Pope Innocent I

Pope Innocent I (Latin: Innocentius I; d. 12 March 417) served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 401 to his death in 417. From the beginning of his papacy, he was seen as the general arbitrator of ecclesiastical disputes in both the East and the West. He confirmed the prerogatives of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, and issued a decretal on disciplinary matters referred to him by the Bishop of Rouen. He defended the exiled John Chrysostom and consulted with the bishops of Africa concerning the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the African synods. The Catholic priest-scholar Johann Peter Kirsch, 1500 years later, described Innocent as a very energetic and highly gifted individual "...who fulfilled admirably the duties of his office".[2]

Pope Saint

Innocent I
Innocentius I
Papacy began22 December 401[1]
Papacy ended12 March 417
PredecessorAnastasius I
Personal details
BornAlbano, Roman Empire
Died12 March 417
Rome, Roman Empire
Feast day
  • 12 March
  • 28 July (13th-20th centuries
  • (Catholicism in Rome)
Venerated inCatholic Church
Other popes named Innocent
Pope Saint Innocent I
BornAlbano, Roman Empire
Died12 March 417
Rome, Roman Empire
Venerated inCatholic Church
Feast12 March
AttributesPapal Tiara


According to his biographer in the Liber Pontificalis, Innocent was a native of Albano Laziale and the son of a man called Innocentius,[2] but his contemporary Jerome referred to him as the son of the previous pope, Anastasius I, probably a unique case of a son succeeding his father in the papacy.[3] According to Urbano Cerri, Pope Innocent was a native of Albania.[4]

Innocent I lost no opportunity in maintaining and extending the authority of the Roman apostolic See, which was seen as the ultimate resort for the settlement of all ecclesiastical disputes. His communications with Victricius of Rouen, Exuperius of Toulouse, Alexander of Antioch and others, as well as his actions on the appeal made to him by John Chrysostom against Theophilus of Alexandria, show that opportunities of this kind were numerous and varied. He took a decided view on the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the synod of the province of proconsular Africa, held in Carthage in 416, confirming the condemnation which had been pronounced in 411 against Cælestius, who shared the views of Pelagius. He also wrote in the same year in a similar sense to the fathers of the Numidian synod of Mileve who had addressed him. Soon after this, five African bishops, among them St. Augustine, wrote a personal letter to Innocent regarding their own position in the matter of Pelagianism.[2] In addition he acted as metropolitan over the bishops of Italia Suburbicaria.[5][6]

The historian Zosimus in his Historia Nova suggests that during the sack of Rome in 410 by Alaric I, Innocent I was willing to permit private pagan practices as a temporary measure. However, Zosimus also suggests that this attempt by pagans to restore public worship failed due to lack of public interest, suggesting that Rome had been successfully Christianized in the last century.[5]

Among Innocent I's letters is one to Jerome and another to John II, Bishop of Jerusalem, regarding annoyances to which the former had been subjected by the Pelagians at Bethlehem.

He died on 12 March 417. Accordingly, his feast day is now celebrated on 12 March, though from the thirteenth to the twentieth century he was commemorated on 28 July.[7] His successor was Zosimus.

Role in establishing Bible Canon

It is accepted that the canon of the Bible was closed c. 405 AD by Pope Innocent, when he sent a list of the sacred books to a Gallic bishop, Exsuperius of Toulouse,[8] identical with that of Trent (which took place more than 1000 years later),[9][10][11] except for some uncertainty in the manuscript tradition about whether the letters ascribed to Paul were 14 or only 13, in the latter case possibly implying omission of the Epistle to the Hebrews.[8]


In 846, Pope Sergius II gave approval for the relics of St. Innocent to be moved by Duke Liudolf of Saxony, along with those of his father and predecessor Anastasius, to the crypt of the former collegiate church of Gandersheim, now Gandersheim Abbey, where they rest until this day.[12]

