|Papacy began||22 July 259|
|Papacy ended||26 December 268|
Possibly Magna Graecia in Italy.
|Died||26 December 268|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||26 December|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
Pope Dionysius (died 26 December 268) served as the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 22 July 259 to his death in 268. His task was to reorganize the Roman church, after the persecutions of the 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.
The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and 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.
Gallienus, also known as Gallien, was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 22 October 253 to spring 260 and alone from spring 260 to September 268. He ruled during the Crisis of the Third Century that nearly caused the collapse of the empire. While he won a number of military victories, he was unable to prevent the secession of important provinces. His 15-year reign was the longest since the 19-year rule of Caracalla.
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray, and Niğde Provinces in Turkey.
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.
In the history of the Roman Empire, the "Little Peace of the Church" was a roughly 40-year period in the latter 3rd century when Christianity flourished without official suppression from the central government. It is particularly associated with the reign of Gallienus (253–268), who issued the first official declaration of tolerance regarding Christians. Among the series of imperial edicts that halted acts of persecution against Christians, one addressed to the bishops of Egypt has survived, recognizing places of worship and cemeteries as ecclesiastical property and restoring them to Christian ownership. The Church for the first time even asked a Roman emperor to arbitrate an internal dispute. In 272, after Paul of Samosata was accused of heresy but refused to be deposed as bishop of Antioch, Aurelian ruled in favor of his successor, who was in good standing with the church hierarchy.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Logos is a term in Western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion derived from a Greek word variously meaning "ground", "plea", "opinion", "expectation", "word", "speech", "account", "reason", "proportion", and "discourse". It became a technical term in Western philosophy beginning with Heraclitus, who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge.
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.
The Goths were an early Germanic people, two of whose branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe.
In art, he is portrayed in papal vestments, along with a book.
Pope Miltiades, also known as Melchiades the African, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 311 to his death in 314. It was during his pontificate that Emperor Constantine I 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 the Pope or 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 the Catholic Church by Emperor Valerian. According to the Liber Pontificalis, he was born in Greece and was a philosopher; however, this is uncertain, and is disputed by modern western historians arguing that the authors of Liber Pontificalis confused him with that of the contemporary author Xystus, who was a Greek student of Pythagoreanism. He restored the relations with the African and Eastern churches which had been broken off by his predecessor on the question of heretical baptism raised by the heresy Novatianism.
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.
Year 260 (CCLX) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Saecularis and Donatus. The denomination 260 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.
Pope Hilarius was Pope from 19 November 461 to his death on 29 February 468.
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.
Decius, also known as Trajan Decius, was Roman Emperor from 249 to 251.
Saint 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.
During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have often argued about which form of early Christianity he subscribed to. There is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother Helena's Christianity in his youth, or, as claimed by Eusebius of Caesarea, encouraged her to convert to the faith he had adopted himself.
Saint 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).
Alexander I of Alexandria, 19th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. During his patriarchate, he dealt with a number of issues facing the Church in that day. These included the dating of Easter, the actions of Meletius of Lycopolis, and the issue of greatest substance, Arianism. He was the leader of the opposition to Arianism at the First Council of Nicaea. He also is remembered for being the mentor of the man who would be his successor, Athanasius of Alexandria, who would become one of the leading Church fathers.
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.
Alexander of Jerusalem was a third century bishop who is venerated as a martyr and saint by both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. He died during the persecution of Emperor Decius.
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.
Saint Dionysius was the bishop of Corinth in about the year 171. His feast day is commemorated on April 8.
Christianity in the 3rd century was largely the time of the Ante-Nicene Fathers who wrote after the Apostolic Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries but before the First Council of Nicaea in 325.
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.
The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States and designed to serve the Roman Catholic Church. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index volume in 1914 and later supplementary volumes. It was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine".
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