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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

366-417 A.D.

St. Damasus I : 366-384 A.D.

37. Born in Spain. Elected October 1, 366 - died December 11, 384.

Damasus was a learned Pope. He authorized the signing of the psalms by alternate choirs ( Ambrosian rite ) instituted by St. Ambrogio.

He commissioned the translation of the Sacred Scripture, introduced the use of the word “ Alleluia”, and called the 2nd Ecumenical Council.

He is especially remembered for the restoration of the catacombs and the construction and care of churches and monuments.

He is buried in the Church of San Lorenzo in Damaso in Rome that was built during his pontificate. His pontificate lasted 18 years.

St. Siricius : 384-399 A.D.

38. Born in Rome. Elected December 15, 384 - died November 26, 399.

He was the first, from the time of St. Peter, to assume the title of Pope, from the Greek “papa” which means father although others believe it is a anagram formed from “Petri, Apostoli, Potestatem, Accipiens”.

He sustained the necessity of celibacy for priest and deacon.

During his pontificates many churches were built, including the Basilica of San Paolo in the same proportion as it is today.

He is buried in the Church of S. Prassede in Rome. He governed the Church for about 15 years.

St. Anastasius I : 399-401 A.D.

39. Born in Rome. Elected November 27, 399 - died December 19, 401.

He settled the schism between Rome and the church of Antiochia.

He vigorously fought the followers of immoral practices who maintained that the divinity was also hidden in material things.

He prescribed that priest must stand while listening to the Gospels and that no one with physical defects could become a priest. .

His remains rest in the church of San Martino ai Monti in Rome. He was Pope for a little over 2 years.

St. Innocent I : 401-417 A.D.

40. Born in Albano ( Rome ) . Elected December 22, 401 - died March 12, 417.

He witnessed the sacking of Rome by the Goths of Alaric.

He established the observance of the Roman rites, the catalogue of canonical books. He ruled the relations between the Christians, the Jews and the pagans.

He persuaded Honorius to prohibit gladiator contests in the circus.

Innocent I confirmed the tradition of not celebrating mass on Holy Friday.

He is buried in the church of San Martino ai Monti in Rome. He governed the Church for 15 years and 3 months.

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