Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St. Cornelius : 251-253 A.D.
21. Born in Rome. Elected March 251 - died June 253.
The first schism took place during
his pontificate because of the election of the Anti-pope Novatian,
who was later
excommunicated during a Council held in Rome.
He died in Civitavecchia were he had
been exiled after refusing to offer sacrifices to the pagan gods, but
he was not martyrized.
At the time of Pope Cornelius the Church of Rome had 154 officers: 4
priest, 7 deacons,
7 junior deacons, 42 acolytes, 52 exorcists, readers and host givers.
He is buried in the
church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. His pontificate lasted 2
years and 3 months.
Comment: Note that Eucharistic Ministers were
in existence over 1,700 years ago under the name of host givers
S. Lucius I : 253-254 A.D.
22. Born in Rome. Elected June 25, 253 - died March 5, 254.
A Pope of ascetic nature, he
prohibited cohabitation between men and women not related by blood and
clergies could not live with deaconesses even if given lodging for
reason of charity.
seems that he was elected in Civitavecchia were he had followed
Cornelius in exile. Before
dying, he entrusted his supreme pontifical powers to his Archdeacon
Stephen and pledge
for his election as successor.
His is buried in the Church of S. Cecilia.
St. Stephen I : 254-257 A.D.
23. Born in Rome. Elected May 12, 254 - died August 2, 257.
During his pontificate, the
struggle against the schismatic followers of Novatian flared up again.
He used a ring with
his name and a cross on it as a seal and started the origin of the
piscatory ring. He
prohibited the priests from wearing liturgical clothes outside of the
beheaded during a religious function in the catacombs of St. Callisto
while seated on his
He is buried in the Church of San Silvestro in Capite. He was a
3 years and 3 months.
St. Sixtus II : 257-258 A.D.
24. Born in Greece . Elected August 30, 257 - died a martyr August
disposition, he settled the disputes that had arisen under Cornelius,
Lucius and Stephen.
Because of another persecution of the Christian he feared for the
mortal remains of St.
Peter and St. Paul and hid them in a crypt along the Appian was called
presently known as San Sebastiano. The exclamation "Deo Gratias"
was pronounced for
the first time during the martyrdom of St. Cypriot.
He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted less
than one year.
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