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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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POPE SAINT SYLVESTER I

The thirty-third bishop of Rome, Sylvester was consecrated January 31, 314 and was buried December 31, 335, having completed nearly 22 years as head of the Church at Rome. A native Roman, Sylvester's parents were Rufinus and Justa. Legend has it that he was ordained by Pope Marcellinus before the Diocletian persecutions began. Later, he wa...

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POPE SAINT MILITIADES, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH

The second pope who was acclaimed an African, Militiades was most likely of Berber parentage. Whether he was born in Africa or in Rome is not known. It is estimated that he was born in the mid 200s. Militiades, a priest, was elected to the See of Peter after it had been empty for over a year, due to the forced emigration of Pope St. E...

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POPE SAINT EUSEBIUS, DEFENDER OF DISCIPLINE

Pope Eusebius reigned for four months during the year 309 or 310. He should not be confused with other Saints Eusebius nor with Eusebius of Caesaria who wrote the great book Ecclesiastical History, shortly after this pope died. Eusebius was Greek and either his father or he was a physician. At some point he came to Rome and became involved wi...

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POPE SAINT MARCELLUS

The Bishop of Rome was dead in 304. Diocletian's persecution was in full force. Meeting places were confiscated as well as some of the burial grounds. People were in fear of being caught at Mass or other services and the presbyters were in hiding when not needed. The Christian Church was torn apart. Daily activities could not be conducted an...

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POPE SAINT MARCELLINUS, BUILDER OF THE EARLY CHURCH

A Roman, son of Projectus (per Liberian Catalog), Marcellinus succeeded Pope Caius to the seat of Peter on June 30, 296. It was a time of peace throughout most of the Empire. Diocletian had become emperor in 284. His policies stabilized the empire and put an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. He reorganized the government structure, es...

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POPE SAINT CAIUS

Pope Saint Caius Knowing our own history makes us value it more. To know the history of the Church makes us value further. Even those people who are far into the depths of anonymity should be brought to the surface and looked at, however briefly. Like too much of our history, Pope Caius' story is based on stories and conjecture. This m...

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POPE SAINT FELIX I

Felix, before his ascension to the papacy, is unknown. He is believed to have been Roman. He must have had some position in the Roman Church to be elected after the death of Dionysius. At any rate, he took the throne on January 5, 269. At this time, the borders of the empire were very porous. Barbarians had been invading periodically for year...

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