|Papacy began||1 March AD 492|
|Papacy ended||19 November AD 496|
Roman Africa or Rome
|Died||19 November 496|
Rome, Ostrogothic Kingdom
|Feast day||21 November|
|Other popes named Gelasius|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Gelasius I
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Saint Gelasius I was the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church from 1 March AD 492 to his death on 19 November 496.He was probably the third and final Bishop of Rome of Berber descent. Gelasius was a prolific author whose style placed him on the cusp between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. His predecessor Felix III employed him especially in drafting Papal documents. During his pontificate he called for strict Catholic orthodoxy, more assertively demanded obedience to Papal authority, and, consequently, increased the tension between the Western and Eastern Churches.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Berbers, or Amazighs, are an ethnic group of several nations indigenous mostly to North Africa and some northern parts of Western Africa.
Historians typically regard the Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, as lasting from the 5th or 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history. The alternative term "Late Antiquity" emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while "Early Middle Ages" is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. As such the concept overlaps with Late Antiquity, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and precedes the High Middle Ages.
There is some confusion regarding where Gelasius was born: according to the Liber Pontificalis he was born in Africa ("natione Afer"), while in a letter addressed to the Roman Emperor Anastasius he stated that he was "born a Roman" ("Romanus natus").J. Conant opined that the latter assertion probably merely denotes that he was born in Roman Africa before the Vandals invaded it.
The Liber Pontificalis is a book of biographies of popes from Saint Peter until the 15th century. The original publication of the Liber Pontificalis stopped with Pope Adrian II (867–872) or Pope Stephen V (885–891), but it was later supplemented in a different style until Pope Eugene IV (1431–1447) and then Pope Pius II (1458–1464). Although quoted virtually uncritically from the 8th to 18th centuries, the Liber Pontificalis has undergone intense modern scholarly scrutiny. The work of the French priest Louis Duchesne, and of others has highlighted some of the underlying redactional motivations of different sections, though such interests are so disparate and varied as to render improbable one popularizer's claim that it is an "unofficial instrument of pontifical propaganda."
Anastasius I was Byzantine Emperor from 491 to 518. He made his career as a government administrator. He came to the throne in his sixties after being chosen by the wife of his predecessor, Zeno. His religious tendencies caused tensions throughout his reign.
The Diocese of Africa was a diocese of the later Roman Empire, incorporating the provinces of North Africa, except Mauretania Tingitana. Its seat was at Carthage, and it was subordinate to the Praetorian prefecture of Italy.
The Papal election of Gelasius on 1 March 492 was a gesture of continuity: Gelasius inherited the conflicts of Pope Felix III with Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius and the Patriarch of Constantinople and exacerbated them by insisting on the obliteration of the name of the late Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople, from the diptychs, in spite of every ecumenical gesture by the contemporaneous Patriarch Euphemius (q. v. for details of the Acacian schism).
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.
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is widely regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.
A diptych is any object with two flat plates attached at a hinge. For example, the standard notebook and school exercise book of the ancient world was a diptych consisting of a pair of such plates that contained a recessed space filled with wax. Writing was accomplished by scratching the wax surface with a stylus. When the notes were no longer needed, the wax could be slightly heated and then smoothed to allow reuse. Ordinary versions had wooden frames, but more luxurious diptychs were crafted with more expensive materials.
The split with the Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople was inevitable, from the Western view, because they adopted the ("Monophysite") heresy of Jesus Christ having only a Divine nature. Gelasius authored the book De duabus in Christo naturis (On the dual nature of Christ), which described Catholic doctrine in the matter. Thus Gelasius, for all the conservative Latinity of his style of writing, was on the cusp of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.
Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. A heretic is a proponent of such claims or beliefs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is an impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
During the Acacian schism, Gelasius advocated the primacy of the See of Rome over the universal Church, both East and West, and he presented this doctrine in terms that became the model for successive Popes, who also claimed Papal supremacy because of their succession to the Papacy from the first Supreme Pontiff, Saint Peter the Apostle.[ citation needed ]
Papal supremacy is the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that the Pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ and as the visible foundation and source of unity, and as pastor of the entire Christian Church, has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered: that, in brief, "the Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls."
