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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

222-250 A.D.

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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 Church.

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 Capite.

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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Index of Roman Pontiffs


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