Pope Liberius

Pope Liberius (310 – 24 September 366) was Pope of the Catholic Church from 17 May 352 until his death on 24 September 366.[1] According to the Catalogus Liberianus, he was consecrated on 22 May as the successor to Pope Julius I. He is not mentioned as a saint in the Roman Martyrology, making him the earliest pontiff not to be venerated as a saint in the Roman Rite. Liberius is mentioned in the Greek Menology, the Eastern equivalent to the martyrologies of the Western Church and a measure of sainthood prior to the institution of the formal Western processes of canonization.


Liberio papa1
Papacy began17 May 352[a]
Papacy ended24 September 366
PredecessorJulius I
SuccessorDamasus I
Personal details
Birth nameLiberius
Died24 September 366
Feast day27 August
Venerated inCatholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Papal styles of
Pope Liberius
Emblem of the Papacy SE
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleSaint (Eastern Orthodox)


Liberius is recognized as a saint within the Eastern Orthodox Church.[2] His first recorded act was, after a synod had been held at Rome, to write to Emperor Constantius II, then in quarters at Arles (353–354), asking that a council might be called at Aquileia with reference to the affairs of Athanasius of Alexandria, but his messenger Vincentius of Capua was compelled by the emperor at a conciliabulum held in Arles to subscribe against his will to a condemnation of the orthodox patriarch of Alexandria.[1]

Constantius was sympathetic to the Arians, and when he could not persuade Liberius to his point of view sent the Pope to a prison in Beroea.[2] At the end of an exile of more than two years in Thrace, after which it seems he may have temporarily relented, or been set up to appear to have relented – partially evidenced by three letters, quite possibly forgeries, ascribed to Liberius,[3] the emperor recalled him under extreme pressure from the Roman population who refused to recognize the puppet "pope" Felix. As the Roman See was "officially" occupied by Antipope Felix II, a year passed before Liberius was sent to Rome. It was the emperor's intention that Liberius should govern the Church jointly with Felix, but on the arrival of Liberius, Felix was expelled by the Roman people. Neither Liberius nor Felix took part in the Council of Rimini (359).[1]

After the death of the Emperor Constantius in 361, Liberius annulled the decrees of that assembly but, with the concurrence of bishops Athanasius and Hilary of Poitiers, retained the bishops who had signed and then withdrew their adherence. In 366, Liberius gave a favourable reception to a deputation of the Eastern episcopate, and admitted into his communion the more moderate of the old Arian party. He died on 24 September 366.[1]

Some historians have postulated that Liberius resigned the papacy in 365, in order to make sense of the reign of Antipope Felix II.[4] That view is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the writings of historians and scholars which document Liberius' staunch orthodoxy through the end of his pontificate ended by his death.


Pope Pius IX noted in Quartus Supra that Liberius was falsely accused by the Arians and he had refused to condemn Athanasius of Alexandria.[5] In his encyclical Principi Apostolorum Petro, Pope Benedict XV noted that Pope Liberius went fearlessly into exile in defence of the orthodox faith.[6]

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Liberius is a saint whose feast is celebrated on August 27.[7]

The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome is sometimes referred to as the Liberian Basilica.

See also


  1. ^ The Liberian Catalogue lists the date of Liberius's consecration as 22 May. Catholic Encyclopedia gives 17 May, noting that the 22nd was not a Sunday. The date could also be 21 June, a Sunday, which differs from 22 May by only one letter in the Roman calendar (XI Kal. Jun/Jul.)


  1. ^ a b c d Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Liberius" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ a b "St. Liberius the Pope of Rome". oca.org. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  3. ^ Byfiend, Ted, ed. Darkness Descends, pg. 35
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Abdication" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ Pope Pius IX (6 January 1873). "Quartus Supra (On The Church In Armenia)". Eternal Word Television Network. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  6. ^ Pope Benedict XV (5 October 1920). "Principi Apostolorum Petro, Encyclical Of Pope Benedict XV On St. Ephrem The Syrian To The Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, And Other Ordinaries In Peace And Communion With The Apostolic See". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  7. ^ "On Monday, August 27, 2012 we celebrate". Online Chapel. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Retrieved August 14, 2012.