See also


  1. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/288617/Saint-Innocent-I
  2. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainKirsch, Johann Peter (1910). "Pope Innocent I". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 8. New York: Robert Appleton. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/64800
  4. ^ Cerri, Urbano; Steel, Richard (1715). An account of the state of the Roman-Catholick religion throughout the world. Transl. To which is added, A discourse concerning the state of religion in England. Transl. With a large dedication to the present pope, by sir Richard Steele [really B. Hoadly.]. Oxford University. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b PD-icon.svg Kirsch, Johann Peter (1910). "Pope Innocent I". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. ^ Dunn, Geoffrey (March 2013), "Innocent I's Letter to the Bishops of Apulia" (PDF), Journal of Early Christian Studies, Johns Hopkins University Press, 21 (1): 27–41, doi:10.1353/earl.2013.0000, ISSN 1086-3184
  7. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 132; Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 978-88-209-7210-3)
  8. ^ a b Text and translation of the list
  9. ^ Matthew J. Ramage, Dark Passages of the Bible (CUA Press 2013 ISBN 978-0-81322156-4), p. 67
  10. ^ Lee Martin McDonald, Formation of the Bible (Hendrickson Publishers 2012 ISBN 978-1-59856838-7), p. 149
  11. ^ John L. Mckenzie, The Dictionary of the Bible (Simon and Schuster 1995 ISBN 978-0-68481913-6), p. 119
  12. ^ Birgit Heilmann, Aus Heiltum wird Geschichte. Der Gandersheimer Reliquienschatz in nachreformatorischer Zeit. Thomas Labusiak and Hedwig Röckelein, Regensburg, 2009 (Studien zum Frauenstift Gandersheim und seinen Eigenklöstern, vol. 1).

External links

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Anastasius I
Succeeded by

Year 404 (CDIV) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Honorius and Aristaenetus (or, less frequently, year 1157 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 404 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 417 (CDXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Honorius and Constantius (or, less frequently, year 1170 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 417 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Aeclanum (also spelled Aeculanum, Italian: Eclano, Ancient Greek: Ἀικούλανον) was an ancient town of Samnium, southern Italy, about 25 km east-southeast of Beneventum, on the Via Appia. It lies in Passo di Mirabella, near the modern Mirabella Eclano.

Arsacius of Tarsus

Arsacius (before 324 – November 11, 405) was the intruding archbishop of Constantinople from 404 to 405, after the violent expulsion of John Chrysostom. His memory is kept on 11 October.

Book of Judith

The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible, but excluded from Jewish texts and assigned by Protestants to the Apocrypha. The book contains numerous historical anachronisms, which is why some scholars now accept it as non-historical; it has been considered a parable or perhaps the first historical novel.The name Judith (Hebrew: יְהוּדִית, Modern: Yehudit, Tiberian: Yəhûḏîṯ, "Praised" or "Jewess") is the feminine form of Judah.

Book of Wisdom

The Wisdom of Solomon or Book of Wisdom is a Jewish work, written in Greek, composed in Alexandria (Egypt). Generally dated to the late first century BC, the central theme of the work is "Wisdom" itself, appearing under two principal aspects. In its relation to man, Wisdom is the perfection of knowledge of the righteous as a gift from God showing itself in action. In direct relation to God, Wisdom is with God from all eternity. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books included within the Septuagint, along with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), Job, and Sirach, and is included in the canon of Deuterocanonical books by the Roman Catholic Church and the anagignoskomena (Gr. ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα, meaning "those which are to be read") of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Most Protestants consider it part of the Apocrypha.

Catacomb of Pontian

The Catacomb(s) of Pontian is one of the catacombs of Rome on the Via Portuensis, notable for containing the original tombs of Pope Anastasius I (399–401) and his son Pope Innocent I (401–417). The Catacomb was discovered by famed Italian explorer Antonio Bosio in 1618.Both Anastasius I and Innocent I were traditionally regarded as martyrs, but this is now regarded as dubious, due to the lack of a contemporaneous persecution. In the ninth century, Pope Sergius II moved both popes to San Martino ai Monti in an effort to save them from destruction during the Lombard invasion. The catacomb does not contain the tomb of Pope Pontian, who was interred in the Catacomb of Callixtus, nor is it named after him; rather it is named after an unknown third-century Christian martyr.Other notable remains in the Catacomb include: Saints Abdon and Sennen, martyrs Milix and Vincent, Saint Pollio, Saint Candida, Saint Pigmenius, and Saint Quirinus of Rome. The Catacomb contains a fifth/sixth-century fresco of Saints Marcellinus and Peter along with Saint Pollio, as well as an ancient baptistry containing a painting of the crowning of Abdon and Sennen.

