Pope Lucius I

Pope Lucius I (c. 200 – 5 March 254) was the Bishop of Rome from 25 June 253 to his death in 254. He was banished soon after his consecration, but gained permission to return. He was mistakenly classified as a martyr in the persecution of Valerian, which did not begin until after Lucius' death.

A Danish legend held that the demons of Isefjord feared nothing but the skull of Lucius I, and when this skull was taken to Denmark, it brought peace, and Lucius was declared patron of Zealand. The skull was then preserved as a national relic until carbon dating proved that it did not date back as far as his time.

Pope Saint

Lucius I
22-St.Lucius I
Papacy began25 June 253
Papacy ended5 March 254
SuccessorStephen I
Personal details
Birth nameLucius
Bornc. 200
Rome, Roman Empire
Died5 March 254
Rome, Roman Empire
Feast day5 March
Venerated inCatholicism
Other popes named Lucius


St. Lucius was born in Rome at an unknown date; nothing is known about his family except his father's name, Porphyrianus. He was elected probably on 25 June 253 and died on 5 March 254. His election took place during the persecution which caused the banishment of his predecessor Pope Cornelius, and he also was banished soon after his consecration, but succeeded in gaining permission to return.[1]

He is praised in several letters of St. Cyprian (see Epist. lxviii. 5) for condemning the Novationists for their refusal to readmit to communion Christians who repented for having lapsed under persecution.

His feast day is 5 March, on which date he is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology in the following terms: "In the cemetery of Callistus on the Via Appia, Rome, burial of Saint Lucius, Pope, successor of Saint Cornelius. For his faith in Christ he suffered exile and acted as an outstanding confessor of the faith, with moderation and prudence, in the difficult times that were his."[2]

His feast did not appear in the Tridentine Calendar of Pope Saint Pius V. In 1602, it was inserted under the date of 4 March, into the General Roman Calendar. With the insertion in 1621 on the same date of the feast of Saint Casimir, the celebration of Pope Lucius was reduced to a commemoration within Saint Casimir's Mass. In the 1969 revision Pope Lucius's feast was omitted from the General Roman Calendar, partly because of the baselessness of the title of "martyr" with which he had previously been honoured,[3] and was moved in the Roman Martyrology to the day of his death.

In spite of what is mistakenly stated in the Liber Pontificalis, he did not in fact suffer martyrdom.[4] The persecution of Valerian in which he was said to have been martyred is known to have started later than March 254, when Pope Lucius died.


His tombstone is still extant in the catacomb of Callixtus. His relics were later brought to the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, along with the relics of St. Cecilia and others. His head is preserved in a reliquary in St. Ansgar's Cathedral in Copenhagen, Denmark. This relic was brought to Roskilde around the year 1100, after St. Lucius had been declared patron of the Danish region Zealand. There had been demons at large at the Isefjord at Roskilde city,[5] and as they declared that they feared nothing but Lucius' skull, this had to be brought to Denmark, whereupon peace took reign of the fjord again.[6] After the Reformation, the skull was taken to the exhibition rooms of king Frederik III in Copenhagen, where it was on exhibit along with the petrified embryo a woman had carried inside her for 28 years, as well as other monstrosities the king had collected. The skull remained in Roskilde Cathedral until 1908, when it was moved to Saint Ansgar's Cathedral while the property of Copenhagen's National museum.

Pope St. Lucius' head is among the few relics to have survived the Reformation in Denmark. However the Norwegian researcher Øystein Morten[7] started wondering if St. Lucius' skull might have been mixed up with the skull of the Norwegian king Sigurd Jorsalfar (1090–1130). This skull had also been kept in the Danish National Museum collection in the 1800s until it was donated to Oslo University in 1867. Danish experts from the National Museum then studied the skull, using carbon dating which concluded that the skull belonged to a man who lived between AD340 and 431, nearly 100 years after the death of St Lucius in 254. So the skull in question never belonged to St. Lucius, who died around AD 254. The results also rule out that it may have belonged to the crusader king Sigurd.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Kirsch, Johann Peter (1910). "Pope St. Lucius I" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. ^ Romae via Appia in coemeterio Callisti, depositio sancti Lucii, papae, qui, sancti Cornelii successor, pro Christi fide exsilium passus est et, fidei confessor eximius, in angustiis tempestatibus suis moderatione ac prudentia se gessit [Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 978-88-209-7210-3), die 5 martii].
  3. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), pp. 88 and 118
  4. ^ St. Lucius I; "There are no grounds for counting St Lucius among the martyrs, since he is listed in the Depositio Episcoporum" [Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 118]
  5. ^ "When they entered Isefjord from the Kattegat, the ship carrying the priests was attacked by a vile demon that demanded a human sacrifice in order to let them pass," quoted from: https://web.archive.org/web/20150924092105/http://www.roskildekommune.dk/webtop/site.aspx?p=21421
  6. ^ R. Broby-Johansen: Det gamle København (page 164), edited by Thanning and Appel, Copenhagen 1978, ISBN 8741363477
  7. ^ http://www.spartacus.no/index.php?ID=Forfatter&ID2=342
  8. ^ http://cphpost.dk/news14/news-news14/skull-and-cross-wires.html