External links

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Julius I
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by
Damasus I

The 350s decade ran from January 1, 350, to December 31, 359.

== Events ==

=== 350 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

January 18 – The Western Roman Emperor Constans I makes himself extremely unpopular; one of his generals, Magnus Magnentius, is proclaimed emperor at Augustodunum in the Diocese of Galliae, with the support of the army on the Rhine frontier.

January – Constans I flees towards Spain, where he is subsequently assassinated at Castrum Helenae. Magnentius rules the Western Roman Empire and is far more tolerant towards Christians and Pagans alike.

March 1 – Vetranio is asked by Constantina, sister of Constantius II, to proclaim himself Caesar. Constantius accepts the new emperor and sends him funds to raise an army.

June 3 – Iulius Nepotianus, Roman usurper, proclaims himself "emperor" and enters Rome with a group of gladiators.

June 30 – Nepotianus is defeated and killed by Marcellinus, a trusted general sent by Magnentius. His head is put on a spear and carried around the city.

December 25 – Vetranio meets Constantius II at Naissus (Serbia) and joins forces with him. Vetranio is forced to abdicate his title, and Constantius allows him to live as a private citizen on a state pension.

====== Asia ======

King Pushyavarman establishes the Varman Dynasty in Assam.

About this time the Huns begin to invade the Sassanid Empire.

The city of Anbar (Iraq) is founded by king Shapur II.

The Wei-Jie war breaks out in North China.

==== By topic ====

====== Art ======

The church of Santa Constanza in Rome is finished.

=== 351 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

March 15 – Emperor Constantius II elevates his 25-year-old cousin Constantius Gallus to Caesar at Sirmium (Pannonia). He arranges a marriage with his sister Constantina and puts him in charge of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Constantius marches West with a large field army (around 60,000 men) to topple Magnus Magnentius in Pannonia.

May 7 – The Jewish revolt against Constantius Gallus breaks out. After his arrival at Antioch, the Jews begin a rebellion in Palestine. The Roman garrison in the town of Diocesarea is wiped out.

September 28 – Battle of Mursa Major: Constantius II defeats the usurper Magnentius along the valley of the Drava. The battle is one of the bloodiest in Roman military history. During the fighting Marcellinus, a general of Magnentius is killed; Magnentius himself survives.

Winter – Magnentius flees to Aquileia in northern Italy and fortifies the mountain passes in the Alps.

====== China ======

Emperor Shi Zhi is killed by Ran Min's forces, an action that sets the stage for Wei's victory in the Wei–Jie war (China).

Fú Jiàn declares himself "Heavenly Prince" (Tian Wang) during the collapse of Later Zhao, and established Former Qin.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

In India, a new process makes possible the extraction of sugar from sugarcane.

====== Religion ======

Macedonius is restored as Patriarch of Constantinople.

=== 352 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Constantius II invades northern Italy in pursuit of the usurper Magnus Magnentius, who withdraws with his army to Gaul. He declares an amnesty for Magnentius' soldiers, many of whom desert to him.

By the end of the year Constantius enters Milan.

The Alamanni and the Franks cross the Rhine and defeat the depleted Roman units left at the frontier. The Germans take control of around 40 towns and cities between the Moselle and the Rhine.

Constantius Gallus sends his general (magister equitum) Ursicinus to forcefully put down the Jewish revolt in Palestine. The rebels destroy the cities Diopolis and Tiberias, while Diocesarea is razed to the ground. Ursicinus gives the order to kill thousands of Jews, even children. After the revolt, a permanent garrison is stationed in Galilee.

====== Asia ======

War begins between the Huns and the Alans.

Ran Wei is destroyed by a Xianbei invasion, which also reaches the Yangtze River in the territory of the Jin Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

The earliest sighting of a supernova occurs in China.

