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faith, his suffering – both mental and spiritual – during his pontificate have earned him the title of martyr, a title, repealed 132 years after his death.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.
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Pope Clement I
Pope Clement I known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch. Few details are known about Clement's life. Clement was said to have been consecrated by Saint Peter, he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the late 1st century. Early church lists place him as the third bishop of Rome after Saint Peter; the Liber Pontificalis states that Clement died in Greece in the third year of Emperor Trajan's reign, or 101 AD. Clement's only genuine extant writing is his letter to the church at Corinth in response to a dispute in which certain presbyters of the Corinthian church had been deposed, he asserted the authority of the presbyters as rulers of the church on the ground that the Apostles had appointed such. His letter, one of the oldest extant Christian documents outside the New Testament, was read in church, along with other epistles, some of which became part of the Christian canon.
These works were the first to affirm the apostolic authority of the clergy. A second epistle, 2 Clement, was attributed to Clement, although recent scholarship suggests it to be a homily by another author. In the legendary Clementine Literature, Clement is the intermediary through whom the apostles teach the church. According to tradition, Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan. Thereafter he was executed by being thrown into the sea. Clement is recognized as a saint in many Christian churches and is considered a patron saint of mariners, he is commemorated on 23 November in the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church. In Eastern Orthodox Christianity his feast is kept on 25 November; the Liber Pontificalis presents a list that makes Pope Linus the second in the line of bishops of Rome, with Peter as first. Tertullian considered Clement to be the immediate successor of Peter. In one of his works, Jerome listed Clement as "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter", added that "most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle".
Clement is put after Linus and Cletus/Anacletus in the earliest account, that of Irenaeus, followed by Eusebius of Caesarea. Early succession lists name Clement as the first, third successor of Saint Peter. However, the meaning of his inclusion in these lists has been controversial; some believe there were presbyter-bishops as early as the 1st century, but that there is no evidence for a monarchical episcopacy in Rome at such an early date. There is however, no evidence of a change occurring in ecclesiastical organization in the latter half of the 2nd century, which would indicate that a new or newly-monarchical episcopacy was establishing itself. Dionysius of Corinth and Irenaeus of Lyon both viewed Clement as a monarchial bishop who intervened in the dispute in the church of Corinth. Starting in the 3rd and 4th century, tradition has identified him as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians 4:3, a fellow laborer in Christ. While in the mid-19th century it was customary to identify him as a freedman of Titus Flavius Clemens, consul with his cousin, the Emperor Domitian, this identification, which no ancient sources suggest, afterwards lost support.
The 2nd-century Shepherd of Hermas mentions a Clement whose office it was to communicate with other churches. A large congregation existed in Rome c. 58, when Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans. Paul arrived in Rome c. 60. His Captivity Epistles, as well as Mark, Acts, 1 Peter were written here, according to many scholars. Paul and Peter were said to have been martyred there. Nero persecuted Roman Christians after Rome burned in 64, the congregation may have suffered further persecution under Domitian. Clement was the first of early Rome's most notable bishops; the Liber Pontificalis, which documents the reigns of popes, states that Clement had known Saint Peter. Clement is known for his epistle to the church in Corinth, in which he asserts the apostolic authority of the bishops/presbyters as rulers of the church; the epistle mentions episkopoi or presbyteroi as the upper class of minister, served by the deacons, since it does not mention himself, it gives no indication of the title or titles used for Clement in Rome.
According to apocryphal acta dating to the 4th century at earliest, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of the Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding on his arrival that the prisoners were suffering from lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a lamb on a hill, went to where the lamb had stood and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water; this miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and his fellow prisoners to Christianity. As punishment, Saint Clement was martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea; the legend recounts that every year a miraculous ebbing of the sea revealed a divinely built shrine containing his bones. However, the oldest sources on Clement's life and Jerome, note nothing
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
Roman Catholic Suburbicarian Diocese of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto
The Diocese of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto a suburbicarian see of the Holy Roman Church and a diocese of the Catholic Church in Italy in the Roman province of the Pope. Sabina has been the seat of such a bishopric since the 6th century, though the earliest names in the list of bishops may be apocryphal; the ancient cathedral of San Salvatore of Sabina was located in Forum Novum. The official papal province of Sabina was established under Pope Paul V in 1605. Since 1842 the Cardinal Bishop of Sabina bears the title of Territorial Abbot of Farfa. Since 1925, the cardinalatial Titular Church of Sabina has been united to that of Poggio Mirteto, named Sabina e Poggio Mirteto, since 1986 Sabina–Poggio Mirteto; the current Cardinal-Bishop is Giovanni Battista Re, while the Ordinary of the Diocese is Bishop Ernesto Mandara. If?, century or c. is given, exact years or dates have not yet been found for his tenure. Mariano Pietro Issa Teodoro Samuele Sergio Leone Gregorio Anastasio Giovanni Giovanni Domenico Benedetto Rainiero Gaetano de Lai Donato Sbarretti Enrico Sibilia Adeodato Giovanni Piazza Marcello Mimmi Giuseppe Ferretto Antonio Samoré Agnelo Rossi, Eduardo Francisco Pironio Lucas Moreira Neves Giovanni Battista Re Kehr, Paul Fridolin.