In 494, Gelasius authored the very influential letter Duo sunt to Anastasius on the subject of the relation of Church and state, which letter had political impact for almost a millennium hence.
Closer to home, after a long contest Gelasius finally suppressed the ancient Roman festival of the Lupercalia,which had persisted for several generations among a nominally Christian population. Gelasius' letter to the Senator Andromachus treated the primary contentions of the controversy and incidentally provided some details of the festival, which combined fertility and purification, that might have been lost otherwise. Although the Lupercalia was a festival of purification, which had given its name "dies februatus", from "februare" ("to purify"), to the month of February, it was unrelated to the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also commonly denominated "Candlemas", which latter feast commemorates the fulfillment of the Holy Family's ceremonial obligations pursuant to Mosaic law 40 days after the birth of the first son. In the instance of the Holy Family, that occurred 40 days after Christmas, scire licet, on 2 February.
After a brief yet dynamic ministry, Gelasius died on 19 November AD 496. His feast day is 21 November, the anniversary of his interment, not his death.
Gelasius was the most prolific author of the early Supreme Pontiffs. A great mass of his correspondence survives: 42 letters according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, 37 according to Rev. Philip V. Baganand fragments of 49 others, which are archived in the Vatican and that expound to Eastern bishops the primacy of the Supreme Pontiff. Additionally, 6 treatises are extant that bear the name of Gelasius. According to Cassiodorus, the reputation of Gelasius attracted to his name other works not by him.
The most famous of pseudo-Gelasian works is the list De libris recipiendis et non recipiendis ("On books to be received and not to be received"), also denominated the Decretum Gelasianum , which is believed to be connected to the pressure for orthodoxy during his pontificate and intended to be read as a decretal by Gelasius on the canonical and apocryphal books, which internal evidence reveals to be of later date. Thus the determination of the canon of Sacred Scripture has traditionally been attributed to Gelasius.
In the Latin Catholic tradition, the pseudo Gelasian Sacramentary is in fact a liturgical book that was derived from Roman sources and transcribed, with inclusion of native Gallican liturgical elements, near Paris in the middle of the 8th century AD. While including the texts of some prayers that Gelasius composed, he was not a principal author or compiler of the book. The manuscript (Vatican, Vatican Library, Reg. lat. 316 + Paris, National Library, ms. lat. 7193, fol. 41-56) is actually titled the Liber sacramentorum Romanae ecclesiae (Book of Sacraments of the Roman Church). The attribution to Gelasius is premised in part at least on the chronicle of the Supreme Pontiffs that is denominated the Liber Pontificalis, which states of Gelasius that he "fecit etiam et sacramentorum praefationes et orationes cauto sermone et epistulas fidei delimato sermone multas" ("he also made prefaces to the sacraments and prayers in careful language and many epistles in polished language regarding the faith"). An old tradition linked the book to Gelasius, apparently based on the ascription of Walafrid Strabo to him of what evidently is this book.
Pope Saint Linus was the second Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff (Pope) of the Catholic Church, the first successor of Pope Saint Peter the Apostle.
Pope Anastasius II was Pope from 24 November 496 to his death in 498. He was an important figure in trying to end the Acacian schism, but his efforts resulted in the Laurentian schism, which followed his death. Anastasius was born in Rome, the son of a priest, and is buried in St. Peter's Basilica.
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.
Pope Silverius ruled the Holy See from 8 June 536 to his deposition in 538, a few months before his death. His rapid rise to prominence from a deacon to the papacy coincided the efforts of Ostrogothic king Theodahad, who intended to install a pro-Gothic candidate just before the Gothic War. Later deposed by Byzantine general Belisarius, he was tried and sent to exile on the desolated island of Palmarola, where he starved to death in 538.
Pope Sylvester I, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 314 to his death in 335. He succeeded Pope Miltiades as the 33rd Pope. He filled the See of Rome at an important era in the history of the Western Church, yet very little is known of him. The accounts of his papacy preserved in the Liber Pontificalis contain little more than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Church by Constantine I, although it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus. His feast is celebrated as Saint Sylvester's Day in Western Christianity on December 31, while Eastern Christianity commemorates it on January 2.
