Pope Innocent I

Last updated
Pope Saint

Innocent I
Innocentius I.jpg
Papacy began22 December 401 [1]
Papacy ended12 March 417
Predecessor Anastasius I
Successor Zosimus
Personal details
Born Albano, Roman Empire
Died(417-03-12)12 March 417
Rome, Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day
  • 12 March
  • 28 July (13th-20th centuries
  • (Catholicism in Rome)
Venerated in Catholic Church
Other popes named Innocent
Pope Saint Innocent I
Pope
Born Albano, Roman Empire
Died(417-03-12)12 March 417
Rome, Roman Empire
Venerated in Catholic Church
Feast 12 March
Attributes Papal Tiara

Pope Innocent I (Latin : Innocentius I; d. 12 March 417) served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 401 to his death in 417. From the beginning of his papacy, he was seen as the general arbitrator of ecclesiastical disputes in both the East and the West. He confirmed the prerogatives of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, and issued a decretal on disciplinary matters referred to him by the Bishop of Rouen. He defended the exiled John Chrysostom and consulted with the bishops of Africa concerning the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the African synods. The Catholic priest-scholar Johann Peter Kirsch, 1500 years later, described Innocent as a very energetic and highly gifted individual "...who fulfilled admirably the duties of his office". [2]

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio 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.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

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.

Decretals are letters of a pope that formulate decisions in ecclesiastical law of the Catholic Church.

Contents

Biography

According to his biographer in the Liber Pontificalis , Innocent was a native of Albano Laziale and the son of a man called Innocentius, [2] but his contemporary Jerome referred to him as the son of the previous pope, Anastasius I, probably a unique case of a son succeeding his father in the papacy. [3] According to Urbano Cerri, Pope Innocent was a native of Albania. [4]

<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."

Albano Laziale Comune in Lazio, Italy

Albano Laziale is a comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, on the Alban Hills, in Latium, central Italy. Rome is 25 kilometres (16 mi) distant. It is bounded by other communes of Castel Gandolfo, Rocca di Papa, Ariccia and Ardea. Located in the Castelli Romani area of Lazio. It is sometimes known simply as Albano.

Jerome 4th and 5th-century Catholic priest, theologian, and saint

Saint Jerome was a Christian priest, confessor, theologian, and historian. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin, and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.

Innocent I lost no opportunity in maintaining and extending the authority of the Roman apostolic See, which was seen as the ultimate resort for the settlement of all ecclesiastical disputes. His communications with Victricius of Rouen, Exuperius of Toulouse, Alexander of Antioch and others, as well as his actions on the appeal made to him by John Chrysostom against Theophilus of Alexandria, show that opportunities of this kind were numerous and varied. He took a decided view on the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the synod of the province of proconsular Africa, held in Carthage in 416, confirming the condemnation which had been pronounced in 411 against Cælestius, who shared the views of Pelagius. He also wrote in the same year in a similar sense to the fathers of the Numidian synod of Mileve who had addressed him. Soon after this, five African bishops, among them St. Augustine, wrote a personal letter to Innocent regarding their own position in the matter of Pelagianism. [2] In addition he acted as metropolitan over the bishops of Italia Suburbicaria. [5] [6]

Exuperius Bishop of Toulouse

Saint Exuperius was Bishop of Toulouse at the beginning of the 5th century.

John Chrysostom Important Early Church Father; Christian saint

John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. The epithet Χρυσόστομος means "golden-mouthed" in Greek and denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings.

Theophilus was the 23rd Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He became Pope at a time of conflict between the newly dominant Christians and the pagan establishment in Alexandria, each of which was supported by a segment of the Alexandrian populace.

The historian Zosimus in his Historia Nova suggests that during the sack of Rome in 410 by Alaric I, Innocent I was willing to permit private pagan practices as a temporary measure. However, Zosimus also suggests that this attempt by pagans to restore public worship failed due to lack of public interest, suggesting that Rome had been successfully Christianized in the last century. [5]

Sack of Rome (410) Visigoth siege and looting of Rome in 410

The Sack of Rome occurred on 24 August 410 AD. The city was attacked by the Visigoths led by King Alaric. At that time, Rome was no longer the capital of the Western Roman Empire, having been replaced in that position first by Mediolanum in 286 and then by Ravenna in 402. Nevertheless, the city of Rome retained a paramount position as "the eternal city" and a spiritual center of the Empire. The sack was a major shock to contemporaries, friends and foes of the Empire alike.

Alaric I 4th and 5th-century King of the Visigoths

Alaric I was the first King of the Visigoths from 395–410, son of chieftain Rothestes. He is best known for his sack of Rome in 410, which marked a decisive event in the decline of the Western Roman Empire.

Among Innocent I's letters is one to Jerome and another to John II, Bishop of Jerusalem, regarding annoyances to which the former had been subjected by the Pelagians at Bethlehem.

John II was bishop of Jerusalem from AD 387 to AD 417. John II succeeded to the episcopal throne of Jerusalem on the death of Cyril in 386. He was the author, according to an increasing number of modern scholars, of the five Mystagogical Catecheses traditionally ascribed to his predecessor Cyril.

Bethlehem City in Bethlehem Governorate

Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, Palestine, about 10 km south of Jerusalem. Its population is approximately 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate. The economy is primarily tourist-driven.

He died on 12 March 417. Accordingly, his feast day is now celebrated on 12 March, though from the thirteenth to the twentieth century he was commemorated on 28 July. [7] His successor was Zosimus.

