Pope Zephyrinus

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Pope Saint

Zephyrinus
Bishop of Rome
Pope Zephyrinus.jpg
Papacy began199
Papacy ended20 December 217
Predecessor Victor I
Successor Callixtus I
Personal details
Birth nameZepheniah
Born Rome, Roman Empire
Died20 December 217
Rome, Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day20 December

Pope Zephyrinus (died 20 December 217) was Bishop of Rome or pope from 199 to his death in 217. [1] He was born in Rome. His predecessor was Pope Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Pope Callixtus I. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the divinity of Christ.

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.

Pope Victor I pope

Pope Victor I was Bishop of Rome and hence a pope, 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 Callixtus I Pope from 217 to 222

Pope Callixtus I, also called Callistus I, Hijazi Arabic: كاليكطس(Kaliktus), 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). He was martyred for his Christian faith and is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church.

Contents

Papacy

During the 17-year pontificate of Zephyrinus, the young Church endured persecution under the Emperor Severus until his death in the year 211. To quote Alban Butler, "this holy pastor was the support and comfort of the distressed flock". [2] According to St. Optatus, Zephyrinus also combated new heresies and apostasies, chief of which were Marcion, Praxeas, Valentine and the Montanists. [3] Eusebius insists that Zephyrinus fought vigorously against the blasphemies of the two Theodotuses, who in response treated him with contempt, but later called him the greatest defender of the divinity of Christ. Although he was not physically martyred for the faith, his suffering – both mental and spiritual – during his pontificate have earned him the title of martyr, a title that was repealed 132 years after his death. [4]

Septimius Severus Emperor of Ancient Rome

Septimius Severus, also known as Severus, was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna in the Roman province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the cursus honorum—the customary succession of offices—under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors.

Alban Butler was an English Roman Catholic priest and hagiographer.

Optatus theologian and priest (0400-0400)

Saint Optatus, sometimes anglicized as St. Optate, was Bishop of Milevis, in Numidia, in the fourth century, remembered for his writings against Donatism.

Conflicts

During the reign of the Emperor Severus (193–211), relations with the young Christian Church deteriorated, and in 202 or 203 the edict of persecution appeared which forbade conversion to Christianity under the severest penalties. [1]

Zephyrinus's predecessor Pope Victor I had excommunicated Theodotus the Tanner for reviving a heresy that Christ only became God after his resurrection. Theodotus' followers formed a separate heretical community at Rome ruled by another Theodotus, the Money Changer, and Asclepiodotus. Natalius, who was tortured for his faith during the persecution, was persuaded by Asclepiodotus to become a bishop in their sect in exchange for a monthly stipend of 150 denarii. Natalius then reportedly experienced several visions warning him to abandon these heretics. According to an anonymous work entitled The Little Labyrinth quoted by Eusebius, Natalius was whipped a whole night by an angel; the next day he donned sackcloth and ashes, and weeping bitterly threw himself at the feet of Zephyrinus. [5] [1]

Theodotus of Byzantium was an early Christian writer from Byzantium, one of several named Theodotus whose writings were condemned as heresy in the early church.

Natalius was a figure in early church history who is sometimes considered to be the first antipope of Rome.

Eusebius Greek church historian

Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely learned Christian of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who ruled between 306 and 337 AD.

Feast day

A feast of St Zephyrinus, Pope and Martyr, held on 26 August, was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in the 13th century, but was removed in the 1969 revision, since he was not a martyr and 26 August is not the anniversary of his death [6] which is 20 December, the day under which he is now mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. [7]

The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints and mysteries of the Lord in the Roman Rite, wherever this liturgical rite is in use. These celebrations are a fixed annual date; or occur on a particular day of the week ; or relate to the date of Easter. National and diocesan liturgical calendars, including that of the diocese of Rome itself as well as the calendars of religious institutes and even of continents, add other saints and mysteries or transfer the celebration of a particular saint or mystery from the date assigned in the General Calendar to another date.

Mysterii Paschalis is an apostolic letter issued motu proprio by Pope Paul VI on 14 February 1969. It reorganized the liturgical year of the Roman Rite and revised the liturgical celebrations of Jesus Christ and the saints in the General Roman Calendar.

The Roman Martyrology is the official martyrology of the Catholic Church. Its use is obligatory in matters regarding the Roman Rite liturgy, but dioceses, countries and religious institutes may add duly approved appendices to it. It provides an extensive but not exhaustive list of the saints recognized by the Church.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Kirsch, Johann Peter (1912). "Pope St. Zephyrinus"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 15. New York: Robert Appleton.
  2. A. Butler, Lives of the Saints Vol VIII, 1866
  3. Optatus, De Schismate 1,1
  4. Berti, Sæc 3. Diss. 1.t. 2 p 158
  5. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 5.28.9-12; translated by G.A. Williamson, Eusebius: The History of the Church (Harmonsworth: Penguin, 1965), pp. 236f
  6. "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 136
  7. "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN   88-209-7210-7)

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References

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

199–217
Succeeded by
Callixtus I