Pope Alexander I
Pope Alexander I was the Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119; some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian, but this is improbable. According to the Liber Pontificalis, it was Alexander I who inserted the narration of the Last Supper into the liturgy of the Mass. However, the article on Saint Alexander I in the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia, written by Thomas Shahan, judges this tradition to be inaccurate, a view shared by both Catholic and non-Catholic experts, it is viewed as a product of the agenda of Liber Pontificalis—this section of the book was written in the late 5th century—to show an ancient pattern of the earliest bishops of Rome ruling the church by papal decree. The introduction of the customs of using blessed water mixed with salt for the purification of Christian homes from evil influences, as well as that of mixing water with the sacramental wine, are attributed to Pope Alexander I.
Some sources consider these attributions unlikely. It is possible, that Alexander played an important part in the early development of the Church of Rome's emerging liturgical and administrative traditions. A tradition holds that in the reign of Emperor Hadrian, Alexander I converted the Roman governor Hermes by miraculous means, together with his entire household of 1,500 people. Saint Quirinus of Neuss, Alexander's supposed jailer, Quirinus' daughter Saint Balbina were among his converts. Alexander is said to have seen a vision of the infant Jesus, his remains are said to have been transferred to Freising in Bavaria, Germany in AD 834. Some editions of the Roman Missal identified with Pope Alexander I the Saint Alexander that they give as commemorated, together with Saints Eventius and Theodulus, on 3 May. See, for instance, the General Roman Calendar of 1954, but nothing is known of these three saints other than their names, together with the fact that they were martyred and were buried at the seventh milestone of the Via Nomentana on 3 May of some year.
For this reason, the Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the calendar returned to the presentation, in the 1570 Tridentine Calendar of the three saints as "Saints Alexander and Theodulus Martyrs" with no suggestion that any of them was a pope. The Roman Martyrology lists them as Eventius and Theodulus, the order in which their names are given in historical documents. List of Catholic saints List of popes Benedict XIV; 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 978-1-901157-60-4. 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. Jowett, George F; the Drama of the Lost Disciples. London: Covenant Pub. Co, 1968. OCLC 7181392 Loomis, Louise Ropes; the Book of Popes. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8Pope St. Alexander IEncyclopædia Britannica: Saint Alexander I
Linus was the second Bishop of Rome, is listed by the Catholic Church as the second pope. His papacy lasted from c. AD 67 to his death. Among those to have held the position of pope, Peter and Clement are mentioned in the New Testament. Linus is mentioned in the closing greeting of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul in Rome near the end of Paul's life; the earliest witness to Linus's status as bishop was Irenaeus, who in about the year 180 wrote, "The blessed apostles having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate." The Oxford Dictionary of Popes interprets Irenaeus as classifying Linus as the first bishop of Rome. Linus is presented by Jerome as "the first after Peter to be in charge of the Roman Church" and by Eusebius as "the first to receive the episcopate of the church at Rome, after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter". John Chrysostom wrote, "This Linus, some say, was second Bishop of the Church of Rome after Peter", while the Liberian Catalogue presents Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and Linus as his successor in the same office.
The Liber Pontificalis presents a list that makes Linus the second in the line of bishops of Rome, after Peter, while stating that Peter consecrated two bishops and Anacletus, for the priestly service of the community, devoting himself instead to prayer and preaching, that it was to Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole, appointing him as his successor. Tertullian too wrote of Clement as the successor of Peter. Jerome classified Clement as "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter", adding that, "most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle."The Apostolic Constitutions denote that Linus, consecrated by Paul, was the first bishop of Rome and was succeeded by Clement, ordained and consecrated by Peter. Cletus is considered Linus's successor by Irenaeus, the others cited above, who present Linus either as the first bishop of Rome or, if they give Peter as the first, as the second; the Liberian Catalogue and the Liber Pontificalis date Linus's episcopate to 56–67, during the reign of Nero, but Jerome dates it to 67–78, Eusebius puts the end of his episcopate at the second year of the reign of Titus.
