Pope Simplicius

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Pope Saint

Papacy began25 February 468
Papacy ended2 or 10 March 483
Predecessor Hilarius
Successor Felix III
Personal details
Birth nameSimplicius
Born Tivoli, Western Roman Empire
Died(483-03-10)10 March 483
Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer
Feast day10 March
Venerated inOrthodox, Catholic

Pope Simplicius (died 2 or 10 March 483) 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 . [1]

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.

<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."



After a vacancy of 10 days following the death of Pope Hilarius, Simplicius was consecrated on 25 February 468. [2]

Pope Hilarius 5th century pope

Pope Hilarius was Pope from 19 November 461 to his death on 29 February 468.

Simplicius defended the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy. When the Eutychians rose up in Antioch and installed Petrus Mongus, Simplicius made repeated complaints for action to Basiliscus and the Emperor Leo for the restoration of the Catholic bishop; he did the same when Petrus Fullo usurped the seat of the Patriarch of Alexandria. He rehabilitated Patriarch Timotheos Solofaciolus. [3]

Council of Chalcedon Fourth Ecumenical Council held in 451; not accepted by Oriental Orthodoxy

The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon, a town of Bithynia in Asia Minor. The Council was called by Emperor Marcian to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus. Its principal purpose was to assert the orthodox catholic doctrine against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites, although ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction also occupied the council's attention.

He labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders. He saw the Heruliian mercenaries revolt, depose Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor, and proclaim Odoacer king of Italy in 476. [4] Odoacer made few changes in the administration in Rome, leaving the city firmly in the hands of its bishop, Simplicius.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

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 and Mediterranean climate. 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, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland 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.

Romulus Augustulus last emperor of the Western Roman Empire

Flavius Romulus Augustus, known derisively and historiographically as Romulus Augustulus, was the Roman emperor who ruled the Western Roman Empire from 31 October 475 until 4 September 476. He is often described as the "last Western Roman emperor", though some historians consider this to be Julius Nepos. His deposition by Odoacer traditionally marks the end of the Roman Empire in the West, the end of Ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe.

Odoacer 5th-century Germanic soldier and monarch

Flavius Odoacer, also known as Flavius Odovacer or Odovacar, was a barbarian statesman who deposed Romulus Augustus and became King of Italy (476–493). His reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the Western Roman Empire.

In 478, Simplicius held a synod in Rome, which pronounced anathemas against eastern heretical bishops Peter Fullo, John of Apamea, and Paul of Ephesus. [5]

He worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West. [1] He named Zeno, Bishop of Hispalis (Seville) as Papal Vicar in Spain. [6]

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

In 482, Bishop Gregory of Modena was consecrated a bishop against his will by Archbishop Joannes I of Ravenna. This brought the Archbishop a sharp rebuke from Pope Simplicius. [7]

Simplicius is credited with the construction of a church named Santa Bibiana, in memory of the virgin and martyr St. Bibiana. He also dedicated the Church of San Stefano Rotondo on the Celian Hill, the church of S. Andrea near S. Maria Maggiore, and a church dedicated to Saint Lawrence in the Campo Verano. [8]

According to the Carolingian liturgist, Amalarius of Metz, Pope Simplicius was the first pope to carry out consecrations at any other time than in December before Christmas. He began to confer Holy Orders in February as well. [9]

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter on 2 March 483. Rome was without a pope for six days. [10]

Since 1971, [11] St. Simplicius's feast day is celebrated on 10 March. [12] [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 J. P. Kirsch, "Simplicius, Pope St." Catholic Encyclopedia. Volume XIV. New York: Appleton. 1912. pp. 2–3.
  2. Thiel, p. 174 §1. Jaffḗ, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, p. 77. The date is calculated, from his date of death and the length of his reign, fifteen years and seven days.
  3. Thiel, p. 174 §2. Loomis, pp. 97-99; 106 note 2.
  4. Butler, Alban.Lives of the Saints, Benziger Bros. 1894 [ page needed ]
  5. Karl Joseph von Hefele (1895). W. R. Clark (ed.). A History of the Councils of the Church, from the Original Documents. Volume IV. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. pp. 26–29. In a letter which Thiel (pp. 189-192) dated to October 477, Pope Simplicius wrote to the Patriarch Acacius about what he thought should be done about the heretic bishops.
  6. Thiel, pp. 213-214.
  7. Thiel, pp. 201-202. Kehr, Paul Fridolin (1906), Italia Pontificia Vol. V: Aemilia, sive Provincia Ravennas (Berlin: Weidmann), pp. (in Latin). p. 301 no. 1. Lanzoni, Francesco (1927). Le diocesi d'Italia dalle origini al principio del secolo VII (an. 604) (Faenza: F. Lega), p. 793, no. 4. (in Italian)
  8. Duchesne, p. 249-250. Loomis, p. 106.
  9. Thiel, p. 175. Edmond Martḕne pointed out that this was the beginning of the custom of the Quattuor Temporum.
  10. Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, p. 249. "Hic sepultus est in basilica beati Petri apostoli, vi non. martias. Et cessavit episcopatus dies vi." Thiel, p. 174 §1. Jaffé, Regesta pontificum Romanorum I, p. 80. Loomis, p. 107.
  11. Pennacchio, Maria Cristina (2000). "Simplicio, santo": "La sua memoria liturgica, indicata dal Martyrologium Romanum al 2 marzo, dal 1971 viene celebrata il 10 marzo."
  12. Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN   88-209-7210-7) [ page needed ] The date of 10 March is also a calculated one; it begins with a calculated date for the death of Pope Hilarius (29 February), and then adds the ten days of the Sede Vacante reported in the Liber Pontificalis. See Duchesne, pp. 247-248.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Felix III