|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy ended||20 December 217|
|Born||Rome, Roman Empire|
|Died||20 December 217|
Rome, Roman Empire
|Feast day||20 December|
Pope Zephyrinus was the fifteenth bishop of Rome from 199 to his death on 20 December 217.He was born in Rome, and succeeded Victor I. Upon his death on 20 December 217, he was succeeded by his principal advisor, Callixtus I. He is known for combatting heresies and defending the divinity of Christ.
During the 18-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".According to St. Optatus, Zephyrinus also combated new heresies and apostasies, chief of which were Marcion, Praxeas, Valentine and the Montanists. 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suffering – both mental and spiritual – during his pontificate have earned him the title of martyr, a title that was repealed 132 years after his death.
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.
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.
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 deathwhich is 20 December, the day under which he is now mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. His feast is currently celebrated on 26 August in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Antipope Felix, was a Roman archdecon in the 4th century. He was installed as antipope from 355 to 365. Previously he was an archdeacon of Rome. He was installed irregularly in 355 after Emperor Constantius banished the reigned pope Liberius. Constantius, following the refusal of the laity to accept Felix attempted to have them co-rule but Felix was forced to retire. He resented in his lifetime but has enjoyed a more popular memory since. Antipope, in the Roman Catholic church described any figure attempting to oppose the legitimately elected Bishop of Rome, with Felix being among the unsuccessful.
Pope Miltiades, also known as Melchiades the African, 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 tenth 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 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 Urban I (175?-230) was the bishop of Rome from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded 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 Stephen I was the bishop of Rome from 12 May 254 to his death on 2 August 257.
Pope Felix I was the bishop of Rome from 5 January 269 to his death on 30 December 274.
Pope Soter was the twelfth 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 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.
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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, 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 Pontian was the bishop of Rome from 21 July 230 to 28 September 235. In 235, during the persecution of Christians in the reign of the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, Pontian was arrested and sent to the island of Sardinia. He resigned to make the election of a new pope possible. When Pontian resigned on 28 September 235, he was the first pope to do so. It allowed an orderly transition in the Church of Rome and so ended a schism that had existed in the Church for eighteen years.
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 Marcellinus was the bishop of Rome from 30 June 296 to his death in 304. He may have renounced Christianity during Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians before repenting afterwards, which would explain why he is omitted from lists of martyrs. He is today venerated as a saint in Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Church.
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.
Eusebius of Vercelli was a bishop from Sardinia and is counted a saint. Along with Athanasius, he affirmed the divinity of Jesus against Arianism.
Saint Gorgonius of Nicomedia was a Christian martyr, part of the group Gorgonius, Peter Cubicularius and Dorotheus, who died in 304 AD at Nicomedia during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian.
Martina of Rome was a Roman martyr under emperor Alexander Severus. A patron saint of Rome, she was martyred in 226, according to some authorities, more probably in 228, under the pontificate of Pope Urban I, according to others. Her feast day is January 30.
Marcellus of Capua was a third- or fourth-century martyr who was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in the 13th century. He is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, with 7 October as his feast day.
Saint Agapitus is venerated as a martyr saint, who died on August 18, perhaps in 274, a date that the latest editions of the Roman Martyrology say is uncertain.
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