Pope Lucius I

Last updated

Saint
Lucius I
22-St.Lucius I.jpg
Papacy began 25 June 253
Papacy ended 5 March 254
Predecessor Cornelius
Successor Stephen I
Personal details
Birth name Lucius
Born c. 200
Rome, Roman Empire
Died(254-03-05)5 March 254
Rome, Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day 5 March
Venerated in Catholicism
Other popes named Lucius

Pope Lucius I (c. 200 – 5 March 254) was the Bishop of Rome from 25 June 253 to his death in 254. He was banished soon after his consecration, but gained permission to return. He was mistakenly classified as a martyr in the persecution of Valerian, which did not begin until after Lucius' death.

Valerian (emperor) Roman emperor

Valerian, also known as Valerian the Elder, was Roman Emperor from 22 October 253 AD to spring 260 AD. He was taken captive by the Persian Emperor, Shapur I, after the Battle of Edessa, becoming the first Roman emperor to be captured as a prisoner of war, causing shock and instability throughout the empire.

Contents

A Danish legend held that the demons of Isefjord feared nothing but the skull of Lucius I, and when this skull was taken to Denmark, it brought peace, and Lucius was declared patron of Zealand. The skull was then preserved as a national relic until carbon dating proved that it did not date back as far as his time.

Denmark constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

Zealand Largest and most populous island in Denmark proper

Zealand, at 7,031 km2, is the largest and most populous island in Denmark proper. Zealand has a population of 2,302,074.

Life

St. Lucius was born in Rome at an unknown date; nothing is known about his family except his father's name, Porphyrianus. He was elected probably on 25 June 253 and died on 5 March 254. His election took place during the persecution which caused the banishment of his predecessor Pope Cornelius, and he also was banished soon after his consecration, but succeeded in gaining permission to return. [1]

Pope Cornelius pope

Pope Cornelius was the Bishop of Rome from 6 or 13 March 251 to his martyrdom in 253. He was Pope during and following a period of persecution of the church and a schism occurred over how repentant church members who had practiced pagan sacrifices to protect themselves could be readmitted to the church. Cornelius agreed with Cyprian of Carthage that those who had lapsed could be restored to communion after varying forms of penance. That position was in contrast to the Novationists, who held that those who failed to maintain their confession of faith under persecution would not be received again into communion with the church. That resulted in a schism in the Church of Rome that spread as each side sought to gather support. Cornelius held a synod that confirmed his election and excommunicated Novatian, but the controversy regarding lapsed members continued for years.

He is praised in several letters of St. Cyprian (see Epist. lxviii. 5) for condemning the Novationists for their refusal to readmit to communion Christians who repented for having lapsed under persecution.

Cyprian Bishop of Carthage and Christian writer

Saint Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and a notable Early Christian writer of Berber descent, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. Soon after converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249. A controversial figure during his lifetime, his strong pastoral skills, firm conduct during the Novatianist heresy and outbreak of the plague, and eventual martyrdom at Carthage vindicated his reputation and proved his sanctity in the eyes of the Church. His skillful Latin rhetoric led to his being considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine. The Plague of Cyprian is named after him, owing to his description of it.

Novatianism was an Early Christian sect devoted to the theologian Novatian that held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of Lapsi. The Church of Rome declared the Novatianists heretical following the letters of Saint Cyprian of Carthage.

His feast day is 5 March, on which date he is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology in the following terms: "In the cemetery of Callistus on the Via Appia, Rome, burial of Saint Lucius, Pope, successor of Saint Cornelius. For his faith in Christ he suffered exile and acted as an outstanding confessor of the faith, with moderation and prudence, in the difficult times that were his." [2]

The Roman Martyrology is the official martyrology of the Catholic Church. Its use is obligatory in matters regarding the Roman Rite liturgy, but dioceses, countries and religious institutes may add to it duly approved appendices. It provides an extensive but not exhaustive list of the saints recognized by the Church.