Linus is mentioned in the closing greeting of the Second Epistle to Timothy. In that epistle, Linus is noted as being with Paul in Rome near the end of Paul's life. Irenæus stated that this is the same Linus who became Bishop of Rome, a view, still accepted. According to the Liber Pontificalis, Linus was an Italian born in Volterra in the Tuscany region, his father's name was recorded as Herculanus. The Apostolic Constitutions name his mother as Claudia. According to Liber Pontificalis, Linus issued a decree that women should cover their heads in church, created the first fifteen bishops, that he died a martyr and was buried on the Vatican Hill next to Peter, it gives the date of his death as 23 the date on which his feast is still celebrated. His name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass. With respect to Linus's supposed decree requiring women to cover their heads, J. P. Kirsch commented in the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Without doubt this decree is apocryphal, copied by the author of the Liber Pontificalis from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome.
The statement made in the same source, that Linus suffered martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. For between Nero and Domitian there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church; the entry about him is as follows: "At Rome, commemoration of Saint Linus, who, according to Irenaeus, was the person to whom the blessed Apostles entrusted the episcopal care of the Church founded in the City, whom blessed Paul the Apostle mentions as associated with him."A tomb found in St. Peter's Basilica in 1615 by Torrigio was inscribed with the letters LINVS, was once taken to be Linus's tomb; however a note by Torrigio shows that these were the last five letters of a longer name. A letter on the martyrdom of Peter and Paul was once attributed to him, but in fact dates to the 6th century. List of Catholic saints List of popes Papal selection before 1059 Louise Ropes Loomis, The Book of Popes. Merchantville, New Jersey: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8. Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Pope St. Linus".
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company
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
Pope Sixtus I
Pope Sixtus I, a Roman of Greek descent, was the Bishop of Rome from c. 115 to his death c. 124. He was in turn succeeded by Pope Telesphorus, his feast is celebrated on 6 April. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio identifies him as a Roman who served from 117 or 119 to 126 or 128. According to the Liberian Catalogue of popes, he served the Church during the reign of Hadrian "from the consulate of Niger and Apronianus until that of Verus III and Ambibulus", that is, from 117 to 126. Eusebius states in his Chronicon that Sixtus I was pope from 114 to 124, while his Historia Ecclesiastica, using a different catalogue of popes, claims his rule from 114 to 128. All authorities agree. Sixtus I instituted several Catholic administrative traditions. Like most of his predecessors, Sixtus I was believed to have been buried near Saint Peter's grave on Vatican Hill, although there are differing traditions concerning where his body lies today. In Alife, there is a Romanesque crypt, which houses the relics of Pope Sixtus I, brought there by Rainulf III.
He was a Roman by birth, his father's name was Pastor. According to the Liber Pontificalis, he passed the following three ordinances: that none but sacred ministers are allowed to touch the sacred vessels. Alban Butler states that Clement X gave some of his relics to Cardinal de Retz, who placed them in the Abbey of St. Michael in Lorraine; the Xystus, commemorated in the Catholic Canon of the Mass is Xystus II, not Xystus I. In the oldest documents, Xystus is the spelling used for the first three popes of that name. Pope Sixtus I is the sixth Pope after Peter, leading to questions as to whether the name "Sixtus" might be fictitious. List of Catholic saints List of popes Image of Pope Saint Sixtus as seen on a fresco at Chalivoy-Milon in the Berry. Pope St. Sixtus I Sixtus I. in the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints Collected works in Migne Patrologia Latina
Flavius Romulus Augustus, known derisively and historiographically as Romulus Augustulus, was the Roman emperor who ruled the Western Roman Empire from 31 October 475 until 4 September 476. He is described as the "last Western Roman emperor", though some historians consider this to be Julius Nepos, his deposition by Odoacer traditionally marks the end of the Roman Empire in the West, the end of Ancient Rome, the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe. Although he, as all other emperors, adopted the name Augustus upon his accession, he is better remembered by his derisive nickname Augustulus; the Latin suffix -ulus is a diminutive. The name Romulus was changed derisively to Momyllus meaning "little disgrace"; the historical record contains few details of Romulus' life. He was the son of Orestes, a Roman who once served as a secretary in the court of Attila the Hun before coming into the service of Julius Nepos in AD 475. In the same year he was promoted to the rank of magister militum, but led a military revolt that forced Nepos to flee into exile.
