Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St. Evaristus : 97-105 A.D.
5. Greek . Elected in 97- died in 105.
Due to the intense growth of the
Christian community he sub-divided the city into parishes. He
instituted the first seven deaconster made of elderly priests who were
later called Cardinals; this is believed to be the origin of the Sacred
He decreed that weddings had to be
blessed by a priest and introduced the Christians to keeping holy
water in their houses.
He is the author of the rite of church
consecration. He was buried near St. Peter after having been a pontiff
for 9 years, 7 months and 2 days.
St. Alexander I : 105-115 A.D.
6. Roman. Elected in 105-died in 115.
A disciple of Plutarch. He
the use of holy water in churches and house and prescribed that the
hosts to be consecrated were to be made with unleavened dough.
He decreed that the wine for the Holy
Sacrifice had to be diluted with water in memory of the chest wound
inflicted on Jesus and decreed that priest could not celebrate more
than one mass a day.
He was buried in the church of S. Sabina.
He governed the Church for 10 years, 7 months and 8 days.
St. Sixtus I : 115-125 A.D.
7. Roman. Elected in 115-died in 125.
He ordered that the corporal be on
that holy furnishing be touched only by priests and he also
established that the "Trisagio" be sung before mass.
He was first buried near the tomb of St.
Peter, but in 1132 Pope Innocent II granted him to the people of Alife
who asked to have his remains.
It is said that during the trip from Rome
to Alife, the mule that was carrying the relics stopped in Alatri and
would not go any further. The people of Alatri kept the relics in the
town cathedral and the people of Alife received a finger bone of Sixtus
I. He governed for 9 years, 3 months and 21 days.
St. Telesphorus : 125-136 A.D.
8. Born in Greece. Elected in 125-died a
martyr in 136.
He composed the chant "Gloria In
Excelsis Deo" and instituted the seven-week fast and penance before
Easter in memory of the fast and penance that Jesus went through
while he was in the desert, this practice is still alive and is known
He established that priest could
celebrate three masses on Christmas Eve and he also introduced new
prayers; subsequently, he is represented with a chalice and three
hosts. He was buried near St. Peter’s Tomb after having governed
the Church for 11 years 2 months and 21 days.
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