|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||c. AD 67|
|Papacy ended||c. AD 76|
|Predecessor||Saint Peter the Apostle|
|Ordination||by Saint Paul the Apostle|
|Born||c. AD 10|
Volterra, Italy, Roman Empire
|Died||c. AD 76|
Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
|Feast day||23 September|
|Venerated in||All Christian denominations that venerate saints|
|Attributes||Papal vestments Pallium|
Pope Linus ( // (
The earliest witness to the episcopate of Linus was Irenaeus, who in c. AD 180 wrote that "the blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate."The Oxford Dictionary of Popes mentions that according to the earliest succession lists of bishops of Rome, passed down by Irenaeus and Hegesippus and attested by the historian Eusebius, he was entrusted with his office by the Apostles Peter and Paul after they had established the Christian church in Rome. By this primitive reckoning he was therefore the first pope, but from the late 2nd or early 3rd century the convention began of regarding Peter as first pope. Jerome described Linus as "the first after Peter to be in charge of the Roman Church" and Eusebius described him as "the first to receive the episcopate of the church at Rome, after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter". John Chrysostom wrote that "this Linus, some say, was second Bishop of the Church of Rome after Peter", while the Liberian Catalogue described Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and Linus as his successor in the same office.
The Liber Pontificalisalso enumerated Linus as the second Bishop of Rome after Peter, and stated that Peter consecrated 2 bishops, Linus and Cletus/Anacletus for the priestly service of the community, while devoting himself instead to prayer and preaching, and that it was Clement to whom he entrusted the universal Church and appointed as his successor. Tertullian also wrote of Clement as the successor of Peter. Jerome named Clement as "the fourth bishop of Rome after Peter, if indeed the second was Linus and the third Anacletus, although most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the apostle."
The Apostolic Constitutionsnote that Linus, whom Paul the Apostle consecrated, was the first Bishop of Rome and was succeeded by Clement, whom Peter the Apostle ordained and consecrated.
The Liberian Catalogue and the Liber Pontificalis date the episcopate of Linus as AD 56 to 67, during the reign of Nero, but Jerome dated it as AD 67 to 78, and Eusebius dated the end of his episcopate in the second year of the reign of Titus, scire licet, AD 80.
Linus is named in the valediction of the Second Epistle to Timothy .In that epistle, Linus is noted as being with Paul the Apostle in Rome near the end of Paul's life. Irenaeus stated that this is the same Linus who became Bishop of Rome, and this conclusion is generally still accepted.
According to the Liber Pontificalis, Linus was an Italian born in Volterra in Tuscany. His father's name was recorded as "Herculanus". The Apostolic Constitutions denominated his mother "Claudia"; immediately after the name "Linus" in 2 Timothy 4:21 a "Claudia" is named, but the Bible does not explicitly identify Claudia as Linus' mother. According to the Liber Pontificalis, Linus decreed that women should cover their heads in church, created the first 15 bishops, died a martyr, and was buried on the Vatican Hill (presently Vatican City) adjacent to Peter the Apostle.It dated his death as 23 September, on which date his feast is still celebrated. His name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
With respect to Linus' purported decree prescribing the covering of women's heads, J. P. Kirsch commented in the Catholic Encyclopedia that "without doubt this decree is apocryphal, and copied by the author of the Liber Pontificalis from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (11: 5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. The statement made in the same source, that Linus suffered martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. For between Nero and Domitian there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church; and Irenaeus (1. c., III, iv, 3) from among the early Roman bishops designates only Telesphorus as a glorious martyr."The Roman Martyrology does not enumerate Linus as a martyr as does the Liber Pontificalis ; the entry in the former regarding him states: "At Rome, commemoration of Saint Linus, Pope, who, according to Irenaeus, was the person to whom the blessed Apostles entrusted the episcopal care of the Church founded in the City, and whom blessed Paul the Apostle mentions as associated with him."
A tomb that Torrigio discovered in Saint Peter's Basilica in 1615 and that was inscribed with the letters "LINVS" previously was assumed to be the tomb of Linus. However a note by Torrigio reveals that these were merely the final 5 letters of a longer name, e. g. "Aquilinus" or "Anullinus". A letter on the martyrdom of Peter and Paul was once attributed to Linus, but in fact it was determined to date to the 6th century.Absent evidence to the contrary, presumably the Liber Pontificalis is correct that Linus was buried on the Vatican Hill adjacent to Peter the Apostle in what is now the Vatican Necropolis beneath Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, despite any absence of recent, corroborating evidence.
