Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St. Dionysius : 259-268 A.D.
25. Born in Turio. elected July 22, 259 - died December 26, 268.
He was elected a year
after his predecessor because of the persecutions against the
Christians. At the time, the
barbarians were storming at the gates of the Roman empire.
He reorganized the parishes
of Rome and obtained liberty for the Christians imprisoned by
Gallienus. A few months
after his election, the emperor promoted new laws in favour of
Christians and the Church
was able to regain possession of many properties, such as buildings and
the first Pope not be a martyr. His body rests in Roman Church of
San Silvestro in Capite.
He was a pontiff for 9 years and 6 months.
Comment: Note that fear kept the Universal
Church without a Pastor.
St. Felix I : 269-274 A.D.
26. Born in Rome. Elected January 5, 269 - died December 30, 274.
He asserted the divinity
and humanity of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of two natures in one
the persecutions of Emperor Aurelian. He started the custom of
burying martyrs under
church altars, the celebration of mass on their tombs and liturgical
regulations for the cult
of martyrs in the catacombs: "hic constituit supra memorias
martyrum missas celebrate".
He is buried in the Roman Church of St. Prassede. He was a pontiff
for almost 6 years.
St. Eutychian : 275-283 A.D.
27. Born at Luni in Etruria. Elected January 4, 275 - died December
that martyrs be wrapped with red Dalmatics: a rich tunic reserved for
These tunics are worn by deacons in solemn present-day functions.
He instituted the
blessing of the crops and ordered that drunkards be excommunicated
regained control of this problem.
His body has been transferred to the Cathedral of
Sarzana. He was Pope for almost 9 years.
St. Caius : 283-296 A.D.
28. Born at Salona, in Dalmatia. Elected December 17, 283 - died a
martyr April 22, 296.
He suffered martyrdom, not ordered by
his uncle Diocletian. He
established that a bishop
could be nominated only if he had already been a hostarius, reader,
subdeacon, deacon and a priest. He started, by accepting the adoration,
the ritual of
kissing the foot.
With the transfer of the capital of the Empire from Rome to
Caius witnessed the beginning of the events that under Constantine
established Rome as
the exclusive site of the papacy.
He is buried in the roman Church of San Silvestro in
Capite. He was a pontiff for a little over 12 years.
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