Development of the New Testament canon

The canon of the New Testament is the set of books Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of twenty-seven books that includes the Canonical Gospels, Acts, letters of the Apostles, and Revelation. The books of the canon of the New Testament were written before 120 AD.For the Orthodox, the recognition of these writings as authoritative was formalized in the Second Council of Trullan of 692. The Catholic Church provided a conciliar definition of its Biblical canon in 382 at the (local) Council of Rome (based upon the Decretum Gelasianum of uncertain authorship)) as well as at the Council of Trent of 1545, reaffirming the Canons of Florence of 1442 and North African Councils (Hippo and Carthage) of 393–419. For the Church of England, it was made dogmatic on the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563; for Calvinism, on the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647.


Saint Eustochium (c. 368 – September 28, 419 or 420). Born Eustochium Julia at Rome, she was the daughter of Paula and is also venerated as a saint and was an early Desert Mother. She was the third of four daughters of the Roman Senator Toxotius, for whom Jerome made a lot of fanciful claims of ancestry. After the death of her husband around 380 Paula and her daughter Eustochium lived in Rome as austere a life as the fathers of the desert. Eustochium had three sisters, Blaesilla, Paulina, and Rufina, and a brother, Toxotius.

When Jerome came to Rome from Palestine in 382, they put themselves under his spiritual guidance. Hymettius, an uncle of Eustochium, and his wife Praetextata tried to persuade the youthful Eustochium to give up her austere life and enjoy the pleasures of the world, but all their attempts were futile. About the year 384 she made a vow of perpetual virginity, on which occasion Jerome addressed to her his celebrated letter De custodia virginitatis (Ep. xxii in P.L., XXII, 394–425). A year later Jerome returned to Palestine and soon after was followed to the Orient by Paula and Eustochium.

In 386 they accompanied Jerome on his journey to Egypt, where they visited the hermits of the Nitrian Desert in order to study and afterward imitate their mode of life. In the fall of the same year they returned to Palestine and settled permanently at Bethlehem. Paula and Eustochium at once began to erect four monasteries and a hospice near the spot where Christ was born. While the erection of the monasteries was in process (386–9) they lived in a small building in the neighbourhood. One of the monasteries was occupied by monks and put under the direction of Jerome. The three other monasteries were taken by Paula and Eustochium and the numerous virgins that flocked around them. The three convents, which were under the supervision of Paula, had only one oratory, where all the virgins met several times daily for prayer and the liturgy of the hours. Jerome testifies (Ep. 308) that Eustochium and Paula performed the most menial services. Much of their time they spent in the study of Holy Scripture under the direction of Jerome.

Eustochium spoke Latin and Classical Greek with equal ease and was able to read the scriptures in the Hebrew text. Many of Jerome's Biblical commentaries owe their existence to her influence and to her he dedicated his commentaries on the prophets Isaias and Ezekiel.

The letters which Jerome wrote for her instruction and spiritual advancement are, according to his own testimony, very numerous. After the death of Paula in 404, Eustochium assumed the direction of the nunneries. Her task was a difficult one on account of the impoverished condition of the temporal affairs which was brought about by the lavish almsgiving of Paula. Jerome was of great assistance to her by his encouragement and prudent advice.

In 417, a crowd of ruffians attacked and pillaged the monasteries of Bethlehem, destroyed one of them by fire, besides killing and maltreating some of the residents. It is alleged that this was instigated by John II, the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Pelagians against whom Jerome had written what were considered sharp polemics. Both Jerome and Eustochium informed Pope Innocent I by letter of the occurrence, who severely reproved the patriarch for having permitted the outrage. Eustochium died shortly after and was succeeded in the supervision of the convents by her niece, the younger Paula. Eustochius of Tour might have been her nephew, and further lateral descendants may include Perpetuus and Volusianus. The Church celebrates her feast on 28 September.


