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
Pope Telesphorus was the Bishop of Rome from c. 126 to his death c. 137, during the reigns of Roman Emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. He was of Greek ancestry and born in Terranova da Sibari, Italy. Telesphorus is traditionally considered as being the eighth Roman bishop in succession after Saint Peter; the Liber Pontificalis mentions. According to the testimony of Irenæus, he suffered a "glorious" martyrdom. Although most early popes are called martyrs by sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, Telesphorus is the first to whom Irenaeus, writing earlier, gives this title. Eusebius places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius. In Roman Martyrology, his feast is celebrated on 5 January; the tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of the Gloria are attributed to his pontificate, but some historians doubt that such attributions are accurate.
A fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century preserved by Eusebius, testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover. Unlike Victor, Telesphorus remained in communion with those communities that did not follow this custom; the Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a patron saint of the order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel. The town of Saint-Télesphore, in the southwestern part of Canada's Quebec province, is named after him. List of Catholic saints List of popes Attwater and Catherine Rachel John; the Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4. Kelly, J. N. D. Oxford Dictionary of Popes.. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Benedict XVI; the Roman Martyrology. Gardners Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-548-13374-3. Chapman, John. Studies on the Early Papacy.
Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971. ISBN 978-0-8046-1139-8. Fortescue and Scott M. P. Reid; the Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451. Southampton: Saint Austin Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4. Loomis, Louise Ropes; the Book of Popes. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8 The Works of Pope Telesphorus "Pope St. Telesphorus" Catholic Encyclopedia Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Telesphorus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
The pope known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy; the current pope is Francis, elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI. While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See, it is the Holy See, the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built; the apostolic see of Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 1st century, according to Catholic tradition.
The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of human rights. In some periods of history, the papacy, which had no temporal powers, accrued wide secular powers rivaling those of temporal rulers. However, in recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now exclusively focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.
Still, the Pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people because of his extensive diplomatic and spiritual influence on 1.3 billion Catholics and beyond, as well as the official representative of the Catholic Church being the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, with a vast international network of charities. The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied in the east, to all bishops and other senior clergy, became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century; the earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by deceased Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heraclas of Alexandria. The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to the 7th century Roman Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome as their head. Thus, is derived another title by which the pope is known, that of "Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the Church, the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter, in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles. Some historians argue against the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, noting that the episcopal see in Rome can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century; the writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organized" the Church at Rome.
Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96, about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, such as Emperor Constantine's erection of the "Old St. Peter's Basilica" on the location of St. Peter's tomb, as held and given to him by Rome's Christian community, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine. First-century Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.
Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome. In Rome, there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop, though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them; some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus and Clement were prominent presbyter-bishops
Pope Anicetus was the Bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism, he welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter. His name is Greek for unconquered. According to the Liber Pontificalis, Anicetus was a Syrian from the city of Emesa. According to St. Irenaeus, it was during his pontificate that the aged Polycarp of Smyrna, a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, visited Rome to discuss the celebration of Passover with Anicetus. Polycarp and his Church of Smyrna celebrated the crucifixion on the fourteenth day of Nisan, which coincides with Pesach regardless of which day of the week upon this date fell, while the Roman Church celebrated the Pasch on Sunday—the weekday of Jesus's resurrection; the two did not agree on a common date, but St. Anicetus conceded to St. Polycarp and the Church of Smyrna the ability to retain the date to which they were accustomed.
The controversy was to grow heated in the following centuries. The Christian historian Hegesippus visited Rome during Anicetus's pontificate; this visit is cited as a sign of the early importance of the Roman See. St. Anicetus opposed the Gnostics and Marcionism; the Liber Pontificalis records that St. Anicetus decreed that priests are not allowed to have long hair. According to Church Tradition, St. Anicetus suffered martyrdom during the reign of the Roman Co-Emperor Lucius Verus, but there are no historical grounds for this account. 16, 17 and 20 April are all cited as the date of his death, but 20 April is celebrated as his feast day. Before 1970, the date chosen was 17 April; the Liber Pontificalis states. List of popes Quartodeciman Campbell, Thomas Joseph. "Pope St. Anicetus". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Duff, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Yale University Press, 2001, p. 13. ISBN 0-300-09165-6 Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. Chronicle of the Popes: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Papacy from St. Peter to the Present, Thames & Hudson, 2002, p. 19.
ISBN 0-500-01798-0. Anicetus in the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints Collected works of Migne Patrologia Latina
Saint Peter known as Simon Peter, Simon, or Cephas, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Great Church. Pope Gregory I called him the "Prince of the Apostles". According to Catholic teaching, Jesus promised Peter in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18 a special position in the Church, he is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome—or pope—and by Eastern Christian tradition as the first Patriarch of Antioch. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and as the founder of the Church of Antioch and the Roman Church, but differ in their attitudes regarding the authority of his present-day successors; the New Testament indicates that Peter's father's name was John and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Andrew was an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples.
A fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, preached on the day of Pentecost. According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero, it is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds, his remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced in 1968 the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery; every 29 June since 1736, a statue of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica is adorned with papal tiara, ring of the fisherman, papal vestments, as part of the celebration of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. According to Catholic doctrine, the direct papal successor to Saint Peter is the incumbent pope Pope Francis.
Two general epistles in the New Testament are ascribed to Peter, but modern scholars reject the Petrine authorship of both. The Gospel of Mark was traditionally thought to show the influence of Peter's preaching and eyewitness memories. Several other books bearing his name—the Acts of Peter, Gospel of Peter, Preaching of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Judgment of Peter—are considered by Christian denominations as apocryphal, are thus not included in their Bible canons. Peter's original name, as indicated in the New Testament, was "Simon" or "Simeon"; the Simon/Simeon variation has been explained as reflecting "the well-known custom among Jews at the time of giving the name of a famous patriarch or personage of the Old Testament to a male child along with a similar sounding Greek/Roman name". He was given the name כֵּיפָא in Aramaic, rendered in Greek as Κηφᾶς, whence Latin and English Cephas; the precise meaning of the Aramaic word is disputed, some saying that its usual meaning is "rock" or "crag", others saying that it means rather "stone" and in its application by Jesus to Simon, "precious stone" or "jewel", but most scholars agree that as a proper name it denotes a rough or tough character.
Both meanings, "stone" and "rock", are indicated in dictionaries of Syriac. Catholic theologian Rudolf Pesch argues that the Aramaic cepha means "stone, clump, clew" and that "rock" is only a connotation; the combined name Σίμων Πέτρος appears 19 times in the New Testament. In some Syriac documents he is called, in Simon Cephas. Peter's life story is told in the four canonical gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, New Testament letters, the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews and other Early Church accounts of his life and death. In the New Testament, he is among the first of the disciples called during Jesus' ministry. Peter became the first listed apostle ordained by Jesus in the early church. Peter was a fisherman in Bethsaida, he was named son of Jonah or John. The three Synoptic Gospels recount how Peter's mother-in-law was healed by Jesus at their home in Capernaum. 1 Cor. 9:5 has been taken to imply that he was married. In the Synoptic Gospels, Peter was a fisherman along with his brother and the sons of Zebedee and John.
The Gospel of John depicts Peter fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, in the story of the Catch of 153 fish. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew to be "fishers of men". A Franciscan church is built upon the traditional site of Apostle Peter's house. In Luke, Simon Peter owns the boat that Jesus uses to preach to the multitudes who were pressing on him at the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesu
Pope Zephyrinus was Bishop of Rome or Pope from 199 to his death in 217. He was born in Rome, his predecessor was Pope Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Pope Callixtus I, he is known for defending the divinity of Christ. During the 17-year pontificate of Zephyrinus, the young Church endured persecution under the Emperor Severus until his death in the year 211. To quote Alban Butler, "this holy pastor was the support and comfort of the distressed flock". According to St. Optatus, Zephyrinus combated new heresies and apostasies, chief of which were Marcion, Praxeas and the Montanists. Eusebius insists that Zephyrinus fought vigorously against the blasphemies of the two Theodotuses, who in response treated him with contempt, but called him the greatest defender of the divinity of Christ. Although he was not physically martyred for the faith, his suffering – both mental and spiritual – during his pontificate have earned him the title of martyr, a title, repealed 132 years after his death.
During the reign of the Emperor Severus, relations with the young Christian Church deteriorated, in 202 or 203 the edict of persecution appeared which forbade conversion to Christianity under the severest penalties. Zephyrinus's predecessor Pope Victor I had excommunicated Theodotus the Tanner for reviving a heresy that Christ only became God after his resurrection. Theodotus' followers formed a separate heretical community at Rome ruled by another Theodotus, the Money Changer, Asclepiodotus. Natalius, tortured for his faith during the persecution, was persuaded by Asclepiodotus to become a bishop in their sect in exchange for a monthly stipend of 150 denarii. Natalius reportedly experienced several visions warning him to abandon these heretics. According to an anonymous work entitled The Little Labyrinth and quoted by Eusebius, Natalius was whipped a whole night by an angel. A feast of St Zephyrinus and Martyr, held on 26 August, was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in the 13th century, but was removed in the 1969 revision, since he was not a martyr and 26 August is not the anniversary of his death, 20 December, the day under which he is now mentioned in the Roman Martyrology.
List of Catholic saints List of popes Rendina, The Popes' Histories and Secrets