|Papacy began||30 June 296|
Rome, Western Roman Empire
Rome, Western Roman Empire
|Feast day||26 April (Catholic)|
7 June (Serbian Orthodox)
Pope Marcellinus (died 304) 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.
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.
Pope Caius, also called Gaius, was the Bishop of Rome from 17 December 283 to his death in 296. Christian tradition makes him a native of the Dalmatian city of Salona, today Solin near Split, the son of a man also named Caius, and a member of a noble family related to the Emperor Diocletian.
Marcellinus’ pontificate began at a time when Diocletian was Roman Emperor, but had not yet started to persecute the Christians. He left Christianity rather free and so the church's membership grew. Caesar Galerius led the pagan movement against Christianity and aroused Diocletian against Christianity in the year 302: first Christian soldiers had to leave the army, later the Church's property was confiscated and Christian books were destroyed. After two fires in Diocletian's palace he took harder measures against Christians: they had either to apostatize or they were sentenced to death.
Diocletian, born Diocles, was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor. The title was also claimed by Carus' surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus.
The Diocletianic or Great Persecution was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. In 303, the Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issued a series of edicts rescinding Christians' legal rights and demanding that they comply with traditional religious practices. Later edicts targeted the clergy and demanded universal sacrifice, ordering all inhabitants to sacrifice to the gods. The persecution varied in intensity across the empire—weakest in Gaul and Britain, where only the first edict was applied, and strongest in the Eastern provinces. Persecutory laws were nullified by different emperors at different times, but Constantine and Licinius's Edict of Milan (313) has traditionally marked the end of the persecution.
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator. The change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors".
Marcellinus is not mentioned in the Martyrologium hieronymianum , or in the Depositio episcoporum, or in the Depositio martyrum. The Liber Pontificalis , based on the lost Acts of St Marcellinus, relates that during Diocletian’s persecution Marcellinus was called upon to sacrifice, and offered incense to idols, but that, repenting shortly afterwards, he confessed the faith of Christ and suffered martyrdom with several companions. Other documents speak of his defection, and it is probably this lapse that explains the silence of the ancient liturgical calendars. In the beginning of the 5th century, Petilianus, the Donatist bishop of Cirta, says that Marcellinus and his priests had given up the holy books to the pagans during the persecution and offered incense to false gods. St Augustine denied the affair.The records of the pseudo-Council of Sinuessa, which were fabricated at the beginning of the 6th century, state that Marcellinus after his fall presented himself before a council, which refused to try him on the ground that prima sedes a nemine iudicatur ("The first See is judged by none"). According to the Liber Pontificalis, Marcellinus was buried on 26 April 304 in the cemetery of Priscilla, on the Via Salaria, 25 days after his martyrdom; the Liberian Catalogue gives as the date 25 October. The fact of the martyrdom, too, is not established with certainty.
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."
Idolatry literally means the worship of an "idol", also known as a worship cult image, in the form of a physical image, such as a statue. In Abrahamic religions, namely Christianity, Islam and Judaism, idolatry connotes the worship of something or someone other than God as if it were God. In these and several other monotheistic religions, idolatry has been considered as the "worship of false gods" and is forbidden. In many Indian religions, such as theistic and non-theistic forms of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, idols (murti) are considered as symbolism for the absolute but not The Absolute, or icons of spiritual ideas, or the embodiment of the divine. It is a means to focus one's religious pursuits and worship (bhakti). In the traditional religions of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere, the reverence of an image or statue has been a common practice, and cult images have carried different meanings and significance.
A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of the martyr by the oppressor. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.
Marcellinus was mentioned in the General Roman Calendar, into which a feast day in his honour jointly with that of Saint Cletus on 26 April was inserted in the thirteenth century.Because of the uncertainties regarding both, this joint feast was removed from that calendar in 1969. Saint Cletus is still listed in the Roman Martyrology under 26 April date; but Saint Marcellinus is no longer mentioned in that professedly incomplete list of recognized saints.
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.
Pope Marcellinus, along with Pope Marcellus, is commemorated in the Serbian Prologue of Ochrid on 7 June according to the Julian Calendar.
After a considerable interregnum, he was succeeded by Marcellus, with whom he has sometimes been confused.
During the pontificate of Marcellinus, Armenia became the first Christian state in 301 under Tiridates III.
The Kingdom of Armenia, also the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, or simply Greater Armenia, sometimes referred to as the Armenian Empire, was a monarchy in the Ancient Near East which existed from 321 BC to 428 AD. Its history is divided into successive reigns by three royal dynasties: Orontid, Artaxiad and Arsacid (52–428).
Tiridates III was the king of Arsacid Armenia (287–330), and is also known as Tiridates the Great Տրդատ Մեծ; some scholars incorrectly refer to him as Tiridates IV as a result of the fact that Tiridates I of Armenia reigned twice. In 301, Tiridates proclaimed Christianity as the state religion of Armenia, making the Armenian kingdom the first state to embrace Christianity officially.
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 Marcellus I was the Bishop of Rome or Pope from May or June 308 to his death in 309. He succeeded Pope Marcellinus after a considerable interval. Under Maxentius, he was banished from Rome in 309, on account of the tumult caused by the severity of the penances he had imposed on Christians who had lapsed under the recent persecution. He died the same year, being succeeded by Pope Eusebius. His relics are under the altar of San Marcello al Corso in Rome. His third-class feast day is kept on January 16.
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 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 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 Stephen I was the Bishop of Rome from 12 May 254 to his death in 257. Of Roman birth but of Greek ancestry, he became bishop after serving as archdeacon of Pope Lucius I, who appointed Stephen his successor.
Pope Felix I was the Bishop of Rome or Pope from 5 January 269 to his death in 274.
Pope Soter was the Bishop of Rome from c. 167 to his death c. 174. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the dates may have ranged from 162–168 to 170–177. He was born in Fondi, Campania, today Lazio region, Italy. Soter is known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest and also for formally inaugurating Easter as an annual festival in Rome. His name, from Greek Σωτήριος from σωτήρ "saviour", would be his baptismal name, as his lifetime predates the tradition of adopting papal names.
Pope Lucius I 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.
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 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 Anacletus, also known as Cletus, was the third Bishop of Rome, following Saint Peter and Pope 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 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.
Cyriacus, sometimes Anglicized as Cyriac, according to Christian tradition, is a Christian martyr who was killed in the persecution of Diocletian. He is one of twenty-seven saints, most of them martyrs, who bear this name, of whom only seven are honoured by a specific mention of their names in the Roman Martyrology.
Saint Placidus (Placitus), along with Saints Eutychius (Euticius), Victorinus and their sister Flavia, Donatus, Firmatus the deacon, Faustus, and thirty others, have been venerated as Christian martyrs. They were said to be martyred either by pirates at Messina or under the Emperor Diocletian.
Saint Susanna of Rome, according to Christian legend, a Christian martyr whose feast day is 11 August which is the same as Saint Tiburtius. The saints were not related, but they are sometimes associated because they are venerated on the same day.
Marcellus of Capua was a third- or fourth-century martyr who was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in the 13th century. He is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, with 7 October as his feast day.
Saint Agapitus is venerated as a martyr saint, who died on August 18, perhaps in 274, a date that the latest editions of the Roman Martyrology say is uncertain.
Saint Boniface of Tarsus was, according to legend, executed for being a Christian in the year 307 at Tarsus, where he had gone from Rome in order to bring back to his mistress Aglaida relics of the martyrs.
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