Pope Eugene I

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Pope Saint

Eugene I
75-St.Eugene I.jpg
19th century depiction of Pope Eugene I
Papacy began10 August 654
Papacy ended2 June 657
Predecessor Martin I
Successor Vitalian
Personal details
Birth nameEugenius
Born Rome, Byzantine Empire
Died(657-06-02)2 June 657 (aged 42)
Rome, Byzantine Empire
Sainthood
Feast day2 June
Other popes named Eugene

Pope Eugene I (died 2 June 657), also known as Eugenius I, was Bishop of Rome from 10 August 654 to his death in 657. He was a native of Rome, born to one Rufinianus.

Rome Capital of Italy

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.

Contents

In June 653, in the midst of a dispute with Byzantine Emperor Constans II over Monothelitism, Pope Martin I was seized and carried to Constantinople and subsequently exiled to Cherson in the Crimea. Initially, in the pontiff's absence, the church was probably governed by the archpriest, archdeacon and the primicerius of the notaries. Over a year later, and with no sign of Martin's return, Eugene was chosen to succeed. If the emperor expected Eugene to take a different approach from that of his predecessor, he was disappointed.

Monothelitism Doctrine in Christian theology

Monothelitism or monotheletism is a particular teaching about how the divine and human relate in the person of Jesus. The Christological doctrine formally emerged in Armenia and Syria in 629. Specifically, monothelitism is the view that Jesus Christ has two natures but only one will. That is contrary to the Christology that Jesus Christ has two wills that correspond to his two natures (dyothelitism). Monothelitism is a development of the Neo-Chalcedonian position in the Christological debates. Formulated in 638, it enjoyed considerable popularity, even garnering patriarchal support, before being rejected and denounced as heretical in 681, at the Third Council of Constantinople.

Chersonesus ancient city in todays Sevastopol, Crimea

Chersonesus, in medieval Greek contracted to Cherson is an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula. The colony was established in the 6th century BC by settlers from Heraclea Pontica.

The ecclesiastical title of archpriest or archpresbyter belongs to certain priests with supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term is most often used in Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic Churches and may be somewhat analogous to a monsignor in the Latin Church, but in the Eastern Churches an archpriest wears an additional vestment and, typically, a pectoral cross, and one becomes an archpriest via a liturgical ceremony.

Early life

Little is known of Pope Eugene's early life other than that he was a Roman from the Aventine and was known for his holiness, gentleness, and charity. He had been a cleric from his youth and held various positions within the Church of Rome. [1] [2]

Election under unusual circumstances

On the banishment of Pope Martin I by Byzantine Emperor Constans II, he showed greater deference than his predecessor to the emperor's wishes and made no public stand against the Monothelitism of the patriarchs of Constantinople. [3]

Pope Martin I Pope from 21 July 649 to 655

Pope Martin I reigned from 21 July 649 to his death in 655. He succeeded Pope Theodore I on 5 July 649. He was the only pope during the Eastern Roman domination of the papacy whose election was not approved by a mandate from Constantinople. Martin I was exiled by Emperor Constans II and died at Cherson. He is considered a saint and martyr by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Orthodox church he is known as St. Martin the Confessor, the Pope of Rome.

Martin I was carried off from Rome on 18 June 653 and was kept in exile until his death in September 655. Little is known about what happened in Rome after Pope Martin's departure, but it was typical in those days for the Holy See to be governed by the archpriest and archdeacon. [4]

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law.

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".

After a year and two months, a successor was found to Martin in Eugene. [4]

Reign

Almost immediately after his election, Eugene was forced to deal with Monothelitism, the belief that Christ had only one will.

Constantinople letter affair

One of the first acts of the new pope was to send papal legates to Constantinople with letters to Emperor Constans II informing him of his election and professing his faith. The legates unfortunately allowed themselves to be deceived, or bribed, and brought back a synodical letter from Patriarch Peter of Constantinople (656–666), while the emperor's envoy, who accompanied them, brought offerings for St. Peter and a request from the emperor that the pope would enter into communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. Peter's letter proved to be written in a difficult and obscure style and avoided making any specific declaration as to the number of "wills or operations" in Christ. When its contents were read to the clergy and people in the church of St. Mary Major in 656, they not only rejected the letter with indignation, but would not allow the pope to leave the basilica until he had promised that he would not on any account accept it. [4]

So furious were the Byzantine officials at this harsh rejection of the wishes of their emperor and patriarch that they threatened to roast Eugene, just as they had roasted Pope Martin I. Eugene's persecution was averted by the ensuing conquest of the Muslims, who took Rhodes in 654 and defeated Constans himself in the naval battle of Phoenix (655). [4]

Later years

It was almost certainly this pope who received the youthful St. Wilfrid on the occasion of his first visit to Rome (c. 654). At Rome he gained the affection of Archdeacon Boniface, a counsellor of the apostolic pope, who presented him to his master. Eugene "placed his blessed hand on the head of the youthful servant of God, prayed for him, and blessed him." Nothing more is known of Eugene except that he consecrated twenty-one bishops for different parts of the world, and that he was buried in St. Peter's Basilica. [4]

He died in 657 and was acclaimed a saint, his day being the 2nd of June, although, according to Anastasius, he died on the 1st of that month.

See also

Notes

  1. "Saint of the Day, June 2: Eugenius I". SaintPatrickDC.org. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  2. "St. Eugene I". Christ's Faithful People. Archived from the original on 2006-05-20.
  3. Chisholm 1911.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Mann 1909.

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References

Attribution

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Martin I
Pope
654–657
Succeeded by
Vitalian