Saint Exuperius (also Exsuperius) (French: Saint Exupéry, Saint Soupire) (died c. 410) was Bishop of Toulouse at the beginning of the 5th century.

His place and date of birth are unknown. Upon succeeding Saint Sylvius as bishop of Toulouse, he ordered the completion of the basilica of St. Saturnin, a part of which was incorporated into the Basilica of St. Sernin. Saint Jerome praised Exuperius "for his munificence to the monks of Palestine, Egypt, and Libya, and for his charity to the people of his own diocese, who were then suffering from the attacks of the Vandals, Alans, and Suevi." On behalf of the poor in his diocese he sold the basilica's altar vessels and was therefore compelled to carry the Sacred Offering in an osier basket and the Precious Blood in a vessel of glass. In respect of his virtues and in gratitude for his gifts, Saint Jerome dedicated his Commentary on Zacharias to him.

Exuperius is best known in connection with the Canon of the Sacred Scriptures. He had written to Pope Innocent I for instructions concerning the canon and several points of ecclesiastical behaviour. In reply, the pope honoured him with the letter Consulenti Tibi, dated February 405, which contained a list of the canonical scriptures.The opinion of Baronius, that bishop Exuperius was the same person as the rector with the same name, is usually rejected, as the rector was a teacher of Hannibalianus and Dalmatius, nephews of Constantine the Great, and therefore from an earlier period than the bishop. From Jerome's letter to Furia in 394, and from the epistle of Saint Paulinus to Amandus of Bordeaux in 397, it seems probable that Exuperius was a priest at Rome, and later at Bordeaux before he was raised to the episcopate—though it is possible that in both of these letters reference is made to a different person.

The precise date of his promotion to the bishop is unknown. Evidence suggests that he occupied the See of Toulouse in February 405 (as is evident from the letter of Innocent I mentioned above). It is sometimes said that Jerome reproached him in a letter to Riparius, a priest of Spain, for tolerating the heretic Vigilantius; but as Vigilantius did not belong to the diocese of Toulouse, Jerome was probably speaking of another bishop.

Exuperius was venerated as a saint from early times. In the time of Gregory of Tours he was held in equal veneration with Saint Saturninus. His feast occurs on 28 September. The first martyrologist to assign it to this date was Usuard, who wrote towards the end of the 9th century.


Marolus (Italian: Marolo) was Archbishop of Milan from 408 to 423. He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic Church and his feast day is April 23.

Mila, Algeria

Mila (Arabic: ميلة‎) is a city in the northeast of Algeria and the capital of Mila Province. In antiquity, it was known as Milevum (in Latin; as such still a Latin Catholic titular see) or Miraeon, Μιραίον (in Ancient Greek) and was situated in the Roman province of Numidia.


Milevum (in Latin even "Milev" or "Mireon"; Μιραίον in Ancient Greek) was a Roman–Berber city in the Roman province of Numidia. It was located in present-day Mila in eastern Algeria.

New Testament

The New Testament (Ancient Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, transl. Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin: Novum Testamentum) is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first part being the Old Testament, based on the Hebrew Bible. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The New Testament (in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality. Extended readings and phrases directly from the New Testament are incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced religious, philosophical, and political movements in Christendom and left an indelible mark on literature, art, and music.

The New Testament is a collection of Christian works written in the common (Koine) Greek language of the 1st century AD, at different times by various writers, and the modern consensus is that it provides important evidence regarding Judaism in the 1st century. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books: the four gospels, The Acts of the Apostles, twenty-one epistles, and Revelation.

