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POPE STORIES

POPE SAINT CELESTINE

APRIL 6 is the traditional memorial of POPE ST. CELESTINE (+432). Like many of the early Fathers, little is known about Celestine before he was elevated to the papacy. We do know tht he was a Roman and his father's name was Priscus. Pope St. Innocent I did mention him in a letter he wrote in 416, referring to him as Celestine the Deacon. ...

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POPE BONIFACE I

Boniface was a native Roman, son of a presbyter, Jocundus (maybe Secundius). He was elderly at the time of his consecration. We know this because he was ordained by Pope Damasus, who ruled 366-384. So, he had already served as a priest for at least 34 years. It is most likely that Boniface served as papal legate to Constantinople under Pope In...

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POPE ST. ZOSIMUS, THE ROCK WHICH PROVED UNSTABLE

According to the Liber pontificalis, Zosimus was of Greek origin whose family had settled on the east coast of the Italian peninsula in Mesoraca, Calabria. As is typical of this time, nothing is known about the man until he rose to the Chair of Peter. Zosimus was consecrated 18 March 417. Within four days, he was already making waves in th...

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POPE SAINT INNOCENT I, THE ENERGETIC POPE

Innocent I is known as one of the most energetic popes of the early Church. You will see why, shortly. Apparently, Innocent was the son of Pope Anastasius, who preceeded him. It is said that he was born March 11, 378, possibly in Albano Laziale, a commune in the province of Rome. If that is the case, Innocent would have been 21 when his fa...

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SAINT POPE ANASTASIUS I

Pope Anastasius stands out as a little known man, with one unusual characteristic: he was succeeded by his own son, Innocent I. Anastasius was known as a pious youth and, apparently, cared nothing for material things as an adult. He was born about the year 330AD, a Roman, whose father's name was Maximus. When he was a young man, Anastasiu...

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POPE SAINT SIRICIUS

The pontificate of Siricius was in no way as violent or disturbing as that of his predecessor, Pope Damasus. A native of Rome, Siricius had been active in the Church since he was a young man. He started as a lector, was ordained a deacon during the pontificate of Liberius, and served in some capacity under Damasus. After that pope's death,...

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POPE ST. DAMASUS I, DEFENDER AGAINST SCHISMS

Today's pope was born and grew up around Rome. As a child, his parents, Antonius and Laurentia, seperated so that they could live the rest of their lives in the consecrated state. Antonius became a priest and his house became the church, San Lorenzo. Damasus served with his father in this little church. He was a child when the Edict of Mi...

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POPE LIBERIUS I

Pope Liberius is the first pope in history not to be awarded sainthood by the Church. Once you read the controversy which embroiled his papacy, you will understand why. Having had the freedom to practice the Faith for slightly more than a generation, the politics of the Church had become so entwined with that of the emperor of Rome that it ...

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POPE JULIUS I, SUPPORTER OF ORTHODOXY

Pope Marcus died on October 7, 336. No one was elected to replace him until February 6, the next year. At that time, Julius, son of Rustics, a Roman, was raised to the Chair of Peter. Almost as soon as Julius was proclaimed, the great emperor, Constantine died. He, it is recalled, tended to favor the new heresy, the Arians, who insisted tha...

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POPE SAINT MARCUS

There were 34 popes in the first 300 years of the Church's history. The 34th, discussed today, is Pope St. Marcus (or Mark). The Liber Pontificalis lists him as a Roman, the son of a man named Priscus. Marcus was apparently active in the Roman church for many years, living through one of the most trying times in Christian history. In 3...

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