Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St. Urban I : 222-230 A.D.
17. Born in Rome. Elected in 222 - died in 230.
He was a fervent evangelizer and is
responsible for St. Cecily’s conversion to Christianity. St. Cecily
sang to God in her heart
while music was playing on her wedding day and has since been regarded
as the patron of
musicians. She died a martyr in 230 and Urban I had a church built to
Trastevere, on the
site of her martyrdom, where here remains now rest.
Urban I consented to the acquisition
of properties in the name of the Church.
He was decapitated after 8 years of pontificate.
Today he rests in the Roman Church of S. Prassede.
St. Pontian : 230-235 A.D.
18. Born in Rome. Elected August 21st, 230 - died September 28, 235.
He ordered that the
psalms be sung in churches and prescribed the recitation of the
"Confiteor Deo" to the
dying and the use of the "Dominus vobiscum" salutation. He was deported
to Sardinia and
condemned to work in the mines.
He is the first Pope to have renounced the papacy; he
did this in order to allow Anterus to become the new pastor of the
He died of
suffering in the small island of Tavolara. His remains rest in the
Church of S. Prassede. He
governed the church for 5 years, 2 months and 7 days.
St. Anterus : 235-236 A.D.
19. From Magna Grecia. Elected December 21st, 235.
He suffered martyrdom under the
Emperor Maximus, a barbarian from Thrace. He ordered that the acts and
relics of the
martyrs be collected and preserved in churches in a special place
called the "Scrinium".
His pontificated lasted only 43 days. He was martyrized while
Pontian was still alive in
Sardinia. He is buried in the Roman Church of San Silvestro in
St. Fabian : 236-250 A.D.
20. Born in Rome. Elected January 10, 236 - died January 20, 250.
During the election
period, a dove settled on Fabian’s head and this was interpreted as a
positive sign from
God and he was subsequently elected.
During his pontificate Rome celebrated its first
millennium with great solemnity and pagan feasts.
The Christians suffered ferocious
persecutions by Emperor Decius; many fled Rome to find refuge
elsewhere and started the
phenomenon of the anchorites.
Due to the persecutions even the church was left without a
pope for 18 months but it was governed by the deacons.
Fabian’s pontificate lasted 14
years and 10 days. He is buried in roman Church of S. Prassede.
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