19th century depiction of Pope Eugene I
|Papacy began||10 August 654|
|Papacy ended||2 June 657|
|Born||Rome, Byzantine Empire|
|Died||2 June 657 (aged 42)|
Rome, Byzantine Empire
|Feast day||2 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a year and two months, a successor was found to Martin in Eugene.
Almost immediately after his election, Eugene was forced to deal with Monothelitism, the belief that Christ had only one will.
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 were 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 Saint 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.
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).
It was almost certainly this pope who received the youthful 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.
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.
Pope Agatho served as the Bishop of Rome from 27 June 678 until his death in 681. He heard the appeal of Wilfrid of York, who had been displaced from his See by the division of the Archdiocese ordered by Theodore of Canterbury. During Agatho's tenure, the Sixth Ecumenical Council was convened which dealt with the monothelitism controversy. He is venerated as a saint by both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
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 Saint Martin the Confessor, the Pope of Rome.
Pope Sergius I was Bishop of Rome from December 15, 687, to his death in 701. He was elected at a time when two rivals, the Archdeacon Paschal and the Archpriest Theodore, were locked in dispute about which of them should become pope.
Year 654 (DCLIV) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 654 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 Third Council of Constantinople, counted as the Sixth Ecumenical Council by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, as well by certain other Western Churches, met in 680/681 and condemned monoenergism and monothelitism as heretical and defined Jesus Christ as having two energies and two wills.
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.
Pope Constantine was Bishop of Rome from 25 March 708 to his death in 715. With the exception of Antipope Constantine, he was the only pope to bear such a "quintessentially" Eastern name of an emperor. During this period, the regnal name was also used by emperors and patriarchs.
Pope Vitalian reigned from 30 July 657 to his death in 672. He was born in Segni, Lazio, the son of Anastasius.
Maximus the Confessor, also known as Maximus the Theologian and Maximus of Constantinople, was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar.
Saint Germanus I was Patriarch of Constantinople from 715 to 730. He is regarded as a saint, by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, with a feast day of 12 May. He had been ecumenically proceeded by Patriarch John VI of Constantinople, and was succeeded in Orthodox rite by patriarch Constantine II of Constantinople.
Constans II, also called Constantine the Bearded, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 641 to 668. He was the last emperor to serve as consul, in 642. Constans is a nickname given to the Emperor, who had been baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. The nickname established itself in Byzantine texts and has become standard in modern historiography.
Sergius I was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 610 to 638. He is most famous for promoting Monothelite Christianity, especially through the Ecthesis.
Pyrrhus was the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople from 20 December 638 to 29 September 641, and again from 9 January to 1 June 654.
Macarius I of Antioch was Patriarch of Antioch in the 7th century, deposed in 681 for professing monothelitism.
The Ecthesis is a letter published in 638 CE by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius which defined monotheletism as the official imperial form of Christianity.
Eugenius was a 4th-Century Roman emperor
The Fourth Council of Constantinople was the eighth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church held in Constantinople from October 5, 869, to February 28, 870. It included 102 bishops, three papal legates, and four patriarchs. The Council met in ten sessions from October 869 to February 870 and issued 27 canons.
The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the Roman papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii or the inhabitants of Byzantine-ruled Greece, Syria, or Sicily. Justinian I conquered the Italian peninsula in the Gothic War (535–554) and appointed the next three popes, a practice that would be continued by his successors and later be delegated to the Exarchate of Ravenna.
The Lateran Council of 649 was a synod held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to condemn Monothelitism, a Christology espoused by many Eastern Christians. The Council did not achieve ecumenical status in either East or West, but represented the first attempt of a pope to convene an ecumenical council independent of the Roman emperor.
The Type of Constans was an imperial edict issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II in 648 in an attempt to defuse the confusion and arguments over the Christological doctrine of Monotheletism. For over two centuries, there had been a bitter debate regarding the nature of Christ: the orthodox Chalcedonian position defined Christ as having two natures in one person, whereas Monophysite opponents contended that Jesus Christ possessed but a single nature. At the time, the Byzantine Empire had been at near constant war for fifty years and had lost large territories. It was under great pressure to establish domestic unity. This was hampered by the large number of Byzantines who rejected the Council of Chalcedon in favour of Monophysitism.
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