Papacy - A Historical Perspective
St. Silvester I : 314-335 A.D.
33. Born in Rome. Elected January 31, 314 - died December 31, 335.
He celebrated the first Ecumenical
Council at Nicea and it was at
thistime that the “Credo” was composed.
Silvester was the first to use
a leadseal during the solemn acts: The seal had his name and the
apostles’ headsimprinted on it.
He instituted Sunday as a holiday
dedicated to Godin memory of the creation and was the first Pope to
wear the tiara.
He created the “Iron Crown” with a nail from the Holy
The Church of S. Giovanni in Laterano became Rome’s cathedral and
was consecratedby Silvester on November 9, 324.
Emperor Constantine the
Great, who wasbaptized by Silvester, started planning the St. Peter’s
Basilica in theVatican.
Silvester was buried in the Roman Church of S.
Silvestro in Capite. His pontificate lasted almost 22 years.
St. Mark : 336 A.D.
34. Born in Rome Elected January 18, 336 - died October 7, 336.
He decreed that the Pope should be
consecrated by the Bishop of
He instituted the “Pallium” which is still in use today: a
white woollong scarf, made from two blessed white lambs and decorated
His Pallium is preserved in a silver casket
near St. Peter’s tomb.
During his pontificate, the first religious
calendar was drawn up.
He had two churches built: the Santa Balbina on
the Appian way and San Marco at Piazza Venezia.
Mark was buried in the
Roman Church that bearshis name. He was a Pope for less than a year.
St. Julius I : 337-352 A.D.
35. Born Rome. Elected February 6, 337 - died April 12, 352.
He ordered the Eastern church to
celebrate Christmas on the 25th
of December instead of January 6th, the Epiphany.
He is considered to be
thefounder of the archives of the Holy See.
The oldest portrayal of a
Popeon his papal chair is the one of Julius I seated on an
extraordinarilyornate chair in a blessing pose.
His body is buried in
the Church of SantaMaria in Trastevere in Rome. He was a pontiff for 15
Liberius : 352-366 A.D.
36. Born in Rome. Elected May 17, 352 - died November 24, 366.
polemics with the Arians continued and lead to the election of the
Liberius started the work for the foundation of the
Basilica of SantaMaria Maggiore on a perimeter that he traced after a
snowfall on August15.
He ordered that disputes were not to be settled
and payments were tobe postponed on days of fasting.
He is the
first Pope without the titleof Saint.
He was exiled to France
because of disagreements with theEmperor Constance.
He is buried in the
Vatican Grottoes. His pontificatelasted a little over 14 years.
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