====== Religion ======

May 17 – Pope Julius I dies after a 15-year reign in which he has made himself the chief opponent of Arianism. He is succeeded by Pope Liberius as the 36th pope, who immediately writes to Constantius II requesting a council at Aquileia to discuss the former Alexandrian patriarch Athanasius, who opposes the Arian belief to which the emperor subscribes.

=== 353 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Battle of Mons Seleucus: Emperor Constantius II defeats the usurper Magnentius, who commits suicide in Gaul in order to avoid capture. Constantius becomes sole emperor and reunifies the Roman Empire.

Constantius II sends his official Paulus Catena to Britain to hunt down the opponents supporting Magnentius. Flavius Martinus, vicarius of Britain and supporter of Constantius, opposes the persecutions; he is then accused by Catena of being a traitor. In response, Martinus tries to kill Catena with a sword; he fails and then commits suicide.

Constantius II assembles a conciliabulum at Arles and condemns Athanasius as Patriarch of Alexandria.

==== By topic ====

====== China ======

Wang Xizhi, Chinese calligrapher, produces "Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion" in running script style. It becomes a model for future calligraphers.

=== 354 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Constantius II recalls his Caesar (and cousin) Constantius Gallus to Constantinople after hearing unfavorable reports about him. Gallus, Caesar of the East, has suppressed revolts in Palestine and central Anatolia. Constantius strips him of his powers and later has him executed in Pola (Croatia).

The Roman Calendar of 354, an illuminated manuscript, is drawn up and becomes the earliest dated codex.

====== Europe ======

As a result of the armies of the West having been largely withdrawn by the usurper Magnus Magnentius, to fight Constantius II, hordes of barbarians (Franks and Alemanni) cross the upper Rhine into Gaul and invade the lands of the Helvetians.

The Bulgars are first mentioned in extant European chronicles.

====== China ======

Fu Sheng, emperor of the Former Qin, reigns in northern China.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Libanius becomes a teacher of rhetoric in Antioch; his students include John Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia.

=== 355 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

January 1 – Arbitio and Lollianus Mavortius begin their term as Roman consuls.

August 11 – Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaims himself Roman Emperor. After 28 days, Ursicinus arrives from Rome and has Silvanus murdered.

November 6 – In Mediolanum (Italy), Emperor Constantius II raises his cousin Julian the Apostate to the rank of Caesar. He takes command of the western provinces and marries Constantius' sister, Helena.

====== Europe ======

The Lentienses, a Germanic tribe, are fined by the Roman commander Arbetio under Constantius II for several incursions against the Roman Empire.

The Franks besiege Colonia Agrippinensium for ten months.

====== Asia ======

The Huns of Central Asia begin their great drive westwards with an advance into Scythia (modern Russia). They overcome and absorb the Alans, a nomadic and warlike horse breeding people from the steppes northeast of the Black Sea.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Pope Liberius refuses to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, imposed at Milan by Constantius II. Liberius is exiled to Beroea (Greece) and replaced by Felix II. He becomes an antipope and bishop of Rome.

=== 356 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

February 19 – Emperor Constantius II issues a decree closing all pagan temples in the Roman Empire, and ordering the banishment once again of the anti-Arian patriarch of Alexandria, Athanasius. He tries to have him arrested during a vigil service, but Athanasius flees to the Nitrian desert in Upper Egypt.

The veneration of non-Christian images is banned in the Roman Empire.

Siege of Autun: Julian receives a report that Augustodunum (Autun) is under attack by the Alemanni. The city walls are in poor state and in danger of falling.

Battle of Reims: Julian is defeated by the Alemanni at Reims (Gaul).

Battle of Brumath: Roman forces pursue Germanic warbands through the Gallic countryside. Julian wins an open battle near Brumath (Alsace).

Rhaetia (Switzerland) is invaded by the Alemanni.

Winter – Siege of Senonae: Julian over-winters at Senonae (Bourgogne). German federated troops (foederati) desert and hostile warbands besiege the town.