The united Catholic Church defined the 27-book canon. The earliest known complete list of the 27 books is by the 4th-century eastern Catholic bishop Athanasius. The first time that church councils approved this list was with the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) in North Africa and Pope Innocent I ratified the same canon in 405, but it is probable that a Council in Rome in 382 under pope Damasus gave the same list first. These councils also provided the canon of the Old Testament, which included the apocryphal books.The original texts were written in the first century of the Christian Era, in Greek, which was the common language of the Eastern Mediterranean from the conquests of Alexander the Great (335–323 BC) until the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. All the works that eventually became incorporated into the New Testament are believed to have been written no later than around 120 AD. John A. T. Robinson, Dan Wallace, and William F. Albright dated all the books of the New Testament before 70 AD. Others give a final date of 80 AD or of 96 AD.Collections of related texts such as letters of the Apostle Paul (a major collection of which must have been made already by the early 2nd century) and the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (asserted by Irenaeus of Lyon in the late-2nd century as the Four Gospels) gradually were joined to other collections and single works in different combinations to form various Christian canons of Scripture. Over time, some disputed books, such as the Book of Revelation and the Minor Catholic (General) Epistles were introduced into canons in which they were originally absent. Other works earlier held to be Scripture, such as 1 Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Diatessaron, were excluded from the New Testament. The Old Testament canon is not completely uniform among all major Christian groups including Roman Catholics, Protestants, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Slavic Orthodox Churches, and the Armenian Orthodox Church. However, the twenty-seven-book canon of the New Testament, at least since Late Antiquity, has been almost universally recognized within Christianity (see Development of the New Testament canon).


Pelagius (c. AD 360 – 418) was a theologian of British origin who advocated free will and asceticism. He was accused by Augustine of Hippo and others of denying the need for divine aid in performing good works. They understood him to have said that the only grace necessary was the declaration of the law; humans were not wounded by Adam's sin and were perfectly able to fulfill the law without divine aid. Pelagius denied Augustine's theory of original sin. His adherents cited Deuteronomy 24:16 in support of their position. Pelagius was declared a heretic by the Council of Carthage (418). His interpretation of a doctrine of free will became known as Pelagianism.

He was well educated, fluent in both Greek and Latin, and learned in theology. He spent time as an ascetic, focusing on practical asceticism. He was well known in Rome, both for the harsh asceticism of his public life and the power and persuasiveness of his speech. His reputation earned him praise early in his career even from such pillars of the Church as Augustine, who referred to him as a "saintly man". However, he was later accused of lying about his own teachings to avoid public condemnation. Most of his later life was spent defending his doctrine against Christian theologians who held that Pelagius was spreading novelties in the Faith unknown to the apostolic tradition.

Due to some calling him a heretic, little of his work has come down to the present day except in the quotes of his opponents. However, more recently, some non-Orthodox Christian authors have defended Pelagius as a misunderstood “orthodox”:

Recent analysis of his thinking suggests that it was, in fact, highly orthodox, following in the tradition established by the early fathers and in keeping with the teaching of the church in both the East and the West. ... From what we are able to piece together from the few sources available... it seems that the Celtic monk held to an orthodox view of the prevenience of God's grace, and did not assert that individuals could achieve salvation purely by their own efforts...

Pope Innocent

Pope Innocent may refer to:

Pope Innocent I, saint (401–417)

Pope Innocent II (1130–1143)

Antipope Innocent III (1179-1180)

Pope Innocent III (1198–1216)

Pope Innocent IV (1243–1254)

Pope Innocent V (1276)

Pope Innocent VI (1352–1362)

Pope Innocent VII (1404–1406)

Pope Innocent VIII (1484–1492)

Pope Innocent IX (1591)

Pope Innocent X (1644–1655)

Pope Innocent XI (1676–1689)

Pope Innocent XII (1691–1700)

Pope Innocent XIII (1721–1724)

Primacy of Peter

The primacy of Peter, also known as Petrine primacy (from Latin: Petrus, "Peter"), is the position of preeminence that is attributed to Saint Peter among the Twelve Apostles.

It is to be distinguished from the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, also known as papal primacy or Roman primacy, whose link with the primacy of Peter is disputed.

Saint Innocent

Saint Innocent may refer to:

Pope Innocent I

Saint Innocent of Alaska

Saint Innocent, of the Theban Legion

Saint Innocent, a bishop of Tortona

Saint Innocent of Irkutsk, bishop

Venerius (bishop of Milan)

Venerius (Italian: Venerio) was Archbishop of Milan from 400 (or 401) to 408. He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic Church and his feast day is May 4.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
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9th–12th centuries
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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)
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Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
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17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
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Roman Question (1870–1929)
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21st century
History of the papacy
Virgin Mary
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