Pope Eleutherius

Pope Eleutherius (died 189), also known as Eleutherus, was the Bishop of Rome from c. 174 to his death.[1] (The Vatican cites 171 or 177 to 185 or 193.) According to the Liber Pontificalis, he was a Greek born in Nicopolis in Epirus, Greece.[2][3] His contemporary Hegesippus wrote that he was a deacon of the Roman Church under Pope Anicetus (c. 154–164), and remained so under Pope Soter, whom he succeeded around 174.[4]

Pope Saint

Eleutherius
13-St.Eleuterus
Papacy beganc. 174
Papacy ended189
PredecessorSoter
SuccessorVictor I
Personal details
Birth nameEleutherius
BornNicopolis, Epirus
Died189
Rome, Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day26 May

Dietary law

The 6th-century recension of Liber Pontificalis ('Book of the Popes') known as the "Felician Catalog"[a] includes additional commentary to the work's earlier entry on Eleutherius. One addition ascribes to Eleutherius the reïssuance of a decree:[b][5] "And he again affirmed that no food should be repudiated by Christians strong in their faith, as God created it, [provided] however that it is sensible and edible." Such a decree might have been issued against early continuations of Jewish dietary law and against similar laws practiced by the Gnostics and Montanists. It is also possible, however, that the editor of the passage attributed to Eleutherius a decree similar to another issued around the year 500 in order to give it greater authority.

British mission

Another addition credited Eleutherius with receiving a letter from "Lucius, King of Britain" or "King of the Britons", declaring an intention to convert to Christianity.[c] No earlier accounts of this mission have been found. It is now generally considered to be a pious forgery, although there remains disagreement over its original purpose. Haddan, Stubbs, and Wilkins[6] considered the passage "manifestly written in the time and tone" of St Prosper, secretary to Pope Leo the Great in the mid-5th century, and supportive of the missions of St Germanus and St Palladius.[6] Duchesne dated the entry a little later to the pontificate of Boniface II around 530,[1] and Mommsen to the early 7th century.[1] Only the last would support the conjecture that it aimed to support the Gregorian mission to the Anglo-Saxons led by St Augustine, who encountered great difficulty with the native British Christians, as at the Synod of Chester. Indeed, the Celtic Christians invoked the antiquity of their church to generally avoid submission to Canterbury until the Norman conquest, but it is noteworthy that no arguments invoking the mission to Lucius appear to have been made by either side during the synods among the Welsh and Saxon bishops.

The first Englishman to mention the story was Bede[8][9] and he seems to have taken it, not from native texts or traditions, but from The Book of the Popes. Subsequently, it appeared in the 9th-century History of the Britons traditionally credited to Nennius: The account relates that a mission from the pope baptised "Lucius, the Britannic king, with all the petty kings of the whole Britannic people".[10][11] The account, however, dates this baptism to AD 167 (a little before Eleutherius's pontificate) and credits it to Evaristus (reigned c. 99 – c. 107).[10][11] In the 12th century, more details began to be added to the story. Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain goes into great detail concerning Lucius and names the pope's envoys to him as Fagan and Duvian.[12] [13] The 12th-century Book of Llandaf placed the court of Lucius in southern Wales and names his emissaries to the pope as Elfan and Medwy.[14]

An echo of this legend penetrated even to Switzerland. In a homily preached at Chur and preserved in an 8th- or 9th-century manuscript, St Timothy is represented as an apostle to Gaul, whence he went into Roman Britain and baptised a king named Lucius, who himself became a missionary to Gaul and finally settled at Chur, where he preached the gospel with great success. In this way Lucius, the early missionary of the Swiss district of Chur, became identified with the alleged British king of the Liber Pontificalis.[15]

Harnack suggests that in the document which the compiler of the Liber Pontificalis drew his information, the name found was not Britanio, but Britio. Now this is the name (Birtha-, Britium) of the fortress of Edessa.[16] The king in question is, therefore, Lucius Ælius Septimus Megas Abgar IX, of Edessa, a Christian king as is well known. The original statement of the Liber Pontificalis, in this hypothesis, had nothing to do with Britain; the compiler of the Liber Pontificalis changed Britio to Brittanio, and in this way made a British king of the Syrian Lucius.

