Pope Hormisdas

Last updated
Pope Saint

Hormisdas
Pope Hormisdas.jpg
Papacy began20 July 514
Papacy ended6 August 523
Predecessor Symmachus
Successor John I
Orders
Created cardinalbefore 514
by Symmachus
RankCardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Birth nameHormisdas
Born450
Frusino, Western Roman Empire
Died6 August 523
Rome, Kingdom of the Ostrogoths
Sainthood
Feast day6 August [1]
Papal styles of
Pope Hormisdas
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous style Saint

Saint Hormisdas (450 – 6 August 523) was Pope from 20 July 514 to his death in 523. [2] 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. [2]

Pope Leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Acacian schism schism (484–519) between the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople

The Acacian schism, between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches lasted 35 years, from 484 to 519 AD. It resulted from a drift in the leaders of Eastern Christianity toward Miaphysitism and Emperor Zeno's unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the parties with the Henotikon.

Acacius was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 472 to 489. Acacius was practically the first prelate throughout the Eastern Orthodoxy and renowned for ambitious participation in the Chalcedonian controversy.

Contents

Jeffrey Richards explains Hormisdas's Persian name as probably in honour of an exiled Persian noble, Hormizd, "celebrated in the Roman martyrology (8 August) but not so honoured in the East." The names of his father and son suggest he had an otherwise "straightforward Italian pedigree." [3] However, according to Iranica he was probably related to Hormizd. [4]

Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym as Parsik, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasanian collapse, Middle Persian continued to function as a prestige language. It descended from Old Persian, the language of Achaemenid Empire, and it is the linguistic ancestor of Modern Persian.

Life

He was born in Frusino in the moribund era of the Western Roman Empire (now Frosinone, Campagna di Roma, Italy). Before becoming a Roman deacon, Hormisdas was married, and his son would in turn become Pope under the name of Silverius. During the Laurentian schism, Hormisdas was one of the most prominent clerical partisans of Pope Symmachus. He was notary at the synod held at St. Peter's in 502. [5] Two letters of Magnus Felix Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, survive addressed to him, written when the latter tried to regain horses and money he had lent the Pope. [6]

Western Roman Empire Independently administered western provinces of the Roman Empire

In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used to describe the period from 395 to 476, where there were separate coequal courts dividing the governance of the empire in the Western and the Eastern provinces, with a distinct imperial succession in the separate courts. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are modern descriptions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; contemporary Romans did not consider the Empire to have been split into two separate empires but viewed it as a single polity governed by two separate imperial courts as an administrative expediency. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, and the Western imperial court was formally dissolved in 480. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453.

Frosinone Comune in Lazio, Italy

Frosinone is a town and comune in Lazio, central Italy, the administrative seat of the province of Frosinone. It is located about 75 kilometres (47 mi) south-east of Rome close to the Rome-Naples A1 Motorway. The city is the main city of the Valle Latina, an Italian geographical and historical region that extends from south of Rome to Cassino.

Italy European country

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate including Mediterranean and Alpine zones. Geographically part of southern Europe, with the exception of some areas in central Europe, Italy is also considered part of western Europe for cultural and historical reasons. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi), and land area of 294,140 km2 (113,570 sq mi), and shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Unlike his predecessor Symmachus, his election lacked any notable controversies. Upon becoming Pope, one of Hormisdas' first actions was to remove the last vestiges of the schism in Rome, receiving back into the Church those adherents of the Laurentian party who had not already been reconciled. "The schism had lingered on largely out of personal hatred to Symmachus," writes Jeffrey Richards, "something with which Hormisdas was apparently not tainted." [7]

The account of his tenure in the Liber Pontificalis , as well as the overwhelming bulk of his surviving correspondence, is dominated by efforts to restore communion between the Sees of Rome and Constantinople caused by the Acacian schism. This schism was the consequence of the "Henoticon" of the Emperor Zeno and supported by his successor Anastasius, who became more and more inclined towards Monophysitism and persecuted those bishops who refused to repudiate the Council of Chalcedon.

<i>Liber Pontificalis</i> Book of biographies of popes

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."

Zeno (emperor) 5th-century Byzantine Emperor

Zeno the Isaurian, originally named Tarasis Kodisa Rousombladadiotes, was Eastern Roman Emperor from 474 to 475 and again from 476 to 491. Domestic revolts and religious dissension plagued his reign, which nevertheless succeeded to some extent in foreign issues. His reign saw the end of the Western Roman Empire following the deposition of Romulus Augustus and the death of Julius Nepos, but he contributed much to stabilising the Eastern Empire.

