Pope Agapetus I

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Pope Saint

Agapetus I
Bishop of Rome
Agapito I papa.png
Papacy began13 May 535
Papacy ended22 April 536
Predecessor John II
Successor Silverius
Personal details
BornRome, Ostrogothic Kingdom
Died(536-04-22)22 April 536 (aged 46)
Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day20 September (West)
17 April [1] (East)
Venerated in Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Other popes named Agapetus
Papal styles of
Pope Agapetus I
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Agapetus I (died 22 April 536) was Pope from 13 May 535 to his death in 536. He is not to be confused with another Saint Agapetus, an Early Christian martyr with the feast day of 6 August. [2]

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Contents

Family

Agapetus was born in Rome, although his exact date of birth is unknown. He was the son of Gordianus, a Roman priest who had been slain during the riots in the days of Pope Symmachus (term 498–514). [2] The name of his father might point to a familial relation with two other Popes: Felix III (483–492) and Gregory I (590–604). [3] Gregory was a descendant of Felix. Gregory's father, Gordianus, held the position of Regionarius in the Roman Church. Nothing further is known about the position. [4]

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

Pope Symmachus

Pope Symmachus was Pope from 22 November 498 to his death in 514. His tenure was marked by a serious schism over who was legitimately elected pope by the citizens of Rome.

Pope Felix III

Pope Felix III was Pope from 13 March 483 to his death in 492. His repudiation of the Henotikon is considered the beginning of the Acacian schism. He is commemorated on March 1.

Biography

Jeffrey Richards describes him as "the last survivor of the Symmachan old guard", having been ordained as a deacon perhaps as early as 502, during the Laurentian schism. [5] He was elevated from archdeacon to pope in 535. His first official act was to burn, in the presence of the assembled clergy, the anathema which Boniface II had pronounced against the latter's deceased rival Dioscurus on a false charge of simony and had ordered to be preserved in the Roman archives.

An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Syriac Orthodox Church, Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Catholic Church. An archdeacon is often responsible for administration within an archdeaconry, which is the principal subdivision of the diocese. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church has defined an archdeacon as "A cleric having a defined administrative authority delegated to him by the bishop in the whole or part of the diocese." The office has often been described metaphorically as that of oculus episcopi, the "bishop's eye".

Dioscorus was a deacon of the Alexandrian and the Roman church from 506. In a disputed election following the death of Pope Felix IV, the majority of electors picked him to be Pope, in spite of Pope Felix's wishes that Boniface II succeed him. However, Dioscurus died less than a month after the election, allowing Boniface to be consecrated Pope and Dioscurus to be branded an Antipope.

Simony act of selling church offices and roles. It is named after Simon Magus

Simony is the act of selling church offices and roles. It is named after Simon Magus, who is described in the Acts of the Apostles as having offered two disciples of Jesus payment in exchange for their empowering him to impart the power of the Holy Spirit to anyone on whom he would place his hands. The term extends to other forms of trafficking for money in "spiritual things."

Agapetus assisted Cassiodorus in the founding of his monastery at Vivarium. He confirmed the decrees of the Council of Carthage, after the retaking of North Africa from the Vandals, according to which converts from Arianism were declared ineligible to Holy Orders and those already ordained were merely admitted to lay communion. He accepted an appeal from Contumeliosus, Bishop of Riez, whom a council at Marseilles had condemned for immorality, and he ordered Caesarius of Arles to grant the accused a new trial before papal delegates. [6]

Cassiodorus consul of the Roman Empire

Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman, renowned scholar of antiquity, and writer serving in the administration of Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank. He also founded a monastery, Vivarium, where he spent the last years of his life.

Vandals East Germanic tribe

The Vandals were a large East Germanic tribe or group of tribes that first appear in history inhabiting present-day southern Poland. Some later moved in large numbers, including most notably the group which successively established Vandal kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula, on western Mediterranean islands and in North Africa in the 5th century.

Arianism is a nontrinitarian Christological doctrine which asserts the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was begotten by God the Father at a point in time, a creature distinct from the Father and is therefore subordinate to him, but the Son is also God. Arian teachings were first attributed to Arius, a Christian presbyter in Alexandria of Egypt. The term "Arian" is derived from the name Arius; and like "Christian", it was not a self-chosen designation but bestowed by hostile opponents—and never accepted by those on whom it had been imposed. The nature of Arius's teaching and his supporters were opposed to the theological views held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity and the nature of Christ. The Arian concept of Christ is based on the belief that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten within time by God the Father.

Meanwhile, the Byzantine general Belisarius was preparing for an invasion of Italy. King Theodahad of the Ostrogoths begged Agapetus to proceed on an embassy to Constantinople and use his personal influence to appease Emperor Justinian I following the death of Amalasuntha. [7] To defray the costs of the embassy, Agapetus pledged the sacred vessels of the Church of Rome. He set out in mid-winter with five bishops and a large retinue. In February 536, he appeared in the capital of the East. Justinian declined to call a halt to the planned invasion as preparations were far too advanced. [6] Agapetus immediately turned his attention from the political matter Theodahad had sent him to address to a religious one.

