|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 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.
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 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).
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.
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, Peter the Apostle.[ citation needed ]
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.
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."
Pope Linus was the second Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff (Pope) of the Catholic Church.
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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. 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.
Pope Silverius ruled the Holy See from 8 June 536 to his deposition in 537, 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 537.
Sylvester I was the bishop of Rome from 314 until his death. He is regarded as the 33rd Pope of the Catholic Church. 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 pontificate preserved in the seventh- or eighth-century 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 492 (CDXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Anastasius and Rufus. The denomination 492 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.
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 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.
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 I Dicorus, 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