Italia pontificia. Vol. II: Latium. Berlin: Apud Weidmannos. Pp. 53–74. Suburbicarian Diocese of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto Official Website Complete list Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. I-IV
Pope Gregory VI
Pope Gregory VI, born John Gratian in Rome, was Pope from 1 May 1045 until his abdication at the Council of Sutri on 20 December 1046. Theophylactus of Tusculum was twenty years old when, in 1032, his father, Alberic III, Count of Tusculum, purchased his election as pope through some well-placed bribes; the young man took the name Benedict IX, after his uncle, Benedict VIII. Factional strife increased and in September 1044 members of the Roman nobility ousted Benedict and, in January 1045, replaced him with their own candidate, the bishop of Sabina, who took the name Sylvester III; the following March, Benedict sent Sylvester back to his diocese. Shortly thereafter, Benedict approached his godfather and indicating that he wished to marry, offered to resign, provided he were reimbursed for his election expenses. Desirous of seeing Rome free of Benedict, Gratian agreed, by May was recognized as Benedict's successor under the name Gregory VI. Benedict had second thoughts and again laid claim to the papal throne.
Supporters of Sylvester, had not given up his claim. With three parties claiming the papacy and controlling their respective parts of the city, influential members of both the clergy and the laity asked the Henry III, King of the Germans to intervene. Henry expected to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor, but preferred it be done by a pope whose legitimacy was not in question. Henry crossed the Alps and, in December 1046, convened the Council of Sutri, which deposed Benedict and Sylvester. Gregory agreed to resign. Gregory's chaplain was Hildebrand, who became Pope Gregory VII. Gratian, the Archpriest of St. John by the Latin Gate, was a man of great reputation for uprightness of character, he was the godfather of Pope Benedict IX, who, at the age of twenty, was foisted on the papacy by his powerful family, the Theophylacti, counts of Tusculum. Benedict IX, wishing to marry and vacate the position into which he had been thrust by his family, consulted his godfather as to whether he could resign the pontificate.
When he was convinced that he might do so, he offered to give up the papacy into the hands of his godfather if he would reimburse him for his election expenses. Desirous of ridding the See of Rome of such an unworthy pontiff, John Gratian paid him the money and was recognized as Pope in his stead; the accession of Gratian, who took the name Gregory VI, did not bring peace, though it was hailed with joy by such a strict upholder of the right as St. Peter Damian; when Benedict IX left the city after selling the papacy, there was another aspirant to the See of Peter in the field. John, Bishop of Sabina, had been hailed as Pope Sylvester III by the faction of the nobility that had driven Benedict IX from Rome in 1044, had installed him in his place. Though Benedict IX soon returned, forced Sylvester III to retire to his See of Sabina, Sylvester never gave up his claims to the papal throne, through his political allies contrived to keep some hold on a portion of Rome. To complicate matters, Benedict IX, unable to obtain the bride on whom he had set his heart, soon repented his resignation, claimed the papacy again, in his turn is thought to have succeeded in acquiring dominion over a part of the city.
With an empty exchequer and a clergy that had lost the savour of righteousness, Gregory VI was confronted by an hopeless task. With the aid of his "capellanus" or chaplain, destined to be Pope Gregory VII, he tried to bring about civil and religious order, he strove to effect the latter by means of letters and councils, the former by force of arms. But the factions of his rivals were too strong to be put down, the confusion only increased. Convinced that nothing could meet the challenges facing the Church except imperial intervention, a number of influential clergy and laity separated themselves from communion with Gregory VI or either of his two rivals and implored Emperor Henry III to cross the Alps and restore order. Henry III responded to these pleas by descending into Italy in the autumn of 1046. Strong in the conviction of his innocence, Gregory VI went north to meet him, he was received by Henry III with all the honour due to a Pope, in accordance with the royal request, summoned a council to meet at Sutri.
Of his rivals, Sylvester III alone presented himself at the synod, opened on 20 December 1046. Both his claim to the papacy and that of Benedict IX were soon disposed of. Deprived of all clerical rank and considered a usurper from the beginning, Sylvester III was condemned to be confined in a monastery for the rest of his life. Gregory VI was accused of purchasing the papacy and admitted it. However, the bishops of the synod impressed upon Gratian that this act was indeed simoniacal, regardless of his virtuous motivations for it, called upon him to resign. Gregory VI, seeing that little choice was left to him, complied of his own accord and laid down his office. Gregory VI was succeeded in the papacy by the German bishop of Bamberg, who took the name Pope Clement II. Gregory VI himself was taken by the Emperor to Germany in May 1047, where he died in 1048 at Cologne. Gregory VI was accompanied by Hildebrand. After about a year in Cluny, Hildebrand returned to Rome in January 1049 with the new Pope Leo IX, successor of Popes Clement II and Damasus II.
