|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||5 January 269|
|Papacy ended||30 December 274|
|Born||Rome, Roman Empire|
|Died||30 December 274|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||30 December|
30 May (1960 Calendar)
6 Hathor (Coptic Christianity)
|Other popes named Felix|
Pope Felix I was the bishop of Rome from 5 January 269 to his death on 30 December 274.
A Roman by birth,Felix was chosen to be pope on 5 January 269, in succession to Dionysius, who had died on 26 December 268.
Felix was the author of an important dogmatic letter on the unity of Christ's Person. He received Emperor Aurelian's aid in settling a theological dispute between the anti-Trinitarian Paul of Samosata, who had been deprived of the bishopric Antioch by a council of bishops for heresy, and the orthodox Domnus, Paul's successor.Paul refused to give way, and in 272 Aurelian was asked to decide between the rivals. He ordered the church building to be given to the bishop who was "recognized by the bishops of Italy and of the city of Rome" (Felix). See Eusebius, Hist. Ecc. vii. 30.
The text of that letter was later interpolated by a follower of Apollinaris in the interests of his sect.
The notice about Felix in the Liber Pontificalis ascribes to him a decree that Masses should be celebrated on the tombs of martyrs ("Hic constituit supra memorias martyrum missas celebrare"). The author of this entry was evidently alluding to the custom of celebrating Mass privately at the altars near or over the tombs of the martyrs in the crypts of the catacombs (missa ad corpus), while the solemn celebration always took place in the basilicas built over the catacombs. This practice, still in force at the end of the fourth century, dates apparently from the period when the great cemeterial basilicas were built in Rome, and owes its origin to the solemn commemoration services of martyrs, held at their tombs on the anniversary of their burial, as early as the third century. Felix probably issued no such decree, but the compiler of the Liber Pontificalis attributed it to him because he made no departure from the custom in force in his time.
The acts of the Council of Ephesus give Pope Felix as a martyr; but this detail, which occurs again in the biography of the pope in the Liber Pontificalis, is unsupported by any authentic earlier evidence and is manifestly due to a confusion of names. According to the notice in the Liber Pontificalis, Felix erected a basilica on the Via Aurelia; the same source also adds that he was buried there.The latter detail is evidently an error, for the fourth-century Roman calendar of feasts says that Pope Felix was interred in the Catacomb of Callixtus on the Via Appia. The statement of the Liber Pontificalis concerning the pope's martyrdom results obviously from a confusion with a Roman martyr of the same name buried on the Via Aurelia, and over whose grave a church was built. In the Roman "Feriale" or calendar of feasts, referred to above, the name of Felix occurs in the list of Roman bishops ( Depositio episcoporum ), and not in that of the martyrs.
According to the above-mentioned detail of the Depositio episcoporum, Felix was interred in the catacomb of Callixtus on 30 December,"III Kal. Jan." (third day to the calends of January) in the Roman dating system. Saint Felix I is mentioned as Pope and Martyr, with a simple feast, on 30 May. This date, given in the Liber Pontificalis as that of his death (III Kal. Jun.), is probably an error which could easily occur through a transcriber writing "Jun." for "Jan." This error persisted in the General Roman Calendar until 1969 (see General Roman Calendar of 1960), by which time the mention of Saint Felix I was reduced to a commemoration in the weekday Mass by decision of Pope Pius XII (see General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII). Thereafter, the feast of Saint Felix I, no longer mentioned in the General Roman Calendar, is celebrated on his true day of death, 30 December, and without the qualification of "martyr".
According to more recent studies, the oldest liturgical books indicate that the saint honoured on 30 May was a little-known martyr buried on the Via Aurelia, who was mistakenly identified with Pope Felix I,an error similar to but less curious than the identification in the liturgical books, until the mid-1950s, of the martyr saint celebrated on 30 July with the antipope Felix II.
Antipope Felix, was a Roman archdecon in the 4th century. He was installed as antipope from 355 to 365. Previously he was an archdeacon of Rome. He was installed irregularly in 355 after Emperor Constantius banished the reigned pope Liberius. Constantius, following the refusal of the laity to accept Felix attempted to have them co-rule but Felix was forced to retire. He resented in his lifetime but has enjoyed a more popular memory since. Antipope, in the Roman catholic church described any figure attempting to oppose the legitimately elected Bishop of Rome, with Felix being among the unsuccessful.
