document fabricated in the second half of the eighth century, purporting to be a record by the Emperor himself of his conversion, the profession of his new faith, the privileges he conferred on Pope Sylvester I, his clergy, their successors. According to it, Pope Sylvester was offered the imperial crown, however, he refused."Lu Santu Papa Silvestru", a story in Giuseppe Pitrè's collection of Sicilian fables, recounts the legend as follows: Constantine the king wants to take a second wife, asks Sylvester. Sylvester denies calling on heaven as witness. Not long after, Constantine falls ill, he obeys, Sylvester receives Constantine's messengers in his cave and swiftly baptizes them, whereafter he is led back to Constantine, whom he baptizes and cures. In this story and his entourage are not pagans but Jews. Another legend has Sylvester slaying a dragon, he is depicted with the dying beast. List of longest-reigning popes List of Catholic saints List of popes Gisela Schmitt.
"Pope Sylvester I". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon. 10. Herzberg: Bautz. Col. 338–341. ISBN 3-88309-062-X. Pope St. Sylvester I Francesco Scorza Barcellona: SILVESTRO I, santo. In: Enciclopedia dei Papi, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Template:LThK Horst Fuhrmann: Konstantinische Schenkung in: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Vol. 5, Artemis & Winkler, Munich/Zurich 1991, ISBN 3-7608-8905-0, Col. 1385–1387. Wilhelm Pohlkamp: Silvester I. Papst in: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Vol. 7, LexMA-Verlag, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-7608-8907-7, Col. 1905–1908. Media related to Sylvester I at Wikimedia Commons Opera Omnia by Migne Colonnade Statue in St Peter's Square Legenda Aurea