|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||c. 126|
|Papacy ended||c. 137|
|Born||Terranova da Sibari, Calabria, Italy|
Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
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. The Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a patron saint of the order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel. He is also a Martyr according to the ancient testimony of Irenaeus.
Telesphorus is traditionally considered as being the eighth Roman bishop in succession after Peter. The Liber Pontificalis mentions that he had been an anchorite (or hermit) monk prior to assuming office. According to the testimony of Irenæus (Against Heresies III.3.3), he suffered a "glorious" martyrdom. Although most early popes are called martyrs by sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, Telesphorus is the first to whom Irenaeus, writing considerably earlier, gives this title.
Eusebius (Church History iv.7; iv.14) places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (128–129) and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–139).
In Roman Martyrology, his feast is celebrated on 2 January; the Greek Church celebrates it on 22 February.
The tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of the Gloria are usually attributed to his pontificate, but some historians doubt that such attributions are accurate.
A fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century, also preserved by Eusebius, testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover. Unlike Victor, however, Telesphorus remained in communion with those communities that did not follow this custom.
The Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a patron saint of the order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel.
The town of Saint-Télesphore, in the southwestern part of Canada's Quebec province, is named after him.
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."
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 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 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 Miltiades or Melchiades was the bishop of Rome from 311 to his death on 10 or 11 January 314. It was during his pontificate that Emperor Constantine the Great 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, teaching of Donatus Magnus.
Pope Pius I was 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. He is considered to have opposed both the Valentinians and Gnostics during his papacy. He is considered a saint by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church with a feast day in 11 July, but it is unclear if he died as a martyr.
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 Urban I was the bishop of Rome from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded Pope Callixtus I, who had been martyred. It was previously believed for centuries that Urban I was also martyred. However, recent historical discoveries now lead scholars to believe that he died of natural causes.
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.
The 130s decade ran from January 1, 130, to December 31, 139.
Pope Soter was the bishop of Rome from c. 167 to his death in 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 Evaristus was the bishop of Rome from c. 99 to his death c. 107. He was also known as Aristus. He is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy. He is usually accorded the title of martyr; however, there is no confirmation of this. It is likely that he was the bishop of Rome when John the Apostle died, marking the end of the Apostolic Age.
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 Anacletus, also known as Cletus, was the third Bishop of Rome, following Peter and 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 Clement I, also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch.
Pope Fabian was the bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death on 20 January 250, succeeding Anterus. He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which 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 Sabinian was the bishop of Rome from 13 September 604 to his death. His pontificate occurred during the Eastern Roman domination of the papacy. He was the fourth former apocrisiarius to Constantinople to be elected pope.
Pope Hyginus was the bishop of Rome from c. 138 to his death in c. 142. Tradition holds that during his papacy he determined the various prerogatives of the clergy and defined the grades of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
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|Catholic Church titles|
| Bishop of Rome |