|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||31 August 257|
|Papacy ended||6 August 258|
Greece, Roman Empire
|Died||6 August 258|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||6/7 August|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Other popes named Sixtus|
Pope Sixtus II was 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 Christians by Emperor Valerian.
According to the Liber Pontificalis , he was born in Greece and was a philosopher;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.
Sixtus II 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.
In the persecutions under Emperor 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.Lawrence of Rome, his best-known deacon, suffered martyrdom on 10 August, four days after his bishop.
Sixtus 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.
Sixtus II is referred to by name in the Roman Canon of the Mass.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.
The following inscription honoring Sixtus was placed on his tomb in the catacomb of Callixtus by Pope Damasus I:
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.
Pope Linus was the second bishop of Rome. His pontificate endured from c. AD 67 to his death. Among those to have been pope, Peter, Linus, and Clement I are specifically named in the New Testament. Linus is named in the valediction of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul the Apostle in Rome near the end of Paul's life.
Pope Callixtus I, also called Callistus I, was the bishop of Rome from c. 218 to his death c. 222 or 223. He lived during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. Eusebius and the Liberian catalogue gave him five years of episcopate (217–222). In 217, when Callixtus followed Zephyrinus as Bishop of Rome, he started to admit into the church converts from sects or schisms. He was martyred for his Christian faith and is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church.
Pope Sixtus I, also spelled Xystus, a Roman of Greek descent, was the bishop of Rome from c. 115 to his death. He succeeded Pope Alexander I and was in turn succeeded by Pope Telesphorus. His feast is celebrated on 6 April.
Pope Sixtus III was the bishop of Rome from 31 July 432 to his death on 18 August 440. His ascension to the papacy is associated with a period of increased construction in the city of Rome. His feast day is celebrated by Catholics on 28 March.
Pope Valentine was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States for two months in 827. He was unusually close to his predecessor, Eugene II, rumoured to be his son or his lover, and became pope before being ordained as a priest. He was a nobleman and elected by nobility, which later became the custom.
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".
Pope Felix I was the bishop of Rome from 5 January 269 to his death on 30 December 274.
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.
Pope Lucius I was the bishop of Rome from 25 June 253 to his death on 5 March 254. He was banished soon after his consecration, but gained permission to return. He was mistakenly classified as a martyr in the persecution by Emperor Valerian, which did not begin until after Lucius' death.
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 Dionysius was the bishop of Rome from 22 July 259 to his death on 26 December 268. His task was to reorganize the Roman church, after the persecutions of Emperor Valerian I and the edict of toleration by his successor Gallienus. He also helped rebuild the churches of Cappadocia, devastated by the marauding Goths.
Pope Fabian was the bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death on 20 January 250, succeeding Anterus. 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 Caius, also called Gaius, was the bishop of Rome from 17 December 283 to his death in 296. Little information on Caius is available except that given by the Liber Pontificalis, which relies on a legendary account of the martyrdom of Susanna of Rome for its information. According to legend, Caius baptized the men and women who had been converted by Tiburtius and Castulus. His legend states that Caius took refuge in the catacombs of Rome and died a martyr.
Pope Simplicius was the bishop of Rome from 468 to his death. He combated the Eutychian heresy, ended the practice of consecrating bishops only in December, and sought to offset the effects of Germanic invasions.
Saint Lawrence or Laurence was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome, Italy, under Pope Sixtus II who were martyred in the persecution of the Christians that the Roman Emperor Valerian ordered in 258. Lawrence encountered the future Pope Sixtus II, who was of Greek origin and one of the most famous and highly esteemed teachers, in Caesaraugusta. Eventually, both left Spain for Rome. When Sixtus became the Pope in 257, he ordained Lawrence as a deacon, and though Lawrence was still young appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the cathedral church.
August 9 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - August 11
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.
August 20 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - August 22
Justin the Confessor was a Christian martyr in the Roman Empire. He is honoured as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
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