====== Asia ======

Naemul becomes king of the Silla dynasty (Three Kingdoms of Korea).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Anthony the Great (pictured) dies at his hermitage near the Red Sea in mid-January at age 105 (approximate), having preached against Arianism, and having tried to codify guidelines for monastic life. His followers subsequently establish the Monastery of Saint Anthony, beginning the tradition of Coptic monasticism.

Construction begins on the first basilica of Saint Peter in Rome.

=== 357 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

April 28 – Emperor Constantius II enters Rome for the first time to celebrate his victory over Magnentius. He address the Senate and the Roman people.

August 25 – Battle of Strasbourg: Julian, Caesar (deputy emperor) and supreme commander of the Roman army in Gaul, wins an important victory against the Alemanni at Strasbourg (Argentoratum), driving the barbarians back behind the Rhine.

The Imperial Library of Constantinople is founded.

Ammianus Marcellinus describes the Pantheon as being "rounded like the boundary of the horizon and vaulted with a beautiful loftiness".

Winter – Constantius II receives ambassadors from the Persian Empire. They demand that Rome restore the lands surrendered by King Narseh.

====== Asia ======

The reign of Fú Jiān, the emperor of Former Qin, commences in China.

The Alans rout the Hun army in Western Asia.

====== Ireland ======

Saran, King of Ulster, is overthrown.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Late in the year Pope Liberius travels to Sirmium (Pannonia) and agrees to sign documents that effectively undo the Nicene Creed (which has implicitly disavowed Arianism) and to sever his relationship with the former Alexandrian patriarch Athanasius, who is replaced as bishop of Alexandria by his Arian opponent George of Cappadocia.

At about this date, the relics of St Andrew the Apostle are taken from Patras to Constantinople by order of the Emperor Constantius II, and deposited in the Church of the Holy Apostles.

At about this date, Basil of Caesarea visits Egypt.

=== 358 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Constantius II builds new forts to secure upper Mesopotamia. Persia's king Shapur II sends an emissary to Constantinople with gifts and a letter wrapped in white silk. He addresses Constantius to return the lands of his ancestors from the Euphrates to the frontier of Macedonia. Constantius tactfully refuses to cede any territories.

The Salian Franks capitulate to Julian the Apostate in Gaul. He allows them to form a Roman foederati in Toxandria. Frankish settlers are established in areas in the north and the east to help with the defense of the Rhine frontier.

An invasion of Pannonia by the Quadi and the Sarmates is repulsed by Constantius II.

August 24 — An earthquake destroys Nicomedia, and damages 150 cities in Macedonia, Asia and Pontus.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Constantius II recalls Pope Liberius to Rome, where he receives a joyous welcome from the Christians. Antipope Felix II prudently retires to his estate near Porto (Portugal).

Eudoxius becomes Patriarch of Antioch.

=== 359 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

King Shapur II the Great of the Persian Empire invades southern Armenia. The Romans implement a scorched earth policy and place strong guards at the Euphrates crossings.

Siege of Amida: Shapur II besieges the Roman fortress of Amida (modern Diyarbakir). After seventy-three days the city is conquered and the population is massacred by the Persians. Ammianus Marcellinus is a fortunate survivor and flees to Singara (Iraq).

The first known Prefect of the city of Constantinople, Honoratus, takes office.

Famine in Upper Rhineland: A fleet of 800 river boats, built for the Rhine, cross to the British east coast and carry back enough corn to raise the famine.

Winter – Shapur II halts his campaign, due to heavy casualties during the Persian invasion.

==== By topic ====

====== Art ======

The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, in the Old St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, is made (approximate date).

====== Religion ======

July – Emperor Constantius II convenes the Council of Rimini to resolve the crisis over Arianism in the Church. Some 400 bishops of the Western Roman Empire attend, while the Eastern bishops simultaneously hold a meeting at Seleucia. Given Saint Jerome's comment that, "The whole world groaned in astonishment to find itself Arian", it appears to have failed. Pope Liberius rejects the new creed at Rimini.


Year 355 (CCCLV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Arbitio and Maesius (or, less frequently, year 1108 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 355 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 366 (CCCLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Gratianus and Dagalaifus (or, less frequently, year 1119 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 366 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.

