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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

492-523 A.D.

St. Gelasius I : 492-496 A.D.

49. Born in Rome and of African origins. Elected March 1st, 492 - died November 21, 496.

He instituted the Code for the uniforming of rites and ceremonies.

Due to his charitable generosity toward the needy, he was called “Father of the poor people”.

He maintained the supremacy of the Church over that of the Kings.

He introduced into the mass, the Greek invocation “Kyrie Eleison” “God have mercy” and instituted the feast of the Purification (Ash day).

The invocation for the dead “Requiem Aeternam” used the Latin rites comes from the IV book of Esra. At this time, the mitre becomes an essential piece for the priest to use during religious ceremonies.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He governed 4 years and 8 months.

Comment: The temporal power of the Church was cemented.

Anastasius II : 496-498 A.D.

50. Born in Rome. Elected November 24, 496 - died November 19, 498.

During his pontificate Clovis, King of the Franks, was converted to Christianity and Anastasius baptized him together with 3000 other Franks.

In his own was, he was so irresolute about putting an end to the schism to the point that he was accused of heresy; Dante placed him in hell because of this reputation.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted 2 years.

St. Symmachus : 498-514 A.D.

51. Born in Sardinia. Elected November 22, 498 - died July 19, 514.

He legitimated the ecclesiastical properties and assigned them to the clergy for their use.

He redeemed all the slaves and gave them their freedom.

The construction of the first Vatican Palace is attributed to him as well as the fountains in St. Peter’s Square.

During a synod in 499, he ordered that the election process for a new Pope could not take place if the governing Pope was still alive.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He was a pontiff for 15 years and 8 months.

St. Hormisdas : 514-523 A.D.

52. Born in Frosinone. Elected July 20, 514 - died August 6, 523.

During his pontificate St. Benedict founded his order and the famous abbey in Montecassino, which was completely destroyed by the bombing of 1944.

He established that bishops could not be ordained in exchange for privileges.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. He was a Pope for about 9 years.

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Index of Roman Pontiffs

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