Death

According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope Eleutherius died on 24 May and was buried on the Vatican Hill (in Vaticano) near the body of St. Peter. Later tradition has his body moved to the church of San Giovanni della Pigna, near the pantheon. In 1591, his remains were again moved to the church of Santa Susanna at the request of Camilla Peretti, the sister of Pope Sixtus V. His feast is celebrated on 26 May.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Catalogus Felicianus, named for its ending during the pontificate of Felix IV. The earliest surviving codex dates to the 9th century.
  2. ^ "Et hoc iterum firmavit ut nulla esca a Christianis repudiaretur, maxime fidelibus, quod Deus creavit, quæ tamen rationalis et humana est."
  3. ^ In Haddan, Stubbs, and Wilkins,[6] this passage is given as "Hic accepit epistulam a Lucio Brittaniæ Rege ut Christianus efficeretur per ejus mandatum." ('He accepted a letter from Lucius, King of Britain, that he might become a Christian by his own will.') In Knight,[7] the passage is quoted as "Hic accepit epistolam a Lucio Brittaniorum rege ut Xrianus efficeretur per ejus mandatum." ('He accepted a letter from Lucius, king of the Britons, that he might become a Xian by his own will.')

References

  1. ^ a b c Kirsch, Johann Peter (1913). "Pope St. Eleutherius" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Brusher, Joseph Stanislaus (1980). Popes Through the Ages. San Rafael, California: Neff-Kane. ISBN 978-0-89-141110-9.
  3. ^ Butler, Alban; Attwater, Donald; Thurston, Herbert (1956). Butler's Lives of the Saints (Volume 2). London: Burns & Oates.
  4. ^ Hegesippus, cited in Eusebius. Historia Ecclesiastica. 4.22.. Edition: Eusebius: The History of the Church. Translated by Williamson, G. A. London: Penguin. 1965. p. 181.
  5. ^ The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis). Translated by Davis, Raymond (1st ed.). Liverpool University Press. 1989. p. 6.
  6. ^ a b c Haddan, Arthur West; Stubbs, William; Wilkins, David, eds. (1869). "Appendix A: Date of Introduction of Christianity into Britain". Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. I. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 25.
  7. ^ Knight, David J. (2012) [2008]. King Lucius of Britain. Stroud, England: History Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780752474458.
  8. ^ Bede (1903) [731]. The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. Translated by Lionel Cecil Jane. London: J.M. Dent & Co. Book I, Ch. 4 – via Wikisource. Also in Book V, Ch. 24
  9. ^ Beda Venerabilis [Venerable Bede] (731). Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum [The Ecclesiastical History of the English People] (in Latin). Book I, Ch. IV – via Wikisource.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Also in Book V, Ch. XXIIII
  10. ^ a b Nennius [attributed] (1848) [c. 830]. History of the Britons. Translated by W. Gunn and J. A. Giles. §22 – via Wikisource. From: Six Old English Chronicles of Which Two Are Now First Translated from the Monkish Latin Originals: Ethelwerd's Chronicle, Asser's Life of Alfred, Geoffrey of Monmouth's British History, Gildas, Nennius, and Richard of Cirencester. London: Henry G. Bohn. 1848..
  11. ^ a b Nennius [attrib.] (1898) [c. 830]. Mommsen, Theodor (ed.). Historia Brittonum [History of the Britons] (in Latin). Vol. II, Ch. xxii. – via Wikisource. From: "Historia Brittonvm cvm additamentis Nennii". Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Cronica Minora, Saec. IV.V.VI.VII. Vol. III. Berlin: Societas Aperiendis Fontibus Rerum Germanicarum Medii Aevi. 1898.
  12. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth (1848) [c. 1136]. Geoffrey of Monmouth's British History. Translated by Aaron Thompson and J. A. Giles. Vol. IV, Ch. XIX – via Wikisource. From: Giles, J. A., ed. (1848). Six Old English Chronicles. London: Henry G. Bohn.
  13. ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth (1854) [c. 1136]. Historia Regnum Britanniae [History of the Kings of Britain] (in Latin). Vol. IV, Ch. xix – via Google Books. From: Schulz, A., ed. (1854). Gottfried's von Monmouth Historia Regum Britanniae, mit literar-historischer Einleitung und ausführlichen Anmerkungen, und Brut Tysylio, altwälsce Chronik in deutscher Ueberseizung. Halle, Germany: Eduard Anton.
  14. ^ Rees, William Jenkin (ed.), pp. 26, 65.
  15. ^ Elsensohn, Franz. "Lucius von Chur", Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon
  16. ^ Harnack, Adolf von (1904). Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie. Vol. I. pp. 906–916.
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Soter
Bishop of Rome
Pope

175–189
Succeeded by
Victor I
Bishop of Llandaff

The Bishop of Llandaff is the ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff.

Bishop of London

The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.

The diocese covers 458 km2 (177 sq mi) of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames (historically the City of London and the County of Middlesex) and a small part of the County of Surrey (the district of Spelthorne, historically part of Middlesex). The see is in the City of London where the seat is St Paul's Cathedral which was founded as a cathedral in 604 and was rebuilt from 1675 following the Great Fire of London (1666).