Antipope Felix II

Antipope Felix, an archdeacon of Rome, was installed as Pope in 355 AD after the Emperor Constantius II banished the reigning Pope, Liberius, for refusing to subscribe to a sentence of condemnation against Saint Athanasius.

Council of Ariminum

The Council of Ariminum, also known after the city's modern name as the Council of Rimini, was an early Christian church synod.

In 358, the Roman Emperor Constantius II requested two councils, one of the western bishops at Ariminum and one of the eastern bishops (planned for Nicomedia but actually held at Seleucia Isauria) to resolve the Arian controversy over the nature of the divinity of Jesus Christ, which divided the 4th-century church.In July 359, the western council (of about 300 or over 400 bishops) met. Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursa soon proposed a new creed, drafted at the Council of Sirmium of 359 but not presented there, holding that the Son was similar to the Father "according to the scriptures," and avoiding the controversial terms "same substance" and "similar substance." Others favored the creed of Nicaea.The opponents of Sirmium wrote a letter to the emperor Constantius, praising Nicaea and condemning any reconsideration of it, before many of them left the council. The supporters of Sirmium then issued the new creed and sent it through Italy.The council was considered a defeat for trinitarianism, and Saint Jerome wrote: "The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian."Pope Liberius of Rome rejected the new creed, prompting Phaebadius of Agen and Servatus of Tongeren to withdraw their support from the homoian. The supporters of Sirmium deposed Liberius and reappointed Felix of Rome in his place.Two councils at Nike (southeast of Adrianople) and Constantinople followed.Those favoring the Creed drafted at Sirmium included:

Ursacius of Singidunum

Valens of Mursa

Germinius of Sirmium

Auxentius of Milan

Demophilus of Beroe

GaiusThose favoring the Creed of Nicaea included:

Phaebadius of Agen (died c. 392)

Servatus of Tongeren (died May 13, 384)

Gaudentius of Ariminum (died October 14, 360)

Mercurialis of Forlì

Restitutus of Carthage

Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major

The Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major (In Dedicatione basilicae S. Mariae) is a feast day in the General Roman Calendar, optionally celebrated annually on 5 August with the rank of memorial.

In earlier editions of the General Roman Calendar, down to that of 1960, it is called the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary of the Snows (In Dedicatione basilicae S. Mariae ad Nives), a reference to the legendary story about the foundation of the basilica. For the same reason the feast is also known popularly as Our Lady of the Snows. The reference to the legend was removed in the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar.

Dionysius (bishop of Milan)

Dionysius (Italian: Dionigi) was bishop of Milan from 349 to 355. He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and his feast day is on May 25.

Eusebius of Rome

Eusebius of Rome (died c. 357), the founder of the church on the Esquiline Hill in Rome that bears his name, is listed in the Roman Martyrology as one of the saints venerated on 14 August.

The Martyrology of Usuard styles him confessor at Rome under the Arian emperor Constantius II and adds that he was buried in the cemetery of Callistus. Some later martyrologies call him a martyr. He is said to have been a Roman patrician and priest, and is mentioned with distinction in Latin martyrologies.

The "Acta Eusebii", discovered in 1479 by Mombritius and reproduced by Baluze in his "Miscellanea" (1678–1715), tell the following story: When Pope Liberius was permitted by Constantius II to return to Rome, supposedly at the price of his orthodoxy, by subscribing to the Arian formula of Sirmium, Eusebius, a priest, an ardent defender of the Nicene Creed, publicly preached against both pope and emperor, branding them as heretics. When the orthodox party who supported the antipope Felix were excluded from all the churches, Eusebius continued to say Mass in his own house. He was arrested and brought before Liberius and Constantius, and boldly reproved Liberius for deserting the Catholic faith. In consequence he was placed in a dungeon four feet wide (or was imprisoned in his own house), where he spent his time in prayer and died after seven months. His body was buried in the cemetery of Callistus with the simple inscription: "Eusebio homini Dei". This act of kindness was performed by two priests, Gregory and Orosius, friends of Eusebius. Gregory was put into the same prison and also died there. He was buried by Orosius, who professes to be the writer of the Acts.

