|Bishop of Rome|
|Born||Early 2nd Century AD|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||28 July|
|Other popes named Victor|
Pope Victor I (died 199) was the bishop of Rome in the late second century (189–199 A.D.). 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 (or Tripolitania). He was later considered a saint. His feast day was celebrated on 28 July as "St Victor I, Pope and Martyr".
The primary sources vary over the dates assigned to Victor's episcopate, but indicate it included the last decade of the second century. Eusebius puts his accession in the tenth year of Commodus (i.e. A.D. 189), which is accepted by Lipsius as the correct date. Jerome's version of the Chronicle puts his accession in the reign of Pertinax, or the first year of Septimius Severus (i.e. 193), while the Armenian version puts it in the seventh year of Commodus (186). The Liber Pontificalis dates his accession to the consulate of Commodus and Glabrio (i.e. 186), while the Liberian Catalogue , a surviving copy of the source the Liber Pontificalis drew upon for its chronology, is damaged at this pointConcerning the duration of his episcopate, Eusebius, in his History, does not state directly the duration of his episcopate, but the Armenian version of Eusebius' Chronicle gives it as 12 years. The Liberian Catalogue gives his episcopate a length of nine years two months and ten days, while the Liber Pontificalis states it was ten years and the same number of months and days; the Felician Catalogue something over ten. Finally, Eusebius in his History (5.28) states Zephyrinus succeeded him "about the ninth year of Severus", (201), while the Liber Pontificalis dates it to the consulate of Laternus and Rufinus (197). Lipsius, considering Victor in connection with his successors, concludes that he held office between nine and ten years, and therefore gives as his dates 189–198 or 199.
According to an anonymous writer quoted by Eusebius, Victor excommunicated Theodotus of Byzantium for teaching that Christ was a mere man.However, he is best known for his role in the Quartodeciman controversy. Prior to his elevation, a difference in dating the celebration of the Christian Passover/Easter between Rome and the bishops of Asia Minor had been tolerated by both the Roman and Eastern churches. The churches in Asia Minor celebrated it on the 14th of the Jewish month of Nisan, the day before Jewish Passover, regardless of what day of the week it fell on, as the Crucifixion had occurred on the Friday before Passover, justifying this as the custom they had learned from the apostles; for this the Latins called them Quartodecimans. Synods were held on the subject in various parts—in Judea under Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem, in Pontus under Palmas, in Gaul under Irenaeus, in Corinth under its bishop, Bachillus, at Osrhoene in Mesopotamia, and elsewhere—all of which disapproved of this practice and consequently issued by synodical letters declaring that "on the Lord's Day only the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord from the dead was accomplished, and that on that day only we keep the close of the paschal fast" (Eusebius H. E. v. 23). Despite this disapproval, the general feeling was that this divergent tradition was not sufficient grounds for excommunication. Victor alone was intolerant of this difference, and severed ties with these ancient churches, whose bishops included such luminaries as Polycrates of Ephesus; in response he was rebuked by Irenaeus and others, according to Eusebius.
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 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 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.
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 March 28th.
Sylvester I was the bishop of Rome from 314 until his death. He is regarded as the 33rd Pope of the Catholic Church. He filled the see of Rome at an important era in the history of the Western Church, yet very little is known of him. The accounts of his pontificate preserved in the seventh- or eighth-century Liber Pontificalis contain little more than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the church by Constantine I, although it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus. His feast is celebrated as Saint Sylvester's Day in Western Christianity on 31 December, while Eastern Christianity commemorates it on 2 January.
Polycarp was a Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body. Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. His name means "much fruit" in Greek. Both Irenaeus and Tertullian record that Polycarp had been a disciple of John the Apostle. In Illustrious Men.17, Jerome writes that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.
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.
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 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 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 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.
Pope Gelasius I was the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church from 1 March AD 492 to his death on 19 November 496. He was probably the third and final bishop of Rome of Berber descent. Gelasius was a prolific author whose style placed him on the cusp between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. His predecessor Felix III employed him especially in drafting papal documents. During his pontificate he called for strict Catholic orthodoxy, more assertively demanded obedience to papal authority, and, consequently, increased the tension between the Western and Eastern Churches.
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.
Melito of Sardis was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in early Christianity. Melito held a foremost place in terms of Bishops in Asia due to his personal influence on Christianity and his literary works, most of which have been lost but of what has been recovered has provided a great insight into Christianity during the second century. Jerome, speaking of the Old Testament canon established by Melito, quotes Tertullian to the effect that he was esteemed as a prophet by many of the faithful. This work by Tertullian has been lost but Jerome quotes pieces regarding Melito for the high regard in which he was held at that time. Melito is remembered for his work on developing the first Old Testament Canon. Though it cannot be determined what date he was elevated to an episcopacy, it is probable that he was bishop during the arising controversy at Laodicea in regard to the observance of Easter, which resulted in him writing his most famous work, an Apology for Christianity to Marcus Aurelius. Little is known of his life outside what works are quoted or read by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius. A letter of Polycrates of Ephesus to Pope Victor about 194 states that "Melito the eunuch [this is interpreted "the virgin" by Rufinus in his translation of Eusebius], whose whole walk was in the Holy Spirit", was buried at Sardis. His feast day is celebrated on April 1.
Quartodecimanism refers to the custom of some early Christians celebrating Passover beginning with the eve of the 14th day of Nisan.
The Patrologia Latina is an enormous collection of the writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers published by Jacques-Paul Migne between 1841 and 1855, with indices published between 1862 and 1865. It is also known as the Latin series as it formed one half of Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, the other part being the Patrologia Graeco-Latina of patristic and medieval Greek works with their medieval Latin translations.
Polycrates of Ephesus was an Early Christian bishop who resided in Ephesus.
The controversy over the correct date for Easter began in Early Christianity as early as the 2nd century AD. Discussion and disagreement over the best method of computing the date of Easter Sunday has been ongoing and unresolved for centuries. Different Christian denominations continue to celebrate Easter on different dates, with Eastern and Western Christian churches being a notable example.
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