Third in seniority in the Church of England after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishop is one of five senior bishops who sit as of right as one of the 26 Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords (for the remaining diocesan bishops of lesser rank, seats are attained upon vacancy, determined by chronological seniority). The other four senior bishops are the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Winchester.

The bishop's residence is The Old Deanery, Dean's Court, City of London. Previously, for over 1000 years, Fulham Palace was the residence and from the 18th century the bishop had chambers at London House next to the Bishop's Chapel in Aldersgate Street.The current (133rd) Bishop of London is Sarah Mullally. She was confirmed on 8 March 2018 after acting in post immediately after her canonical election on 25 January 2018. The diocesan bishop of London has had direct episcopal oversight in the Two Cities area (the City of London and the City of Westminster) since the institution of the London area scheme in 1979.

Catholic Church in Greece

The Catholic Church in Greece is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. Indigenous Roman Catholic Greeks number about 50,000-70,000 and are a religious and not an ethnic minority. Most of them are a reminiscence of Venetian and Genoese rule in many Greek islands (in both the Aegean and Ionian seas) from the early 13th until the late 18th century, or descendants of the thousands of Bavarians that came to Greece in the 1830s as soldiers and civil administrators, accompanying King Otto. One very old but still common term to refer to them is Φράγκοι, or "Franks", dating to the times of the Byzantine Empire, when medieval Greeks would use that term to describe all Catholics.

Since the early 1990s however, the number of Catholic permanent residents of Greece has greatly increased; today, they number 200,000 at the very least, and probably more. These Catholics are immigrants from Eastern Europe (especially Poland) or from the Philippines, but also include Western European expatriates that live permanently in Athens or the Greek Islands (especially Crete, Rhodes and Corfu).

Today, the majority of Catholics live in Athens, a city of about four million people; the rest of them can be found all over Greece. Most indigenous Catholics live in the islands, and especially the Cyclades, where Syros and Tinos in particular have some entirely Catholic villages and parishes. There are also Catholics in Corfu, Naxos, Santorini, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Rhodes, Kos, Crete, Samos and Chios. In the mainland, Catholic communities are smaller, and include those of Patras (a city that was home to a large Italian community until World War II), Thessaloniki, Kavala, Volos etc. In addition to the Roman Catholics (Latin Rite) who represent the vast majority of the faithful, there are about 5,000 of the Greek Rite, and a few hundred Armenian Catholics.

Christianity in Wales

Christianity is the majority religion in Wales. From 1534 until 1920 the established church was the Church of England, but this was disestablished in Wales in 1920, becoming the still Anglican but self-governing Church in Wales. Wales also has a strong tradition of nonconformism and Methodism.

Most adherents to organised religion in Wales follow the Church in Wales or other Christian denominations such as the Presbyterian Church of Wales, Roman Catholicism, Baptist and Methodist churches, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

December 3 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

December 2 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - December 4

All fixed commemorations below celebrated on December 16 by Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar.For December 3rd, Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar commemorate the Saints listed on November 20.

Deruvian

Deruvian (Medieval Latin: Deruvianus), also known by several other names including Damian, was a possibly legendary 2nd-century bishop and saint, said to have been sent by the pope to answer King Lucius's request for baptism and conversion to Christianity. Together with his companion St Fagan, he was sometimes reckoned as the apostle of Britain. King Lucius's letter (in most accounts, to Pope Eleutherius) may represent earlier traditions but does not appear in surviving sources before the 6th century; the names of the bishops sent to him does not appear in sources older than the early 12th century, when their story was used to support the independence of the bishops of St Davids in Wales and the antiquity of the Glastonbury Abbey in England. The story became widely known following its appearance in Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain. This was influential for centuries and its account of SS Fagan and Deruvian was used during the English Reformation to support the claims of both the Catholics and Protestants. Geoffrey's account is now considered wholly implausible, but Christianity was well-established in Roman Britain by the third century. Some scholars therefore argue the stories preserve a more modest account of the conversion of a Romano-British chieftain, possibly by Roman emissaries by these names.

Probably mistakenly, Deruvian's story has been given to the obscure St Dyfan thought to have been the namesake of Merthyr Dyfan and Llanddyfnan. His feast day does not appear in any medieval Welsh calendar of the saints and is not presently observed by the Anglican, Catholic, or Orthodox churches in Wales.

Fagan (saint)

Fagan (Latin: Faganus; Welsh: Ffagan), also known by other names including Fugatius, was a legendary 2nd-century Welsh bishop and saint, said to have been sent by the pope to answer King Lucius's request for baptism and conversion to Christianity. Together with his companion St Deruvian, he was sometimes reckoned as the apostle of Britain.