It is generally admitted that these Acts were a forgery either entirely or at least in part, and written in the same spirit if not by the same hand as the notice on Liberius in the "Liber Pontificalis". The Bollandists and Tillemont point out some historical difficulties in the narrative, especially the fact that Liberius, Constantius, and Eusebius were never in Rome at the same time. Constantius visited Rome but once, and remained there for about a month, and Liberius was then still in exile. Some, taking for granted the alleged fall of Liberius, would overcome this difficulty by stating that, at the request of Liberius, who resented the zeal of the priest, the secular power interfered and imprisoned Eusebius. It is not at all certain whether Eusebius died after the return of Liberius, during his exile, or even much before that period.

Sant'Eusebio, the basilica-style church on the Esquiline in Rome dedicated to him, is said to have been built on the site of his house. It is mentioned in the acts of a council held in Rome under Pope Symmachus in 498, and was rebuilt by Pope Zacharias. It is a titular church of the cardinal-priest and the station church for the Friday after the fourth Sunday in Lent. It once belonged to the Celestines (an order now extinct); Pope Leo XII gave it to the Jesuits.

The Tridentine Calendar had a commemoration of Eusebius, after that of the commemoration of the vigil of the feast of the Assumption of Mary on 14 August, on which day the main liturgy was that of the feast of Lawrence of Rome, within whose octave it fell. The 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal omitted the celebration on that date of the day within the Octave of Saint Lawrence. The Vigil of the Assumption became the principal liturgy, with a commemoration of Eusebius alone. The 1969 revision of the calendar removed the commemoration of Eusebius, while sanctioning the celebration of his feast in the Roman basilica that bears his name.

Fortunatianus of Aquileia

Fortunatianus of Aquileia, bishop of Aquileia in the mid fourth century A.D, according to Jerome of (North) African origin (De vir. ill. 97), was the author of apparently the oldest surviving Western commentary on the Gospels hitherto known from a few excerpts (two identified by Wilmart from a Troyes manuscript and another by Bischoff from Angers) and a reference in Jerome's correspondence (thus predating Hilary on St. Matthew), but in 2012 identified by the editor Lukas Dorfbauer in a ninth-century manuscript from the library of Cologne Cathedral.

Fortunatianus may have eventually inclined to anti-Nicene doctrine but at l.984-6 the text clearly states the Trinity as being of one substance (is this his earlier position, his considered view or an interpolation?). He also admitted a large figurative element in the Gospel narratives. (An example: l.499 seq. Fortunatianus' treatment of the Magi "returning by another way.") An interesting detail is his identification of two of the four Evangelists based on Ezekiel and the Apocalypse at the opening of his text: Mark is the eagle and John the lion.

Fortunatianus was a signatory at the western Council of Serdica (343) which condemned Arius' teaching; he subsequently entertained Athanasius on his return journey from Treves to Alexandria, and was chosen by Pope Liberius to defend Athanasius at the Council of Milan (355) where however he yielded, doubtless with good grace, to pressure from Emperor Constantius II; in the aftermath of the council he urged Pope Liberius to conform.

Hilary the Deacon

Hilary the Deacon (Latin: Hilarius Diaconus; fl. mid-4th century) was a Sardinian deacon of the Roman church. In 355, along with Lucifer of Cagliari, Eusebius of Vercelli, and Pancratius, he was directed by Pope Liberius to plead for Athanasian orthodoxy before Constantius II at the Council of Milan. He pleaded his case so boldly and offensively that the emperor had him beaten and, along with his companions, condemned to exile. Little is known of him afterwards, except (from Jerome) that he adopted Lucifer's position that Arians, other heretics, and those who dealt with them required a second baptism before they could return to communion.He is sometimes credited (on doubtful authority) with two works. The first, his Commentary on Paul's Epistles (Commentarius in Epistolas Pauli), is often published along with the writings of St Ambrosius; the other, Questions of the Old and New Testament (Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti), among the works of St Augustine.