Monophysitism is the Christological position that, after the union of the divine and the human in the historical incarnation, Jesus Christ, as the incarnation of the eternal Son or Word (Logos) of God, had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human. Monophysitism is contrasted to dyophysitism which maintains that Christ maintained two natures, one divine and one human, after the incarnation.

The emperor Anastasius took the first steps to resolve this schism pressured by Vitalian, the commander of the imperial cavalry, who, having taken up the cause of orthodoxy, led Thracia, Scythia Minor, and Mysia to revolt, and marched with an army of Huns and Bulgarians to the gates of Constantinople. Richards points out that there would bound to be some tentative efforts from Constantinople, "if only because there was a new man on the throne of St. Peter. Relations between Symmachus and the emperor Anastasius had been virtually non-existent". [8]

Vitalian was a general of the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire. A native of Moesia in the northern Balkans, and probably of mixed Roman an Gothic or Scythian barbarian descent, he followed his father into the imperial army, and by 513 had become a senior commander in Thrace.

Thracia Roman province

Thracia or Thrace is the ancient name given to the southeastern Balkan region, the land inhabited by the Thracians.

Scythia Minor ancient region surrounded by the Danube at the north and west and the Black Sea at the east

Scythia Minor or Lesser Scythia was in ancient times the region surrounded by the Danube at the north and west and the Black Sea at the east, roughly corresponding to today's Dobrogea, with a part in Romania, and a part in Bulgaria.

Anastasius wrote to Hormisdas on 28 December 514, inviting him to a synod that would be held 1 July of the following year. A second, less courteous invitation, dated 12 January 515, was also sent by Anastasius to the pope, which reached Rome before the first. On 4 April Hormisdas answered, expressing his delight at the prospect of peace, but at the same time defending the position of his predecessors and welcoming a synod, but believing it unnecessary. The bearers of the emperor's first letter at last reached Rome on 14 May. The pope guardedly carried on negotiations, convened a synod at Rome and wrote to the emperor on 8 July to announce the departure of an embassy for Constantinople. Meanwhile, the two hundred bishops who had assembled on 1 July at Heraclea separated without accomplishing anything.

Pope St. Hormisdas Pope hormisdas.png
Pope St. Hormisdas

The pope's embassy to the imperial court consisted of two bishops, Ennodius of Pavia and Fortunatus of Catina, the priest Venantius, the deacon Vitalis, and the notary Hilarius. [9] According to Rev. J. Barmby, Hormisdas made several demands: (1) The emperor should publicly announce his acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and the letters of Pope Leo; (2) the Eastern bishops should make a similar public declaration, and in addition anathematize Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Aelurus, Peter Mongus, Peter the Fuller, and Acacius, with all their followers; (3) everyone exiled in this dispute should be recalled and their cases reserved for the judgment of the Apostolic See; (4) those exiles who had been in communion with Rome and professed Catholicism should first be recalled; and (5) bishops accused of having persecuted the Orthodox should be sent to Rome to be judged. "Thus the emperor proposed a free discussion in council; the pope required the unqualified acceptance of orthodoxy, and submission to himself as head of Christendom, before he would treat at all." [10]

An imperial embassy of two high civil officials came to Rome bringing one letter dated 16 July 516 for the pope, and one dated 28 July for the Roman Senate; the aim of the latter was to convince the senators to take a stand against Hormisdas. However both the Senate, as well as King Theodoric, stayed loyal to the pope. Meanwhile, Hormisdas reported to Avitus of Vienne that an additional number of Balkan bishops had entered into relations with Rome, and Bishop John of Nicopolis, who was also the archbishop of Epirus, had broken communion with Constantinople and resumed it with Rome. [11]

A second papal embassy consisting of Ennodius and Bishop Peregrinus of Misenum was as unsuccessful as the first. Anastasius even attempted to bribe the legates, but was unsuccessful. [9] Secure now that Vitalian had been defeated outside Constantinople, forced into hiding, and his supporters executed, Anastasius announced on 11 July 517 that he was breaking off the negotiations. But less than a year later the emperor died; the Liber Pontificalis claims he was struck dead by a thunderbolt. [9] His successor, the Catholic Justin I, immediately reversed Anastasius' policies. All the demands of Pope Hormisdas were granted: the name of the condemned Patriarch Acacius as well as the names of the Emperors Anastasius and Zeno were stricken from the church diptychs, and the Patriarch John II accepted the formula of Hormisdas. Some maintain that he did so with some qualifications. This argument is based on the following quote:"I declare that the see of apostle Peter and the see of this imperial city are one." [12]

However, the East continued to disregard papal demands by not condemning Acacius. [13] On 28 March 519, in the cathedral of Constantinople in presence of a great throng of people, the end of the schism was concluded in a solemn ceremony.