Pope Victor I was Bishop of Rome and hence a pope, in the late second century. He was of Berber origin. The dates of his tenure are uncertain, but one source states he became pope in 189 and gives the year of his death as 199. He was the first bishop of Rome born in the Roman Province of Africa—probably in Leptis Magna. He was later considered a saint. His feast day was celebrated on 28 July as "St Victor I, Pope and Martyr".
The 490s decade ran from January 1, 490, to
Year 498 (CDXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Paulinus and Scytha. The denomination 498 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 Anacletus, also denominated "Cletus", which is the preferred alternative in Catholic practice, was the third Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff (Pope) of the Catholic Church, and thus succeeded Pope Saint Peter the Apostle and Pope Saint Linus. Cletus was Pope from circa AD 79 to his death circa AD 92. He was a Roman, who during his pontificate ordained a number of priests and is traditionally credited with instituting circa 25 parishes in Rome. Although the precise dates of his pontificate are uncertain, he "died a martyr, perhaps about 91". His feast is 26 April.
Saint Hormisdas was Pope from 20 July 514 to his death in 523. His papacy was dominated by the Acacian schism, started in 484 by Acacius of Constantinople's efforts to placate the Monophysites. His efforts to resolve this schism were successful, and on 28 March 519, the reunion between Constantinople and Rome was ratified in the cathedral of Constantinople before a large crowd.
Pope Vigilius was Pope from 29 March 537 to his death in 555. He is considered the first pope of the Byzantine Papacy.
Dioscorus was a deacon of the Alexandrian and the Roman church from 506. In a disputed election following the death of Pope Felix IV, the majority of electors picked him to be Pope, in spite of Pope Felix's wishes that Boniface II succeed him. However, Dioscurus died less than a month after the election, allowing Boniface to be consecrated Pope and Dioscurus to be branded an Antipope.
Anastasius Bibliothecarius or Anastasius the Librarian was bibliothecarius and chief archivist of the Church of Rome and also briefly an Antipope.
In the Latin Catholic Church, a sacramentary was a book used for liturgical services and Mass by a priest, containing all and only the words spoken or sung by him. Compared to a missal, which carries all texts and readings read by the priest and others during Mass, a sacramentary omits the texts and readings said by everyone other than the priest, but also includes texts for services other than Mass. As the sacramentary presupposes that the celebrant is normally a bishop, it also usually supplies the texts for ordinations, at the consecration of a church and altar and many exorcisms, blessings, and consecrations that were later inserted in the Pontifical and Ritual.
The Decretum Gelasianum or the Gelasian Decree is so named because it was traditionally thought to be a Decretal of the prolific Pope Gelasius I, bishop of Rome 492–496. The work reached its final form in a five-chapter text written by an anonymous scholar between 519 and 553, the second chapter of which is a list of books of Scripture presented as having been made Canonical by a Council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome 366–383. This list, known as the Damasine List, represents the same canon as shown in the Council of Carthage Canon 24, 419 AD.
Laurentius was Archpriest of Santa Prassede and later antipope of the Roman Catholic Church. Elected in 498 at the Basilica Saint Mariae with the support of a dissenting faction with Byzantine sympathies, who were supported by Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius, in opposition to Pope Symmachus, the division between the two opposing factions split not only the church, but the senate and the people of Rome. However, Laurentius remained in Rome as Pope until 506.
The so-called Gelasian Sacramentary is a book of Christian liturgy, containing the priest's part in celebrating the Eucharist. It is the second oldest western liturgical book that has survived: only the Verona Sacramentary is older.
Photinus of Thessalonica was a disciple of Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople (471–489) and a deacon in the Church.
The primary source for the biography of Pope Saint Gelasius I, beside the Liber Pontificalis , is a vita that Cassiodorus' pupil Dionysius Exiguus authored.
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|Catholic Church titles|
| Pope |
1 March 492 – 19 November 496