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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

440-492 A.D.

259  |  296  |  314  |  366  |  417  |  440  |  492  |  523  |  535  |  561  |  604  |  Index

St. Leo I : 440-461 A.D.

45. Born in the Tuscia region. Elected November 29 - died September 10, 461.

Leo was called “the Great“ for his energetic and able work in maintaining the unity of the church.

He called the 4th Ecumenical Council and defined the mystery of the incarnation.

He went to confront Attila, King of the Huns, and induced him to with draw from coming to Rome.

He was buried in the old Constantinian Basilica on the site which is today called “Cappella della Colonna”. His pontificate lasted 21 years.

St. Hilarus : 461-468 A.D.

46. Born in Cagliari. Elected November 19, 461 - died February 29, 468.

With his political matters he followed the school of his great predecessor.

He established that a certain level of culture was necessary to become a priest and decided that neither a Pope nor the bishops could nominate their successors.

He instituted an Apostolic Vicariate in Spain and founded two libraries at the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. The libraries were later rearranged by Nicholas V and then transferred to the Vatican; they became the first nucleus of the Vatican Library.

He is buried in the Roman Basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura. He governed for almost 7 years.

St. Simplicius : 468-483 A.D.

47. Born in Tivoli. Elected March 3, 468 - died March 10, 483.

During his pontificate the Western Empire came to an end and the schism led to the founding of the churches of Armenia, Syria and Egypt (Copts).

He regulated the distribution of offerings to the pilgrims and new churches.

He was the first Pope that addressed an emperor using the formula “Dear son”.

He subdivided Rome into five districts, the same number as that of the roman Basilicas.

He is buried in the St. Peter’s Basilica. He was a pontiff for 15 years.

St. Felix III : 483-492 A.D.

48. Born in rome. elected March 13, 483 - died March 1st, 492.

He tried to restore peace in the turmoiled Eastern Church.

Before being elected he had sons, one of them was the father of the famous St. Gregory the Great.

He wished to be buried in the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Where his family tomb was located. He is the only Pope buried in this Basilica. His pontificate lasted 9 years.

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Index of Roman Pontiffs


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