King Lucius's letter (in most accounts, to Pope Eleutherius) may represent earlier traditions but does not appear in surviving sources before the 6th century; the names of the bishops sent to him does not appear in sources older than the early 12th century, when their story was used to support the independence of the bishops of St Davids in Wales and the antiquity of the abbey at Glastonbury in England. The story became widely known following its appearance in Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain. This was influential for centuries and its account of SS Fagan and Deruvian were used during the English Reformation to support the claims of both the Catholics and Protestants. Geoffrey's account is now considered wholly implausible, but Christianity was well-established in Roman Britain by the third century. Some scholars therefore argue the stories preserve a more modest account of the conversion of a Romano-British chieftain, possibly by Roman emissaries by these names.

Fagan is the presumed namesake of St Fagans near Cardiff, now the home of a Welsh National History Museum. His feast day does not appear in any medieval Welsh calendar of the saints and is not observed by the Anglican, Catholic, or Orthodox churches in Wales.

Gennadius of Constantinople

Saint Gennadius (Greek: Άγιος Γεννάδιος) was the 21st Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 25 August 471). Gennadius is known to have been a learned writer who followed the Antiochene school of literal exegesis, although few writings have been left about him. He is commemorated in the Orthodox Church on November 17, but is not listed in the Roman Martyrology.

Irenaeus

Irenaeus (; Greek: Εἰρηναῖος Eirēnaios; c. 130 – c. 202 AD) was a Greek bishop noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in what is now the south of France and, more widely, for the development of Christian theology by combatting heresy and defining orthodoxy. Originating from Smyrna, now Izmir in Turkey, he had heard the preaching of Polycarp, who in turn was said to have heard John the Evangelist.Chosen as bishop of Lugdunum, now Lyon, his best-known work is On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis, often cited as Adversus Haereses, an attack on gnosticism, in particular that of Valentinus. To counter the doctrines of the gnostic sects claiming secret wisdom, he offered three pillars of orthodoxy: the scriptures, the tradition handed down from the apostles, and the teaching of the apostles' successors. Intrinsic to his writing is that the surest source of Christian guidance is the church of Rome, and he is the earliest surviving witness to regard all four of the now-canonical gospels as essential.He is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, which celebrates his feast on 28 June, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church, which celebrates the feast on 23 August.

Lucius of Britain

Lucius (Welsh: Lles ap Coel) is a legendary 2nd-century King of the Britons and saint traditionally credited with introducing Christianity into Britain. Lucius is first mentioned in a 6th-century version of the Liber Pontificalis, which says that he sent a letter to Pope Eleutherius asking to be made a Christian. The story became widespread after it was repeated in the 8th century by Bede, who added the detail that after Eleutherius granted Lucius' request, the Britons followed their king in conversion and maintained the Christian faith until the Diocletianic Persecution of 303. Later writers expanded the legend, giving accounts of missionary activity under Lucius and attributing to him the foundation of certain churches.There is no contemporary evidence for a king of this name, and modern scholars believe that his appearance in the Liber Pontificalis is the result of a scribal error. However, for centuries the story of this "first Christian king" was widely believed, especially in Britain, where it was considered an accurate account of Christianity among the early Britons. During the English Reformation, the Lucius story was used in polemics by both Catholics and Protestants; Catholics considered it evidence of papal supremacy from a very early date, while Protestants used it to bolster claims of the primacy of a British national church founded by the crown.

May 26 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

May 25 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - May 27

All fixed commemorations below celebrated on June 8 by Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar.For May 26th, Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar commemorate the Saints listed on May 13.

Mysterii Paschalis

Mysterii Paschalis is an apostolic letter issued motu proprio (that is, "of his own accord") by Pope Paul VI on 14 February 1969. It reorganized the liturgical year of the Roman Rite and revised the liturgical celebrations of Jesus Christ and the saints in the General Roman Calendar.

Nicopolis

Nicopolis (Greek: Νικόπολις Nikópolis, "City of Victory") or Actia Nicopolis was the capital city of the Roman province of Epirus Vetus. It was located in the western part of the modern state of Greece. The city was founded in 29 BC by Caesar Augustus in commemoration of his victory in 31 BC over Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium nearby. It was soon made the major city of the wider region of Epirus region. Many impressive ruins of the ancient city may be visited today, although today the old city is associated with the name Preveza, a place 7 kilometres (4 miles) south of Nicopolis.

Pope Soter

Pope Soter (Latin: Soterius; died c. 174) was the Bishop of Rome from c. 167 to his death c. 174. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the dates may have ranged from 162–168 to 170–177. He was born in Fondi, Campania, today Lazio region, Italy. Soter is known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest and also for formally inaugurating Easter as an annual festival in Rome.

His name, from Greek Σωτήριος from σωτήρ "saviour", would be his baptismal name, as his lifetime predates the tradition of adopting papal names.

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9th–12th centuries
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Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
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Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
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17th–20th centuries
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