|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||c. 157|
|Papacy ended||c. 20 April 168|
|Born||late 1st century|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||20 April (West)|
17 April (East)
|Attributes||Papal tiara, palm branch|
Pope Anicetus was the bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 168.According to the Annuario Pontificio , the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.
According to the Liber Pontificalis , Anicetus was a Syrian from the city of Emesa (modern-day Homs).
According to Irenaeus, it was during his pontificate that the aged Polycarp of Smyrna, a disciple of 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 (or Passover) 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 Anicetus conceded to 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 also visited Rome during Anicetus's pontificate. This visit is often cited as a sign of the early importance of the Roman See.
Anicetus actively opposed the Gnostics and Marcionism.The Liber Pontificalis records that Anicetus decreed that priests are not allowed to have long hair (perhaps because the Gnostics wore long hair).
According to church tradition, Anicetus suffered martyrdom during the reign of 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 currently celebrated as his feast day. Before 1970, the date chosen was 17 April. The Liber Pontificalis states he was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.
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Pope Innocent I was the bishop of Rome from 401 to his death on 12 March 417. He may have been the son of his predecessor, Anastasius I. From the beginning of his papacy, he was seen as the general arbitrator of ecclesiastical disputes in both the East and the West. He confirmed the prerogatives of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, and issued a decretal on disciplinary matters referred to him by the Bishop of Rouen. He defended the exiled John Chrysostom and consulted with the bishops of Africa concerning the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the African synods. The Catholic priest-scholar Johann Peter Kirsch, 1500 years later, described Innocent as a very energetic and highly gifted individual "...who fulfilled admirably the duties of his office".
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Pope Pontian was the bishop of Rome from 21 July 230 to 28 September 235. In 235, during the persecution of Christians in the reign of the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, Pontian was arrested and sent to the island of Sardinia. He resigned to make the election of a new pope possible.
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Pope Simplicius was the bishop of Rome from 468 to his death. He combated the Eutychian heresy, ended the practice of consecrating bishops only in December, and sought to offset the effects of Germanic invasions.
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