Pope Alexander I was the sixth Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio (2012) identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119. Some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian, but this is improbable.
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 Pius I was the tenth bishop of Rome from c. 140 to his death c. 154, according to the Annuario Pontificio. His dates are listed as 142 or 146 to 157 or 161, respectively. He is considered to have opposed both the Valentinians and Gnostics during his papacy. He is considered a saint by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church with a feast day in 11 July, but it is unclear if he died as a martyr.
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.
Pope Urban I (175?-230) was the bishop of Rome from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded Callixtus I, who had been martyred. It was previously believed for centuries that Urban I was also martyred. However, recent historical discoveries now lead scholars to believe that he died of natural causes.
Pope Stephen I was the bishop of Rome from 12 May 254 to his death on 2 August 257.
Pope Lucius I was the bishop of Rome from 25 June 253 to his death on 5 March 254. He was banished soon after his consecration, but gained permission to return. He was mistakenly classified as a martyr in the persecution by Emperor Valerian, which did not begin until after Lucius' death.
Pope Evaristus was the fifth bishop of Rome from c. 99 to his death c. 107. He was also known as Aristus. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy. It is likely that he was the bishop of Rome when John the Apostle died, marking the end of the Apostolic Age.
Pope Anacletus, also known as Cletus, was the third bishop of Rome, following Peter and Linus. Anacletus served as pope between c. 79 and his death, c. 92. Cletus was a Roman, who during his tenure as pope, is known to have ordained a number of priests and is traditionally credited with setting up about twenty-five parishes in Rome. Although the precise dates of his pontificate are uncertain, he "...died a martyr, perhaps about 91". Cletus is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the mass; his feast day is April 26.
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 Caius, also called Gaius, was the bishop of Rome from 17 December 283 to his death in 296. Little information on Caius is available except that given by the Liber Pontificalis, which relies on a legendary account of the martyrdom of Susanna of Rome for its information. According to legend, Caius baptized the men and women who had been converted by Tiburtius and Castulus. His legend states that Caius took refuge in the catacombs of Rome and died a martyr.
Pope Marcellinus was the bishop of Rome from 30 June 296 to his death in 304. He may have renounced Christianity during Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians before repenting afterwards, which would explain why he is omitted from lists of martyrs. He is today venerated as a saint in Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Church.
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.
Martinian and Processus were Christian martyrs of ancient Rome. Neither the years they lived nor the circumstances of their deaths are known. They are currently buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Saint Juvenal is venerated as the first Bishop of Narni in Umbria. Historical details regarding Juvenal’s life are limited. A biography of Juvenal of little historical value was written after the seventh century; it states that Juvenal was born in Africa, was ordained by Pope Damasus I, was the first bishop of Narni and was buried in the Porta Superiore on the Via Flaminia on August 7, though his feast day was celebrated on May 3. This Vita does not call him a martyr but calls him a confessor. The martyrologies of Florus of Lyon and Ado describe Juvenal as a bishop and confessor rather than as a martyr.
Felicitas of Rome, also anglicized as Felicity, is a saint numbered among the Christian martyrs. Apart from her name, the only thing known for certain about this martyr is that she was buried in the Cemetery of Maximus, on the Via Salaria on a 23 November. However, a legend presents her as the mother of the seven martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 10 July. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates their martyrdom on 25 January.
Saint Hermes, born in Greece, died in Rome as a martyr in 120, is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. His name appears in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum as well as entries in the Depositio Martyrum (354). There was a large basilica over his tomb that was built around 600 by Pope Pelagius I and restored by Pope Adrian I. A catacomb in the Salarian Way bears his name.
Felicissimus and Agapitus were two of the six deacons of Pope Sixtus II who were martyred with him on or about 6 August 258, Felicissimus and Agapitus on the same day as the Pope. The seventh deacon, Lawrence of Rome, was martyred on 10 August of the same year.
Saint Agapitus is venerated as a martyr saint, who died on August 18, perhaps in 274, a date that the latest editions of the Roman Martyrology say is uncertain.
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