Liberian Catalogue

In compiling the history of the Early Christian Church, the Liberian Catalogue (Catalogus Liberianus), which was part of the illuminated manuscript known as the Chronography of 354, is an essential document, for it consists of a list of the popes, designated bishops of Rome, ending with Pope Liberius (died 366), hence its name and approximate date. The list gives the lengths of their respective episcopates, the corresponding consular dates, and the names of the reigning emperors. In many cases there are other details. "The collection of tracts of which this forms a part was edited (apparently by one Furius Dionysius Philocalus) in 354" (CE). It now survives only in a copy.

The Liberian Catalogue is clearly the work of a compiler using earlier texts. It has been suggested that it is largely dependent on a work of Bishop Hippolytus of Portus (died 235), and is his lost Chronica. The character of the entries changes after Pontian. There are a number of "strange errors" (Edmundson 1913, lecture VIII) in the Liberian Catalogue, some of which may be the product merely of copyist errors (CE). The texts in the Chronography do display damage in transmission.


Liberius may refer to:

Liberius of Ravenna (d. 200), Bishop of Ravenna and saint

Pope Liberius (died 366), European religious leader

Liberius (praetorian prefect) (c. 465 – c. 554), Roman government administrator

Oliver of Ancona or Liberius (died c. 1050), immigrant religious leader in Italy

Liberius, a character in Doctor Zhivago

List of canonised popes

This article lists the Popes who have been canonised or recognised as Saints in the Roman Catholic Church they had led. A total of 83 (out of 266) Popes have been recognised universally as canonised saints, including all of the first 35 Popes (31 of whom were martyrs) and 52 of the first 54. If Pope Liberius is numbered amongst the Saints as in Eastern Christianity, all of the first 49 Popes become recognised as Saints, of whom 31 are Martyr-Saints, and 53 of the first 54 Pontiffs would be acknowledged as Saints. In addition, 13 other Popes are in the process of becoming canonised Saints: as of December 2018, two are recognised as being Servants of God, two are recognised as being Venerable, and nine have been declared Blessed or Beati, making a total of 95 (97 if Pope Liberius and Pope Adeodatus II are recognised to be Saints) of the 266 Roman Pontiffs being recognised and venerated for their heroic virtues and inestimable contributions to the Church.

The most recently reigning Pope to have been canonised was Pope John Paul II, whose cause for canonisation was opened in May 2005. John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011, by Pope Benedict XVI and later canonised, along with Pope John XXIII, by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014. Pope Francis also canonised Pope Paul VI on October 14, 2018.

Neratius Cerealis

Neratius or Naeratius Cerealis (floruit 328–358) was a Roman senator and politician, Praefectus urbi and Consul.

Patricia of Naples

Saint Patricia of Naples (or Patricia of Constantinople) (Italian: Santa Patrizia) (died ca. 665 AD) is an Italian virgin and saint. Tradition states that she was noble; she may have been related to the Roman Emperor. Some sources say that she was a descendant of Constantine the Great. The particulars traditional about her are unreliable and in some instances contradictory.Wishing to escape a marriage arranged by Constans II and become a nun, she went to Rome. There she received the veil from Pope Liberius. Upon the death of her father, she returned to Constantinople and, renouncing any claim to the imperial crown, distributed her wealth to the poor. She then planned to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

However, a terrible terrible storm shipwrecked her on the shores of Naples. Finding refuge on the tiny island of Megarides (the site of the present-day Castel dell'Ovo), the site of a small hermitage, Patricia died shortly after from disease.


Semi-Arianism was a position regarding the relationship between God the Father and the Son of God, adopted by some 4th century Christians. Though the doctrine modified the teachings of Arianism, it still rejected the doctrine that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-eternal, and of the same substance, or consubstantial, and was therefore considered to be heretical by many contemporary Christians. Semi-Arianism is a name frequently given to the Trinitarian position of the conservative majority of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the 4th century, to distinguish it from strict Arianism.

