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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

136-175 A.D.

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St. Hyginus : 136-140 A.D.

9. Born in Athens, Elected in 136 - died a martyr in 140.

He determined the different prerogatives of the clergy and defined the grades of ecclesiastical hierarchy; appointed 6 bishops, 15 priests and 6 deacons.

He instituted the role of godparents at the time of baptism for the purpose of guiding the child in his Christian life and ordered that churches should be dedicated.

He was buried near the tomb of St. Peter. His pontificate was short : 4 years, 3 months and 4 days.

St. Pius I : 140-155 A.D.

10. Born in Aquileia. Elected in 140 - died a martyr in 155.

The choice of the date for the celebration of Easter, as the first Sunday after the March full moon, is attributed to Pius I.

He established new and important rules for the conversion of Jews to the Christian faith. He opposed the heresy of the Gnostic Marcion.

His pontificate was during the reign of Antonius Pius: a relatively peaceful time. He had a small chapel built on the site where the church of St. Prassede stands today; the church was later commissioned by Pope Pascal I and preserves the column where Jesus was tide up and flagellated.

Pius I was buried near St. Peter’s tomb after a pontificate of about 15 years.

St. Anicetus I : 155-166 A.D.

11. Born in Syria. Elected in 155 - died a martyr in 166.

He decreed that the clergy could not have long hair. He confirmed that Easter be celebrated on Sunday according to St. Peter’s tradition.

He suffered martyrdom in 166, his body rests in the Chapel of Altemps Palace in Rome. The urn containing his body was used as a sepulchre for Alexander Severius. Anicetus was Pope for about 11 year.

St. Soter : 166-175 A.D.

12. Born in Fondi. Elected in 166 - died a martyr in 175 .

A generous and charitable Pope. The years of his pontificate coincided with the best years of the reign of emperor Marcus Aurelius. He forbade women to burn incense during a congregation of the faithful.

He declared that any marriage which had not been blessed by a priest was not considered valid and established that priest were to celebrate mass on a empty stomach.

His body rest in the Roman Church of S. Martino. He was a pontiff for a little over 9 years.

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Index of Roman Pontiffs


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