External links

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by
Stephen I

The 250s decade ran from January 1, 250, to December 31, 259.

== Events ==

=== 250 ===

==== By place ====

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

A group of Franks penetrate as far as Tarragona in Spain (approximate date).

The Goths under king Cniva invade Moesia. They cross the Danube and lay siege to Novae and Marcianopolis.

Battle of Augusta Traiana. The Romans lose the battle against the Goths

Cniva lays siege to Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv). After a long resistance, Cniva conquers the city and slays its one hundred thousand inhabitants.

The Alamanni drive the Romans from the modern area of Donau-Ries.

An epidemic begins in Ethiopia, moves into Egypt and the Roman colonies in North Africa, and spreads through the Roman Empire. Named the Plague of Cyprian after St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage.

====== Africa ======

The Kingdom of Aksum (Axum) takes control of commerce on the Red Sea.

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

The earliest Chinese references to a device known as "emperor's south-pointing carriage" date to this period.

====== America ======

Teotihuacán is rebuilt as a four-quartered cosmogram by Zapotec architects brought from Monte Albán in Oaxaca.

Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization begins.

==== By topic ====

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

Diophantus writes Arithmetica, the first systematic treatise on algebra.

Family Group, traditionally called the Family of Vunnerius Keramus, is made. It was later placed in Brescia Cross. It is now kept at Museo Civico dell'Etá Cristiana, Brescia (approximate date).

Battle between the Romans and the Barbarians, detail of the Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus, found near Rome, is made. It is now kept at Museo Nazionale Romano (approximate date).

Igel Column is erected (approximate date).

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

Emperor Decius institutes the persecution of Christians in an attempt to restore the religion of Rome. Pope Fabian is one of the first martyrs.

Saint Denis, who is a patron saint of France, is beheaded around this time.

=== 251 ===

==== By place ====

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

July 1 – In the Battle of Abritus, the Goths defeat emperor Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus on swampy ground in the Dobruja (Moesia).

In Rome, Hostilian, son of Decius, succeeds his father, while Trebonianus Gallus is proclaimed Emperor by the troops. Gallus accepts him as co-emperor, but an outbreak of plague strikes the city and kills the young Hostilian.

The prosperity of Roman Britain declines during this period as the Germanic tribes of the Franks and Saxons, whose homelands are in Friesland and the Low Countries, make raids around the southeast coast.

Gallus makes peace with the Goths, he permits them to keep their plunder, and offers them a bribe not to return.

A fifteen-year plague begins in the Roman Empire.

====== Persia ======

The Sassanid king, Shapur I, orders an invasion of the Roman East with the intent of finally capturing the jewel of Syria, Antioch (251–254).

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

Wang Ling's rebellion against the Wei regent Sima Yi is quelled.

Sima Yi passes away in Luoyang.

Sima Shi, Sima Yi's eldest son, inherits his father's authority.

==== By topic ====

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

March – Pope Cornelius succeeds Pope Fabian as the 21st pope.

=== 252 ===

==== By place ====

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

Battle of Barbalissos: King Shapur I defeats a Roman field army at Barbalissos in Syria (probable date, could have been in 253). The size of the Roman field army is claimed by Persian sources to have been 70,000 men strong, yet this is unlikely.

====== Persia ======

Shapur I, king of Persia, puts the revolt in Khorasan (Iran and Turkmenistan) down and rejoins with his army.