Arius held that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were three separate essences or substances (ousia or hypostases) and that the Son and Spirit derived their divinity from the Father, were created, and were inferior to the Godhead of the Father. Semi-Arians asserted that the Son was “of a similar substance” (homoiousios) as the Father but not "of the same substance" (homoousios). This doctrinal controversy revolved around two words that in writing differed only by a single letter but whose difference in meaning gave rise to furious contests.

Symmachian forgeries

The Symmachian forgeries are a sheaf of forged documents produced in the papal curia of Pope Symmachus (498–514) in the beginning of the sixth century, in the same cycle that produced the Liber Pontificalis. In the context of the conflict between partisans of Symmachus and Antipope Laurentius the purpose of these libelli was to further papal pretensions of the independence of the Bishops of Rome from criticisms and judgment of any ecclesiastical tribunal, putting them above law clerical and secular by supplying spurious documents supposedly of an earlier age. "During the dispute between Pope St. Symmachus and the anti-pope Laurentius," the Catholic Encyclopedia reports, "the adherents of Symmachus drew up four apocryphal writings called the 'Symmachian Forgeries'. ... The object of these forgeries was to produce alleged instances from earlier times to support the whole procedure of the adherents of Symmachus, and, in particular, the position that the Roman bishop could not be judged by any court composed of other bishops."Their editor Louis Duchesne divided them in two groups, a group produced in the heat of the conflict involving Symmachus and a later group. Among writings to support Symmachus, Gesta de Xysti purgatione narrated a decision by Sixtus III, who cleared his name from defamation and permanently excommunicated the offender; Gesta de Polychronii episcopi Hierosolynitani accusatione concerned a purely apocryphal simonical Bishop of Jerusalem "Polychronius", who claimed Jerusalem as the first see and his supremacy over other bishops; Gesta Liberii papae concerned mass baptisms carried out by Pope Liberius during his exile from the seat of Peter; Sinuessanae synodi gesta de Marcellino recounted the accusation brought against Pope Marcellinus, that in the company of the Emperor Diocletian he had offered incense to the pagan gods, making the point that when Marcellinus eventually confessed to the misdeed it was declared that the pope had condemned himself, since no one had ever judged the pontiff, because the first see will not be judged by anyone.The most important in this group of forgeries was Silvestri constitutum, a report of a fictitious synod convoked by Pope Sylvester, giving twenty promulgated canons, among which was a prohibition of bringing a solitary accusation upon an ecclesiastic of a degree higher than the accuser's: a bishop might only be accused by seventy-two, and a pope could not be accused by anyone. Silvestri constitutum was also an early instance of the fable that Sylvester had cured Constantine the Great of leprosy with the waters of baptism, incurring the Emperor's abject gratitude, which was elaborated and credited to the point that, in greeting Pope Stephen II in 753, Pepin II dismounted to lead the Pope's horse to his palace on foot, as Constantine would have done.The second, somewhat later group centers on the figure of Sylvester, who accepts the decree of the First Council of Nicaea on the date of Easter. One of these forgeries reports a fictitious synod convoking 275 bishops in the Baths of Trajan; several canons exalt the position of the cleric.


Viventius (fl. 364 - 371) was a Roman official and administrator during the reign of Valentinian I.

A native of Siscia, in Pannonia, Viventius is first attested as holding the position of Quaestor sacri palatii in 364, one of a number of Pannonians who benefitted from the rise of their compatriots Valens and Valentinian I to the imperial throne. As Quaestor, Viventius assisted in the conducting of magic trials at Rome and was the next year appointed Praefectus urbi. It was during his tenure that a disputed papal election to choose the successor of Pope Liberius led to an outbreak of great violence, during which a battle between the rival factions of Damasus and Ursicinus led to the deaths of one hundred and thirty seven people in a single day. Following on from his urban prefecture, Viventius assumed the office of Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, one of the most senior administrative posts in the Roman Empire, and which he held from 368 to 371. His date of death is unknown, however, it was prior to 384 when he is referred to as "of illustrious memory". He is described by Ammianus Marcellinus as "a just and prudent man".

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