With the capital of Ravenna under his control, Orestes appointed his son Romulus to the throne despite the lack of support from the eastern court in Constantinople. Romulus, was little more than a child and figurehead for his father's rule. After ten months in power, during which time his authority and legitimacy were disputed beyond Italy, Romulus was forced to abdicate by Odoacer, a Germanic foederatus officer who defeated and executed Orestes. After seizing control of Ravenna, Odoacer sent the former emperor to live in the Castellum Lucullanum in Campania, after which he disappears from the historical record. Romulus' father Orestes was a Roman citizen from Pannonia, who had served as a secretary and diplomat for Attila the Hun and rose through the ranks of the Roman army; the future emperor was named Romulus after his maternal grandfather, a nobleman from Poetovio in Noricum. Many historians have noted the coincidence that the last western emperor bore the names of both Romulus, the legendary founder and first king of Rome, Augustus, the first emperor.
Orestes was appointed Magister militum by Julius Nepos in 475. Shortly after his appointment, Orestes launched a rebellion and captured Ravenna, the capital of the Western Roman Empire since 402, on 28 August 475. Nepos fled to Dalmatia. Orestes, refused to become emperor, "from some secret motive", said historian Edward Gibbon. Instead, he installed his son on the throne on 31 October 475; the empire Augustus ruled was a shadow of its former self and had shrunk over the previous 80 years. Imperial authority had retreated to the Italian borders and parts of southern Gaul: Italia and Gallia Narbonensis, respectively; the Eastern Roman Empire treated its western counterpart as a client state. The Eastern Emperor Leo, who died in 474, had appointed the western emperors Anthemius and Julius Nepos, Constantinople never recognized the new government. Neither Zeno nor Basiliscus, the two generals fighting for the eastern throne at the time of Romulus' accession, accepted him as ruler; as a proxy for his father, Romulus made no decisions and left no monuments, though coins bearing his name were minted in Rome, Milan and Gaul.
Several months after Orestes took power, a coalition of Heruli and Turcilingi mercenaries demanded that he give them a third of the land in Italy. When Orestes refused, the tribes revolted under the leadership of the Scirian chieftain Odoacer. Orestes was swiftly executed. Odoacer advanced on Ravenna, capturing the city and the young emperor after the short and decisive Battle of Ravenna. Romulus was compelled to abdicate the throne on 4 September 476; this act has been cited as the end of the Western Roman Empire, although Romulus' deposition did not cause any significant disruption at the time. Rome had lost its hegemony over the provinces, Germanic peoples dominated the Roman army, Germanic generals like Odoacer had long been the real powers behind the throne. Italy would suffer far greater devastation in the next century when Emperor Justinian I reconquered it in the Gothic War. After the abdication of Romulus, the Roman Senate, on behalf of Odoacer, sent representatives to the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno, whom it asked to formally reunite the two halves of the Empire: "the west… no longer required an emperor of its own: one monarch sufficed for the world".
He was asked to make Odoacer a patrician, administrator of Italy in Zeno's name. Zeno pointed out that the Senate should rightfully have first requested that Julius Nepos take the throne once more, but he nonetheless agreed to their requests. Odoacer ruled Italy in Zeno's name; the ultimate fate of Romulus is a mystery. The Anonymus Valesianus wrote that Odoacer, "taking pity on his youth", spared Romulus' life and granted him an annual pension of 6,000 solidi before sending him to live with relatives in Campania. Jordanes and Marcellinus Comes say Odoacer exiled Romulus to Campania but do not mention any financial support from the Germanic king; the sources do agree that Romulus took up residence in the Castel dell'Ovo in Naples, now a castle but built as a grand sea-side house by Lucullus in the 1st century BC, fortified by Valentinian III in the mid-5th century. From here, contemporary histories fall silent. In the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon notes that the disciples of Saint Severinus of Noricum were invited by a "Neapolitan lady" to bring his body to the villa in 488.