He invades Armenia and appoints Artavazd VI as the new Armenian king.

Georgia submits peacefully to Shapur I, and is made a special province in the Persian Empire.

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

Sun Liang succeeds his father Sun Quan as emperor of the Chinese state of Eastern Wu.

==== By topic ====

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

Pope Cornelius is exiled to Centumcellae by emperor Trebonianus Gallus.

=== 253 ===

==== By place ====

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

The legions who have campaigned against the Goths on the Danube elect Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus as new emperor. He advances on Rome along the Flaminian Way, to meet his opponent emperor Trebonianus Gallus and his son Volusianus. For the most part, generals in the border regions are proclaimed emperor by their armies to halt the invasion of Germanic tribes.

Aemilianus is proclaimed "enemy of the State" by the Roman Senate. Trebonianus Gallus is defeated at Interamna Nahars (Umbria); he flees with Volusianus to the north, but at Foligno they are killed by their own troops.

Aemilianus rules for 3 months the Roman Empire; he promises to fight in Thrace and goes to war against Persia. The Senate gives him the rank of Pontifex Maximus.

Aemilianus is murdered at Spoletium and Publius Valerianus, age 60, is recognised as new emperor by the Rhine legions. He gives his son Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus the title Augustus. Valerianus I dispatches him to the Danube where the Goths have violated the treaty signed with Rome and invaded Moesia.

Valerianus I splits the Roman Empire in two; Gallienus taking control of the West and his father ruling the East, where he faces the Persian threat.

Battle of Barbalissos: King Shapur I, defeats a Roman field army at Barbalissos in Syria 2).

Valerian reforms Legio III Augusta to fight the "five peoples", a dangerous coalition of Berber tribes in Africa.

==== By topic ====

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

Pope Cornelius is sent into exile.

June 25 – Pope Lucius I succeeds Pope Cornelius as the 22nd pope.

Lucius is arrested almost immediately following his election and also exiled.

=== 254 ===

==== By place ====

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

Publius Licinius Valerianus Augustus and Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus become Roman Consuls.

The Roman Empire is threatened by several peoples on their borders: the Germanic confederations, such as the Franks on the Middle Rhine, the Alemanni on the upper Rhine and Danube, and the Marcomanni facing the provinces at Noricum and Raetia. On land the confederation of Goths threaten the lower Danube provinces and on the sea they threaten the shores of Thracia, Bithynia et Pontus, and Cappadocia. In the eastern provinces, the Sassanid Persians had the previous year defeated a Roman field army at Barballisos and afterwards plundered the defenseless provinces. This was the period of time which today is called the crisis of the third century.

==== By topic ====

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

May 12 – Pope Stephen I succeeds Pope Lucius I as the 23rd pope.

=== 255 ===

==== By place ====

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

Sima Shi quells Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's rebellion.

Sima Shi passes away.

Sima Zhao, Sima Shi's younger brother, inherits his brother's authority.

==== By topic ====

====== Science ======

Ma Jun, a Chinese mechanical engineer from Cao Wei, invents the south-pointing chariot, a path-finding directional compass vehicle that uses a differential gear, not magnetics.

=== 256 ===

==== By place ====

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

Goths invade Asia Minor. Dacia is lost for the Roman Empire and the Goths appear at the walls of Thessalonica.

The Franks cross the Rhine; the Alemanni reach Mediolanum (Milan). (disputed date)

In Africa, the Berbers massacre Roman colonists.

King Shapur I of the Sasanian Empire invades Mesopotamia and Syria. He conquers and plunders Antioch, destroys Dura-Europos and sacks the Anatolian city of Zeugma on the Euphrates. A devastating fire and an earthquake soon follow, causing Zeugma to be abandoned.

Cities in the Roman Empire begin to build walls as the defense of the frontiers begins to crumble; future emperor Aurelian inspectses along the Rhine.

February 28: Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 3035, a warrant for the arrest of a Christian, is written.

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

Peace and unity are finally restored in China with the victories of the Wei Kingdom in the north. The ruling dynasty is worn out by war, and the kingdom is ruled by ministers on their behalf.

==== By topic ====

====== Medicine ======

The great pandemic of the Roman world strikes violently in Pontus on the Black Sea and causes enormous loss of life in Alexandria, encouraging thousands to embrace Christianity.