Pope Zosimus pope

Pope Zosimus reigned from 18 March 417 to his death in 418. He was born in Mesoraca, Calabria.

Role in establishing Bible Canon

It is accepted that the canon of the Bible was closed c. 405 AD by Pope Innocent, when he sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse, [8] identical with that of Trent (which took place more than 1000 years later), [9] [10] [11] except for some uncertainty in the manuscript tradition about whether the letters ascribed to Paul were 14 or only 13, in the latter case possibly implying omission of the Epistle to the Hebrews. [8]

Relics

In 846, Pope Sergius II gave approval for the relics of St. Innocent to be moved by Duke Liudolf of Saxony, along with those of his father and predecessor Anastasius, to the crypt of the former collegiate church of Gandersheim, now Gandersheim Abbey, where they rest until this day. [12]

See also

Related Research Articles

Antipope Felix II Antipope

Antipope Felix, an archdeacon of Rome, was installed as Pope in 355 AD after the Emperor Constantius II banished the reigning Pope, Liberius, for refusing to subscribe to a sentence of condemnation against Saint Athanasius.

Pope Linus 2nd pope of the Catholic Church

Linus was the second Bishop of Rome, and is listed by the Catholic Church as the second pope.

Pope Alexander I 6th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Alexander I was the 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 4th-century pope

Pope Miltiades, also known as Melchiades the African, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 311 to his death in 314. It was during his pontificate that Emperor Constantine I 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, a teaching of Donatus Magnus.

Pope Boniface I pope

Pope Boniface I was Pope from 28 December 418 to his death in 422. His election was disputed by the supporters of Eulalius, until the dispute was settled by the Emperor. Boniface was active maintaining church discipline and he restored certain privileges to the metropolitical sees of Narbonne and Vienne, exempting them from any subjection to the primacy of Arles. He was a contemporary of Saint Augustine of Hippo, who dedicated to him some of his works.

Pope Pius I 10th pope

Pope Pius I is said to have been the 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.

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.

Pope Sixtus II pope

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 Urban I pope

Pope Urban I was Bishop of Rome or Pope from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded Pope 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 Felix I 3rd-century Pope

Pope Felix I was the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 5 January 269 to his death in 274.

Pope Evaristus 5th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Evaristus is accounted as the fifth Bishop of Rome, holding office 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.

Pope Telesphorus pope

Pope Telesphorus was the Bishop of Rome from c. 126 to his death c. 137, during the reigns of Roman Emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. He was of Greek ancestry and born in Terranova da Sibari, Calabria, Italy.

Pope Anicetus pope

Pope Anicetus was the Bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in 168. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the start of his papacy may have been 153. Anicetus actively opposed Gnosticism and Marcionism. He welcomed Polycarp of Smyrna to Rome, to discuss the controversy over the date for the celebration of Easter.

Pope Zephyrinus pope

Pope Zephyrinus was Bishop of Rome or Pope from 199 to his death in 217. He was born in Rome. His predecessor was Pope Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Pope Callixtus I. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the divinity of Christ.

Pope Pontian pope

Pope Pontian was Pope 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.

Pope Marcellinus pope

Pope Marcellinus was the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 30 June 296 to his death in 304. According to the Liberian Catalogue, he was a Roman, the son of a certain Projectus. His predecessor was Pope Caius.

Pope Simplicius pope

Pope Simplicius was pope from 468 to his death in 483. He was born in Tivoli, Italy, the son of a citizen named Castinus. Most of what is known of him personally is derived from the Liber Pontificalis.

Pope Hormisdas pope

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.

Anastasius Bibliothecarius or Anastasius the Librarian was bibliothecarius and chief archivist of the Church of Rome and also briefly an Antipope.

References

  1. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/288617/Saint-Innocent-I
  2. 1 2 3 PD-icon.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Kirsch, Johann Peter (1910). "Pope Innocent I". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 8. New York: Robert Appleton. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/64800
  4. Cerri, Urbano; Steel, Richard (1715). An account of the state of the Roman-Catholick religion throughout the world. Transl. To which is added, A discourse concerning the state of religion in England. Transl. With a large dedication to the present pope, by sir Richard Steele [really B. Hoadly.]. Oxford University. p. 2.
  5. 1 2 PD-icon.svg Kirsch, Johann Peter (1910). "Pope Innocent I". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. Dunn, Geoffrey (March 2013), "Innocent I's Letter to the Bishops of Apulia" (PDF), Journal of Early Christian Studies, Johns Hopkins University Press, 21 (1): 27–41, doi:10.1353/earl.2013.0000, ISSN   1086-3184
  7. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 132; Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN   978-88-209-7210-3)
  8. 1 2 Text and translation of the list
  9. Matthew J. Ramage, Dark Passages of the Bible (CUA Press 2013 ISBN   978-0-81322156-4), p. 67
  10. Lee Martin McDonald, Formation of the Bible (Hendrickson Publishers 2012 ISBN   978-1-59856838-7), p. 149
  11. John L. Mckenzie, The Dictionary of the Bible (Simon and Schuster 1995 ISBN   978-0-68481913-6), p. 119
  12. Birgit Heilmann, Aus Heiltum wird Geschichte. Der Gandersheimer Reliquienschatz in nachreformatorischer Zeit. Thomas Labusiak and Hedwig Röckelein, Regensburg, 2009 (Studien zum Frauenstift Gandersheim und seinen Eigenklöstern, vol. 1).
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Anastasius I
Pope
401–417
Succeeded by
Zosimus