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POPE STORIES

POPE SAINT SYMMACHUS (498-514)

Pope Symmachus is, unfortunately, more well known for the difficulty he had holding on to his reign than for the things he did to earn him the name "saint". He was alive during difficult times. Symmachus was born in Sardinia, the son of a man named Fortunatus. The family was probably pagan, for Symmachus was baptized in Rome. He ...

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POPE ANASTASIUS II (496-498)

POPE ANASTASIUS II Anastasius was only the second pope to not be considered a saint, the first being Liberius. This is probably due to the problems Anastasius had in trying to end the Acacian schism. If you recall, it all started some years back with the Council of Chalderon, which condemned the teachings of Eutyches and Nestorius, approv...

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POPE SAINT GALASIUS, 49TH POPE (492-496)

Gelasius, son of Valerius, was a Roman citizen of African descent, very possibly Berber. If he was born in Africa, it would have been before the Vandal takeover in 439, or else he would not have been born a Roman citizen. Gelasius was an ordained priest and acted as secretary for Pope Felix III, writing many of his ecclesiastical documents fo...

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POPE ST FELIX III (483-492)

POPE SAINT FELIX III Saint Felix can be said to be the first pope of the Dark Ages. He is numbered III rather that II, because the antipope Felix II was a brief ruler before he was ousted in 365. The Western Roman Empire had fallen when the barbarians, under leadership of Odoacer of the Herouli tribe, had overcome the weak Roman emperor...

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POPE SAINT HILARIUS (461-468)

Pope Hilarius is one of the first popes of whom we hear stories before his consecration. It is a little complicated, so just follow along: Under Pope Leo I, Hilarius, from the island of Sardinia, was a deacon. In 445, Flavian, a godly man, was raised to Bishop of Constantinople, Politics got between him and the Emperor Theodosius. The...

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POPE SAINT LEO THE GREAT

Leo the Great, as he is called, was a significant contributor to the centralization of the spiritual authority of the Church. He is one of the most well known of the popes of the early Church. Leo, the son of Quintanus, was an Italian aristocrat and a native of Tuscany. He was born around 400. Apparently, he realized early on that he wanted...

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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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