Belisarius Byzantine general

Flavius Belisarius was a general of the Byzantine Empire. He was instrumental to Emperor Justinian I's ambitious project of reconquering much of the Mediterranean territory of the former Western Roman Empire, which had been lost less than a century before.

Theodahad King of the Ostrogoths

Theodahad, also known as Thiudahad was king of the Ostrogoths from 534 to 536 and a nephew of Theodoric the Great through his mother Amalafrida. He is probably the son of Amalafrida's first husband because her second marriage was about 500 AD. His sister was Amalaberga.

Ostrogoths

The Ostrogoths were the eastern branch of the older Goths. The Ostrogoths traced their origins to the Greutungi – a branch of the Goths who had migrated southward from the Baltic Sea and established a kingdom north of the Black Sea, during the 3rd and 4th centuries. They built an empire stretching from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Ostrogoths were probably literate in the 3rd century, and their trade with the Romans was highly developed. Their Danubian kingdom reached its zenith under King Ermanaric, who is said to have committed suicide at an old age when the Huns attacked his people and subjugated them in about 370.

The occupant of the Byzantine patriarchal see was Anthimus I, who had left his episcopal see of Trebizond. Against the protests of the orthodox, the Empress Theodora finally seated Anthimus in the patriarchal chair. When Agapetus arrived members of the clergy entered charges against Anthimus as an intruder and a heretic. Agapetus ordered him to make a written profession of faith and to return to his forsaken see; upon Anthimus' refusal, Agapetus deposed him. The Emperor threatened Agapetus with banishment. Agapetus is said to have replied, "With eager longing have I come to gaze upon the Most Christian Emperor Justinian. In his place I find a Diocletian, whose threats, however, terrify me not." [2] Agapetus, for the first time in the history of the Church, personally consecrated Anthimus' legally elected successor, Mennas. Justinian delivered to the Pope a written confession of faith, which the latter accepted with the proviso that "although he could not admit in a layman the right of teaching religion, yet he observed with pleasure that the zeal of the Emperor was in perfect accord with the decisions of the Fathers". [2] Four of Agapetus' letters have survived. Two are addressed to Justinian in reply to a letter from the emperor, in the latter of which Agapetus refuses to acknowledge the Orders of the Arians. A third is addressed to the bishops of Africa, on the same subject. The fourth is a response to Reparatus, Bishop of Carthage, who had sent him congratulations upon his elevation to the Pontificate. [8] [9]

Anthimus I was a Miaphysite patriarch of Constantinople from 535–536. He was the bishop or archbishop of Trebizond before accession to the Constantinople see. He was deposed by Pope Agapetus I before March 13, 536, and later hidden by Theodora in her quarters for 12 years, until her death.

Trabzon Metropolitan municipality in Turkey

Trabzon, historically known as Trebizond, is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Persia in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast. The Venetian and Genoese merchants paid visits to Trebizond during the medieval period and sold silk, linen and woolen fabric. Both republics had merchant colonies within the city – Leonkastron and the former 'Venetian castle – that played a role to Trebizond similar to the one Galata played to Constantinople. Trabzon formed the basis of several states in its long history and was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond between 1204 and 1461. During the early modern period, Trabzon, because of the importance of its port, again became a focal point of trade to Persia and the Caucasus.

Theodora (6th century) Byzantine empress, wife of Justinian I

Theodora was empress of the Eastern Roman Empire by marriage to Emperor Justinian I. She was one of the most influential and powerful of the Eastern Roman empresses, albeit from a humble background. Some sources mention her as empress regnant with Justinian I as her co-regent. Along with her spouse, she is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorated on November 14.

Shortly afterwards, Agapetus fell ill and died on 22 April 536, [6] after a reign of just ten months. His remains were brought in a lead coffin to Rome and deposited in St. Peter's Basilica. On the Clivus Scauri the archeological remains known as the 'apsidal Hall of the Library of Pope Agapitus I' is located near the ancient Church of St. Andrew on the Caelian Hill. [10]

Veneration

Agapetus I has been canonised by both the Catholic and Orthodox traditions. His memory is kept on 20 September in the Catholic Church. The Eastern churches commemorate him on 22 April, the day of his death.

See also

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References

  1. ‹See Tfd› (in Greek) Άγιος Αγαπητός πάπας Ρώμης Ορθόδοξος Συναξαριστής
  2. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg Loughlin, James Francis (1907). "Pope St. Agapetus I"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  3. Martindale, Jones & Morris (1992), p. 23
  4. Dudden (1905), pages 7–8.
  5. Richards, The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), p. 127
  6. 1 2 3 Brusher, Joseph S., Popes Through the Ages, 1980, San Rafael, California, Neff-Kane, ISBN   978-0-89-141110-9
  7. Breviarium S. Liberati, ap. Mansi, Concilia, vol. ix. p. 695
  8. Smith, William (1867), "Agapetus (2)", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston, pp. 59–60
  9. Mansi, Concilia, viii. pp. 846–850
  10. "The Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore: Church of Saint Andrew on Caelian Hill" Vatican website Retrieved 20 December 2017.

Bibliography

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John II
Pope
535–536
Succeeded by
Silverius