The city of Saint-Lin-Laurentides in Canada is named in his honour.
Ignatius of Antioch, also known as Ignatius Theophorus or Ignatius Nurono, was an early Christian writer and bishop of Antioch. While en route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of a later collection of works known to be authored by the Apostolic Fathers. He is considered to be one of the three most important of these, together with Pope Clement I and Polycarp. His letters also serve as an example of early Christian theology. Important topics they address include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.
Pope Victor I was the bishop of Rome 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".
Polycarp was a Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body. Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. His name means "much fruit" in Greek. Both Irenaeus and Tertullian record that Polycarp had been a disciple of John the Apostle. In Illustrious Men.17, Jerome writes that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.
Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.
Pope Evaristus was the 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. He is usually accorded the title of martyr; however, there is no confirmation of this. It is likely that he was the bishop of Rome when John the Apostle died, marking the end of the Apostolic Age.
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. The Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a patron saint of the order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel. He is also a Martyr according to the ancient testimony of Irenaeus.
Pope Anicetus was the bishop of Rome from c. 157 to his death in April 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 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 Clement I, also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch.
Pope Fabian was the bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death on 20 January 250, succeeding Anterus. He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit's unexpected choice to become the next pope. He was succeeded by Cornelius.
Pope Hyginus was the bishop of Rome from c. 138 to his death in c. 142. Tradition holds that during his papacy he determined the various prerogatives of the clergy and defined the grades of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
The Apostolic Fathers were core Christian theologians among the Church Fathers who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been significantly influenced by them. Their writings, though widely circulated in Early Christianity, were not included in the canon of the New Testament. Many of the writings derive from the same time period and geographical location as other works of early Christian literature which came to be part of the New Testament. Some of the writings found among the Apostolic Fathers appear to have been as highly regarded as some of the writings which became the New Testament.
Saint Peter's tomb is a site under St. Peter's Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of Saint Peter's grave. St. Peter's tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. The complex was partially torn down and filled with earth to provide a foundation for the building of the first St. Peter's Basilica during the reign of Constantine I in about AD 330. Though many bones have been found at the site of the 2nd-century shrine, as the result of two campaigns of archaeological excavation, Pope Pius XII stated in December 1950 that none could be confirmed to be Saint Peter's with absolute certainty. Following the discovery of bones that had been transferred from a second tomb under the monument, on June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI said that the relics of Saint Peter had been identified in a manner considered convincing.
John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's sources and is first unequivocally distinguished from the Apostle by Eusebius of Caesarea. He is frequently proposed by some as an alternative author of some or all of the Johannine books in the New Testament.
In compiling the history of the Early Christian Church, the Liberian Catalogue, which was part of the illuminated manuscript known as the Chronography of 354, is an essential document, for it consists of a list of the popes, designated bishops of Rome, ending with Pope Liberius, hence its name and approximate date. The list gives the lengths of their respective episcopates, the corresponding consular dates, and the names of the reigning emperors. In many cases there are other details. "The collection of tracts of which this forms a part was edited in 354" (CE). It now survives only in a copy.
Cerdo was a Syrian gnostic who was deemed a heretic by the Early Church around the time of his teaching, circa 138 AD. Cerdo started out as a follower of Simon Magus, like Basilides and Saturninus, and taught at about the same time as Valentinus, Marcion and them. According to Irenaeus, he was a contemporary of the Roman bishop Hyginus, residing in Rome as a prominent member of the Church until his forced expulsion therefrom.
Christianity in the ante-Nicene period was the time in Christian history up to the First Council of Nicaea. This article covers the period following the Apostolic Age of the first century, c.100 AD, to Nicaea in 325 AD.
Early Christianity spread from the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the Roman Empire and beyond. Originally, this progression was closely connected to already established Jewish centers in the Holy Land and the Jewish diaspora. The first followers of Christianity were Jews or proselytes, commonly referred to as Jewish Christians and God-fearers.
The canon of the New Testament is the set of books many Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters attributed to various Apostles, and Revelation. The books of the canon of the New Testament were written before 120 AD.
Saint Peter also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon, Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.
|Catholic Church titles|
| Bishop of Rome |