And when Hildebrand himself was elected Pope in 1073, he deliberately chose for himself the title Pope Gregory VII in order to proclaim his firm and loyal belief in the legiti
Pope Urban I
Pope Urban I was Bishop of Rome or Pope from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded Pope Callixtus I, martyred, it was believed for centuries that Urban I was martyred. However, recent historical discoveries now lead scholars to believe. Much of Urban's life is shrouded in mystery, leading to many misconceptions. Despite the lack of sources he is the first Pope whose reign can be dated. Two prominent sources do exist for Urban's pontificate: Eusebius' history of the early Church and an inscription in the Coemeterium Callisti which names the Pope. Urban ascended to the Chair of Saint Peter in the year of the Roman Emperor Elagabalus' assassination and served during the reign of Alexander Severus, it is believed that Urban's pontificate was during a peaceful time for Christians in the Empire as Severus did not promote the persecution of Christianity. Urban is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is believed that the schismatic Hippolytus was still leading a rival Christian congregation in Rome, that he published the Philosophumena, an attack on Pope Urban's predecessor Callixtus.
Urban is said to have maintained the hostile policy of Callixtus when dealing with the schismatic party. Due to the relative freedoms the Christian community had during Severus' reign the Church in Rome grew, leading to the belief that Urban was a skilled converter. A Papal decree concerning the donations of the faithful at Mass is attributed to Pope Urban: The gifts of the faithful that are offered to the Lord can only be used for ecclesiastical purposes, for the common good of the Christian community, for the poor, it had been believed that he was buried in the Coemetarium Praetextati where a tomb was inscribed with his name. However, when excavating the Catacomb of Callixtus Italian archaeologist Giovanni de Rossi uncovered the lid of a sarcophagus which suggested that Pope Urban was in fact buried there. De Rossi found a list of martyrs and confessors who were buried at St. Callistus', which contained Urban's name. De Rossi therefore concluded that the Urban buried in the Coemetarium Praetextati was another bishop and Pope Urban was located in Catacomb of St. Callistus.
While many historians accept this opinion, doubt remains since Pope Sixtus III's list of saints buried in St. Callistus' Catacomb does not include Urban in the succession of Popes but rather in a list of foreign bishops. Therefore, it is possible, his relic is located in Hungary in the Monok Roman Catholic Church. In 1773 XIV. Pope Clement donated it to the Andrássy family; as no contemporary accounts of Urban's pontificate exist there have been many legends and acts attributed to him which are fictitious or difficult to ascertain the factual nature of. The legendary Acts of St. Cecilia and the Liber Pontificalis both contain information on Urban, although of doubtable accuracy. Chaucer had him a character in his Second Nun's Tale in the Canterbury Tales. A story, once included in the Catholic Church's Breviary states that Saint Urban had many converts among whom were Tiburtius and his brother Valerianus, husband of Saint Cecilia. Tradition credits Saint Urban with the miracle of toppling an idol through prayer.
This event is believed to have led to Saint Urban being beaten and tortured before being sentenced to death by beheading. A further belief, now known as an invention from the sixth century, was that Urban had ordered the making of silver liturgical vessels and the patens for twenty-five titular churches of his own time. Urban is found in various pieces of artwork in one of two forms, he is found sitting wearing the Papal Tiara, Papal robes and holding a sword pointed towards the ground. Otherwise Urban may be portrayed wearing Papal garb and a Bishop's Mitre while holding a bible and a bunch of grapes. An image of Pope Saint Urbanus is on a 12th-century fresco at Chalivoy-Milon in the Berry Art Gallery. Other less common depictions of Pope Urban are: after his beheading, with the papal tiara near him; as idols fall from a column while he is beheaded. List of Catholic saints List of popes
Pope Anterus was the Bishop of Rome from 21 November 235 to his death in 236. He succeeded Pope Pontian, deported from Rome to Sardinia, along with the antipope Hippolytus. Anterus was the son of Romulus, born in Calabria, he is thought to have been of Greek origin, his name may indicate that he was a freed slave. He created one bishop, for the city of Fondi; some scholars believe he was martyred, because he ordered greater strictness in searching into the acts of the martyrs collected by the notaries appointed by Pope Saint Clement I. Other scholars doubt this and believe it is more that he died in undramatic circumstances during the persecutions of Emperor Maximinus the Thracian, he was buried on the Appian Way in Rome. The site of his sepulchre was discovered by Giovanni Battista de Rossi in 1854, with some broken remnants of the Greek epitaph engraved on the narrow oblong slab that closed his tomb, his ashes had been removed to the Church of Saint Sylvester in the Campus Martius and were discovered on 17 November 1595, when Pope Clement VIII rebuilt that church.
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