Council of Chalcedon
The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon. The Council was called by Emperor Marcian to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus, its principal purpose was to assert the orthodox catholic doctrine against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites, although ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction occupied the council's attention. The council is numbered as the fourth ecumenical council by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, most Protestants. Oriental Orthodox Churches do not agree with the conduct and the proceedings of the Council calling it "Chalcedon, the Ominous". Followers of the Council believe its most important achievement was to issue the Chalcedonian Definition, stating that Jesus is "perfect both in deity and in humanness; the council's judgments and definitions regarding the divine marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates. In 325, the first ecumenical council determined that Jesus Christ was God, "consubstantial" with the Father, rejected the Arian contention that Jesus was a created being.
This was reaffirmed at the Council of Ephesus. About two years after Cyril of Alexandria's death in 444, an aged monk from Constantinople named Eutyches began teaching a subtle variation on the traditional Christology in an attempt to stop what he saw as a new outbreak of Nestorianism, he claimed to be a faithful follower of Cyril's teaching, declared orthodox in the Union of 433. Cyril had taught that "There is only one physis, since it is the Incarnation, of God the Word." Cyril had understood the Greek word physis to mean what the Latin word persona means, while most Greek theologians would have interpreted that word to mean natura. The energy and imprudence with which Eutyches asserted his opinions led to his being misunderstood. Thus, many understood Eutyches to be advocating Docetism, a sort of reversal of Arianism —where Arius had denied the consubstantial divinity of Jesus, Eutyches seemed to be denying that Jesus was human. Pope Leo I wrote. Eutyches had been accusing various personages of covert Nestorianism.
In November 448, Bishop of Constantinople held a local synod regarding a point of discipline connected with the province of Sardis. At the end of the session of this synod one of those inculpated, Bishop of Dorylaeum, brought a counter charge of heresy against the archimandrite. Eusebius demanded. Flavian preferred that the bishop and the archimandrite sort out their differences, but as his suggestion went unheeded, Eutyches was summoned to clarify his position regarding the nature of Christ. Eutyches reluctantly appeared, but his position was considered to be theologically unsophisticated, the synod finding his answers unresponsive condemned and exiled him. Flavian sent a full account to Pope Leo I. Although it had been accidentally delayed, Leo wrote a compendious explanation of the whole doctrine involved, sent it to Flavian as a formal and authoritative decision of the question. Eutyches appealed against the decision, labeling Flavian a Nestorian, received the support of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria.
John Anthony McGuckin sees an "innate rivalry" between the Sees of Constantinople. Dioscurus, imitating his predecessors in assuming a primacy over Constantinople, held his own synod which annulled the sentence of Flavian, absolved Eutyches. Through the influence of the court official Chrysaphius, godson of Eutyches, in 449, the competing claims between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria led Emperor Theodosius II to call a council, held in Ephesus in 449, with Dioscorus presiding. Pope Leo sent four legates to represent him and expressed his regret that the shortness of the notice must prevent the presence of any other bishop of the West, he provided his legates, one of whom died en route, with a letter addressed to Flavian explaining Rome's position in the controversy. Leo's letter, now known as Leo's Tome, confessed that Christ had two natures, was not of or from two natures. On August 8, 449 the Second Council of Ephesus began its first session; the Acts of the first session of this synod were read at the Council of Chalcedon, 451, are thus preserved.
The remainder of the Acts are known through a Syriac translation by a Monophysite monk, written in the year 535 and published from a manuscript in the British Museum. Nonetheless, there are somewhat different interpretations as to what transpired; the question before the council by order of the emperor was whether Flavian, in a synod held by him at Constantinople in November, 448, had justly deposed and excommunicated the Archimandrite Eutyches for refusing to admit two natures in Christ. Dioscorus began the council by banning all members of the November 448 synod which had deposed Eutyches from sitting as judges, he introduced Eutyches who publicly professed that while Christ had two natures before the incarnation, the two natures had merged to form a single nature after the incarnation. Of the 130 assembled bishops, 111 voted to rehabilitate Eutyches. Throughout these proceedings, Hilary called for the reading of Leo's Tome, but was ignored; the Eastern Orthodox Church has different accounts of The Second Council of Ephesus.
Pope Dioscorus requested deferring reading of Leo's Tome, as it was not seen as necessary to start with, could be read later. This was seen as a rebuke to the representatives from the Chur