His feast did not appear in the Tridentine Calendar of Pope Saint Pius V. In 1602, it was inserted under the date of 4 March, into the General Roman Calendar. With the insertion in 1621 on the same date of the feast of Saint Casimir, the celebration of Pope Lucius was reduced to a commemoration within Saint Casimir's Mass. In the 1969 revision Pope Lucius's feast was omitted from the General Roman Calendar, partly because of the baselessness of the title of "martyr" with which he had previously been honoured, [3] and was moved in the Roman Martyrology to the day of his death.

The Tridentine Calendar is the calendar of saints to be honoured in the course of the liturgical year in the official liturgy of the Roman Rite as reformed by Pope Pius V, implementing a decision of the Council of Trent, which entrusted the task to the Pope.

Pope Pius V 16th-century Catholic pope

Pope Pius V, born Antonio Ghislieri, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 January 1566 to his death in 1572. He is venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints and mysteries of the Lord in the Roman Rite, wherever this liturgical rite is in use. These celebrations are a fixed annual date; or occur on a particular day of the week ; or relate to the date of Easter. National and diocesan liturgical calendars, including that of the diocese of Rome itself as well as the calendars of religious institutes and even of continents, add other saints and mysteries or transfer the celebration of a particular saint or mystery from the date assigned in the General Calendar to another date.

In spite of what is mistakenly stated in the Liber Pontificalis , he did not in fact suffer martyrdom. [4] The persecution of Valerian in which he was said to have been martyred is known to have started later than March 254, when Pope Lucius died.

Tomb

His tombstone is still extant in the catacomb of Callixtus. His relics were later brought to the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, along with the relics of St. Cecilia and others. His head is preserved in a reliquary in St. Ansgar's Cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark. This relic was brought to Roskilde around the year 1100, after St. Lucius had been declared patron of the Danish region Zealand. There had been demons at large at the Isefjord at Roskilde city, [5] and as they declared that they feared nothing but Lucius' skull, this had to be brought to Denmark, whereupon peace took reign of the fjord again. [6] After the Reformation, the skull was taken to the exhibition rooms of king Frederik III in Copenhagen, where it was on exhibit along with the petrified embryo a woman had carried inside her for 28 years, as well as other monstrosities the king had collected. The skull remained in Roskilde Cathedral until 1908, when it was moved to Saint Ansgar's Cathedral while the property of Copenhagen's National museum.

Pope St. Lucius' head is among the few relics to have survived the Reformation in Denmark. However the Norwegian researcher Øystein Morten [7] started wondering if St. Lucius' skull might have been mixed up with the skull of the Norwegian king Sigurd Jorsalfar (1090–1130). This skull had also been kept in the Danish National Museum collection in the 1800s until it was donated to Oslo University in 1867. Danish experts from the National Museum then studied the skull, using carbon dating which concluded that the skull belonged to a man who lived between AD340 and 431, nearly 100 years after the death of St Lucius in 254. So the skull in question never belonged to St. Lucius, who died around AD 254. The results also rule out that it may have belonged to the crusader king Sigurd. [8]

See also

Notes

  1. Kirsch, Johann Peter (1910). "Pope St. Lucius I" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. Romae via Appia in coemeterio Callisti, depositio sancti Lucii, papae, qui, sancti Cornelii successor, pro Christi fide exsilium passus est et, fidei confessor eximius, in angustiis tempestatibus suis moderatione ac prudentia se gessit [Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN   978-88-209-7210-3), die 5 martii].
  3. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), pp. 88 and 118
  4. St. Lucius I; "There are no grounds for counting St Lucius among the martyrs, since he is listed in the Depositio Episcoporum" [Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 118]
  5. "When they entered Isefjord from the Kattegat, the ship carrying the priests was attacked by a vile demon that demanded a human sacrifice in order to let them pass," quoted from: https://web.archive.org/web/20150924092105/http://www.roskildekommune.dk/webtop/site.aspx?p=21421
  6. R. Broby-Johansen: Det gamle København (page 164), edited by Thanning and Appel, Copenhagen 1978, ISBN   8741363477
  7. http://www.spartacus.no/index.php?ID=Forfatter&ID2=342
  8. http://cphpost.dk/news14/news-news14/skull-and-cross-wires.html

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References

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Cornelius
Bishop of Rome
Pope

253–254
Succeeded by
Stephen I