|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||22 July 259|
|Papacy ended||26 December 268|
|Died||26 December 268|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||26 December|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
Pope Dionysius was the bishop of Rome from 22 July 259 to his death on 26 December 268. His task was to reorganize the Roman church, after the persecutions of Emperor Valerian I and the edict of toleration by his successor Gallienus. He also helped rebuild the churches of Cappadocia, devastated by the marauding Goths.
Dionysius may have been born in Magna Græcia, but this has not been verified. He was elected pope in 259, after the martyrdom of Sixtus II in 258. The Holy See had been vacant for nearly a year due to difficulty in electing a new pope during the violent persecution which Christians faced.When the persecution had begun to subside, Dionysius was raised to the office of Bishop of Rome. Emperor Valerian I, who had led the persecution, was captured and killed by the King of Persia in 260. The new emperor, Gallienus, issued an edict of toleration, restoring the churches, cemeteries and other properties it had held, leading to the nearly 40-year "Little Peace of the Church". To the new pope fell the task of reorganizing the Roman church, which had fallen into great disorder. On the protest of some of the faithful at Alexandria, he demanded from the bishop of Alexandria, also called Dionysius, explanations concerning his doctrine regarding the relation of God to the Logos, which was satisfied.
Pope Dionysius sent large sums of money to the churches of Cappadocia, which had been devastated by the marauding Goths, to rebuild and to ransom those held captive. He brought order to the church and procured a peace after Emperor Gallienus issued an edict of toleration which was to last until 303. He died on 26 December 268.
In art, he is portrayed in papal vestments, along with a book.
Pope Miltiades, also known as Melchiades the African, was the bishop of Rome from 311 to his death on 10 or 11 January 314. It was during his pontificate that Emperor Constantine the Great issued the Edict of Milan (313), giving Christianity legal status within the Roman Empire. The pope also received the palace of Empress Fausta where the Lateran Palace, the papal seat and residence of the papal administration, would be built. At the Lateran Council, during the schism with the Church of Carthage, Miltiades condemned the rebaptism of apostatised bishops and priests, teaching of Donatus Magnus.
Pope Sixtus II was bishop of Rome from 31 August 257 until his death on 6 August 258. He was martyred along with seven deacons, including Lawrence of Rome during the persecution of Christians by Emperor Valerian.
The 310s decade ran from January 1, 310, to December 31, 319.
Year 257 (CCLVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Valerianus and Gallienus. The denomination 257 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The 250s decade ran from January 1, 250, to December 31, 259.
The 260s decade ran from January 1, 260, to December 31, 269.
Pope Hilarius was the bishop of Rome from 19 November 461 to his death on 29 February 468.
Pope Zephyrinus was the fifteenth bishop of Rome from 199 to his death on 20 December 217. He was born in Rome, and succeeded Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Callixtus I. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the divinity of Christ.
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. When Pontian resigned on 28 September 235, he was the first pope to do so. It allowed an orderly transition in the Church of Rome and so ended a schism that had existed in the Church for eighteen years.
Pope Felix III was the bishop of Rome from 13 March 483 to his death. His repudiation of the Henotikon is considered the beginning of the Acacian schism. He is commemorated on March 1.
Pope Vigilius was the bishop of Rome from 29 March 537 to his death. He is considered the first pope of the Byzantine papacy. Born into Roman aristocracy, Vigilius served as a deacon and papal apocrisiarius in Constantinople. He allied with Empress Theodora, who sought his help to establish Monophysitism, and was made pope after the deposition of Silverius. After he refused to sign Emperor Justinian I's edict condemning the Three Chapters, Vigilius was arrested in 545 and taken to Constantinople. He died in Sicily while returning to Rome.
Lucius Mussius Aemilianus signo Aegippius who held a number of military and civilian positions during the middle of the third century. He is best known as a Roman usurper during the reign of Gallienus.
Dionysius the Great was the 14th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria from 28 December 248 until his death on 22 March 264. Most information known about him comes from his large surviving correspondence. Only one original letter survives to this day; the remaining letters are excerpted in the works of Eusebius.
Firmilian, Bishop of Caesarea Mazaca from ca. 232, was a disciple of Origen. He had a contemporary reputation comparable to that of Dionysius of Alexandria or Cyprian, bishop of Carthage. He took an active part in the mid-3rd century controversies over rebaptising heretics and readmitting lapsed Christians after the persecutions of Decius and was excommunicated by Pope Stephen I for his position. A single letter of Firmilian to Cyprian survives among Cyprian's correspondence. Jerome omits Firmilian from De viris illustribus. "To his contemporaries his forty years of influential episcopate, his friendship with Origen and Dionysius, the appeal to him of Cyprian, and his censure of Stephanus might well make him seem the most conspicuous figure of his time" (Wace).
Auxentius of Milan or of Cappadocia, was an Arian theologian and bishop of Milan. Because of his Arian faith, Auxentius is considered by the Catholic Church as an intruder and he is not included in the Catholic lists of the bishops of Milan such as that engraved in the Cathedral of Milan.
Saints Protus and Hyacinth were Christian martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Valerian. Protus' name is sometimes spelled Protatius, Proteus, Prothus, Prote, and Proto. His name was corrupted in England as Saint Pratt. Hyacinth is sometimes called by his Latin name Hyacinthus.
The "Peace of the Church" is a designation usually applied to the condition of the Church after the publication of the Edict of Milan in 313 by the two Augusti, Western Roman Emperor Constantine I and his eastern colleague Licinius, an edict of toleration by which the Christians were accorded liberty to practise their religion without state interference.
Saint Dionysius was the bishop of Corinth in about the year 171. His feast day is commemorated on April 8.
Christianity in the 4th century was dominated in its early stage by Constantine the Great and the First Council of Nicaea of 325, which was the beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils (325–787), and in its late stage by the Edict of Thessalonica of 380, which made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire.
Dionysius was bishop of Milan from 349 to 355. He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and his feast day is on May 25.
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