See also

Related Research Articles

Pope Anastasius II pope

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 Siricius pope

Pope Siricius was Pope from December 384 to his death in 399. He was successor to Pope Damasus I and was himself succeeded by Pope Anastasius I.

The 510s decade ran from January 1, 510, to December 31, 519.

The 490s decade ran from January 1, 490, to

Pope Gelasius I pope

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.

Pope Symmachus Pope from 498 to 514

Pope Symmachus was Pope from 22 November 498 to his death in 514. His tenure was marked by a serious schism over who was legitimately elected pope by the citizens of Rome.

Pope John III pope

Pope John III was Pope from 17 July 561 to his death in 574. He was born in Rome of a distinguished family. The Liber Pontificalis calls him a son of one Anastasius. His father bore the title illustris, more than likely being a vir illustris.

Pope Vitalian pope

Pope Vitalian reigned from 30 July 657 to his death in 672. He was born in Segni, Lazio, the son of Anastasius.

John II, surnamed Cappadox or the Cappadocian was Patriarch of Constantinople in 518–520, during the reign of Byzantine emperor Anastasius I after an enforced condemnation of the Council of Chalcedon. His short patriarchate is memorable for the celebrated Acclamations of Constantinople, and the reunion of East and West after a schism of 34 years. At the death of Timothy I, John of Cappadocia, whom he had designated his successor, was presbyter and chancellor of the Church of Constantinople.

The Henotikon was a christological document issued by Byzantine emperor Zeno in 482, in an unsuccessful attempt to reconcile the differences between the supporters of the Council of Chalcedon and the council's opponents. It was followed by the Acacian schism.

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.

Magnus Felix Ennodius was Bishop of Pavia in 514, and a Latin rhetorician and poet.

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.

John Talaia was Patriarch of Alexandria from 481 until 482.

The Scythian monks were a community of monks from the region around the mouths of the Danube, who played an influential role in Christian theological disputes between the 4th and 6th centuries. The name Scythian comes from Scythia Minor, the classical name of the modern Dobruja region in Romania and Bulgaria, at the time a Roman province. The monks were raised not only from local Christian elements, but also from immigrant Christians who came to live ascetic lives.

Ostrogothic Papacy

The Ostrogothic Papacy was a period from 493 to 537 where the papacy was strongly influenced by the Ostrogothic Kingdom, if the pope was not outright appointed by the Ostrogothic King. The selection and administration of popes during this period was strongly influenced by Theodoric the Great and his successors Athalaric and Theodahad. This period terminated with Justinian I's (re)conquest of Rome during the Gothic War (535–554), inaugurating the Byzantine Papacy (537-752).

Photinus of Thessalonica was a disciple of Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople (471–489) and a deacon in the Church.

Rufius Postumius Festus was a Roman aristocrat who lived during the Late Roman Empire. Festus was the last consul appointed by an Emperor in the West. The next consul appointed in the West was Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius, whom king Odoacer appointed in 480, eight years after Festus.

References

  1. "Saint Hormisdas". Patron Saints Index. Archived from the original on 2010-05-30.
  2. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg Kirsch, Johann Peter (1913). "Pope St. Hormisdas"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  3. Richards, The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), p. 242
  4. HORMOZD, A. Shapur Shahbazi, Encyclopaedia Iranica, (March 23, 2012).
  5. John Moorhead, "The Laurentian Schism: East and West in the Roman Church," Church History 47 (1978), p. 131
  6. Ennodius, Epistulae 5.13; 6.33
  7. Richards, Popes and the Papacy, p. 100
  8. Richards, Popes and the Papacy, p. 101
  9. 1 2 3 Raymond Davis (translator), The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis), first edition (Liverpool: University Press, 1989), p. 47
  10. "Hormisdas, bp. of Rome", Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies, edited by Henry Wace (London, 1911)
  11. Epistulae 2; translated by Danuta Shanzer and Ian Wood, Avitus of Vienne (Liverpool: University Press, 2002), pp. 129–133
  12. Dvornik, F., (1966) Byzantium and the Roman Primacy, (Fordham University Press, NY), p.61
  13. Meyendorff 1989, pp. 215.

Sources

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Symmachus
Pope
514–523
Succeeded by
John I