Pope Sixtus II

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Sixtus II
Raphael - Saint Sixtus.JPG
See Rome
Papacy began31 August 257
Papacy ended6 August 258
Predecessor Stephen I
Successor Dionysius
Personal details
Birth nameSixtus
BornUnknown
Greece, Roman Empire
Died(258-08-06)6 August 258
Rome, Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day6/7 August
Venerated in Catholic Church
Other popes named Sixtus

Pope Sixtus II (died 6 August 258) 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. [1] According to the Liber Pontificalis , he was born in Greece and was a philosopher; [2] however, this is uncertain, and is disputed by modern western historians arguing that the authors of Liber Pontificalis confused him with that of the contemporary author Xystus, who was a Greek student of Pythagoreanism. [1] He restored the relations with the African and Eastern churches which had been broken off by his predecessor on the question of heretical baptism raised by the heresy Novatianism.

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.

Catholic Church Largest 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 and largest 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 is the Holy See.

Valerian (emperor) Augustus

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 Roman Empire.

Contents

In the persecutions under Valerian in 258, numerous bishops, priests, and deacons were put to death. Pope Sixtus II was one of the first victims of this persecution, being beheaded on 6 August. He was martyred along with six deacons— Januarius, Vincentius, Magnus, Stephanus, Felicissimus and Agapitus. [1] Lawrence of Rome, his best-known deacon, suffered martyrdom on 10 August, four days after his bishop. [3]

Decapitation complete separation of the head from the body

Decapitation is the complete separation of the head from the body. Such an injury is fatal to humans and animals, since it deprives all other organs of the involuntary functions that are needed for the body to function, while the brain is deprived of oxygenated blood and blood pressure.

Felicissimus and Agapitus Christian martyrs

Felicissimus and Agapitus were two of the six deacons of Pope Sixtus II who were martyred with him on or about 6 August 258, Felicissimus and Agapitus on the same day as the Pope. The seventh deacon, Lawrence of Rome, was martyred on 10 August of the same year.

He is thought by some to be the author of the pseudo-Cyprianic writing Ad Novatianum, though this view has not found general acceptance. Another composition written at Rome, between 253 and 258, is generally agreed to be his.

Cyprian Bishop of Carthage and Christian writer

Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and a notable Early Christian writer of Berber descent, many of whose Latin works are extant. He is also recognised as a saint in the Christian churches. 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 of Cyprian, and eventual martyrdom at Carthage established 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.

It is this Sixtus who is referred to by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass. [1] The Tridentine Calendar commemorated Sixtus, Felicissimus, and Agapitus on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, 6 August. They remained in that position in the General Roman Calendar until 1969, when, with the abolition of commemorations, the memorial of Sixtus "and his companions" was moved to 7 August, the day immediately after that of their death. [4]

Mass (liturgy) type of worship service within many Christian denomination

Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.

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.

Transfiguration of Jesus Episode in the life of Jesus

The transfiguration of Jesus is a story told in the New Testament when Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant in glory upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels describe it, and the Second Epistle of Peter also refers to it. It has also been hypothesized that the first chapter of the Gospel of John alludes to it.

The following inscription honoring Sixtus was placed on his tomb in the catacomb of Callixtus by Pope Damasus I:

Catacomb of Callixtus catacomb in Rome

The Catacomb(s) of Callixtus is one of the Catacombs of Rome on the Appian Way, most notable for containing the Crypt of the Popes, which once contained the tombs of several popes from the 2nd to 4th centuries.

Pope Damasus I pope

Pope Damasus I was Bishop of Rome, from October 366 to his death in 384. He presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of Sacred Scripture. He spoke out against major heresies in the church and encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible with his support for St. Jerome. He helped reconcile the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs.

At the time when the sword pierced the bowels of the Mother, I, buried here, taught as Pastor the Word of God; when suddenly the soldiers rushed in and dragged me from the chair. The faithful offered their necks to the sword, but as soon as the Pastor saw the ones who wished to rob him of the palm (of martyrdom) he was the first to offer himself and his own head, not tolerating that the (pagan) frenzy should harm the others. Christ, who gives recompense, made manifest the Pastor's merit, preserving unharmed the flock. [5]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope St. Sixtus II"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis), translated with introduction by Raymond Davies (Liverpool: University Press, 1989), p. 10
  3. Miller, OFM, Don. "Saint Sixtus II and Companions", Franciscan Media
  4. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 133
  5. J. P. Migne, Patrologia Latina , XIII, 383–4

Literature

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Stephen I
Bishop of Rome
Pope

257–258
Succeeded by
Dionysius