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

Emperor Valerian persecutes Christians.

Pope Stephen I threatens to excommunicate Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, and other bishops in Africa and Asia Minor unless they stop rebaptizing heretics. Cyprian attacks the Pope in a treatise that gains support from the Council of Carthage. He sends envoys to Rome, raising the specter of a schism between the Roman and Carthaginian Churches.

A Synod of Carthage is held.

=== 257 ===

==== By place ====

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

Gallienus enters into a joint consulship with his father Valerianus I, having brought some order to the Danube area.

Future emperor Aurelian defeats the Goths and brings many prisoners back to Rome.

In Bavaria the Limes Germanicus (Upper Raetian Limes) along the river Iller is abandoned by the Romans.

Valerian, under guardianship of Ingenuus, is established at Sirmium (Pannonia) to represent the Roman government in the troubled Illyrian provinces.

Emperor Valerian recovers Antioch in Syria from the Persian king Shapur I.

The Goths build a fleet on the Black Sea.

The Goths separate into the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths.

==== By topic ====

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

August 30 – Pope Sixtus II succeeds Pope Stephen I as the 24th pope.

Valerian's persecution of Christians begins: his edict orders bishops and priests to sacrifice according to the pagan rituals, and prohibits Christians, under penalty of death, from meeting at the tombs of their deceased.

=== 258 ===

==== By place ====

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

The Goths ravage Asia Minor and Trapezus.

The amount of silver in the Roman currency of the denarius falls below 10%. The crisis ruins craftsmen, tradesmen, and small farmers. They are forced to bartering; landowners grow larger by buying up cheap land.

Valerian II, eldest son of Gallienus, dies, possibly murdered by Pannonia's governor Ingenuus; Emperor Valerian bestows on another one of Gallienus's sons, Saloninus, the title of Caesar.

A second Imperial edict prohibits Christianity in the Roman Empire. This edict divides Christians into four categories: priests, who are to be put to death; senators and equestrians, who are to be stripped of their positions and their property confiscated; nuns, who are to be exiled; and imperial civil servants, who are condemned to forced labour.

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

Sima Zhao quells Zhuge Dan's rebellion, thereby also ending what are known as the Three Rebellions in Shouchun.

Sun Xiu succeeds his brother Sun Liang as emperor of the Chinese state of Eastern Wu.

==== By topic ====

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

Cyprian, the bishop of Carthage, is martyred (decapitation).

Pope Sixtus II is martyred.

====== Education ======

Nanjing University is founded in Nanjing, China.

=== 259 ===

==== By place ====

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

Emperor Valerian leads an army (70,000 men) to relieve Edessa, besieged by the forces of king Shapur I. An outbreak of a plague kills many legionaries, weakening the Roman position in Syria.

Battle of Mediolanum: A Germanic confederation, the Alamanni (300,000 warriors), who crossed the Alps are defeated by Roman legions under Gallienus near Mediolanum (modern Milan).

Postumus revolts against Gallienus in Gaul. The western provinces of Britain and Spain join his independent realm—which is called in modern times the Gallic Empire.

Postumus, governor of Gaul, declares himself Emperor and continues to rule the Gallic Empire until 269 when he was killed by his soldiers.

The Roman fort of Wiesbaden (Germany) is captured by the Alamanni (possibly 260).

The Franks, who invaded the Roman Empire near Cologne in 257, reach Tarraco in Hispania.

====== Persia ======

Mesopotamia: Odaenathus, the ruler of the kingdom of Palmyra, sacks the city of Nehardea, destroying its great yeshiva.

==== By topic ====

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

Pope Dionysius is elected as the 25th pope.


Year 253 (CCLIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Volusianus and Claudius (or, less frequently, year 1006 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 253 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 254 (CCLIV) 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 Valerianus and Gallienus (or, less frequently, year 1007 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 254 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.

Catacomb of Callixtus

The Catacomb(s) of Callixtus (also known as the Cemetery of Callixtus) is one of the Catacombs of Rome on the Appian Way, most notable for containing the Crypt of the Popes (Italian: Cappella dei Papi), which once contained the tombs of several popes from the 2nd to 4th centuries.

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.

List of people from Rome

This is a list of notable people who were born, lived or are/were famously associated with Rome, Italy.

List of popes by country

This page is a list of popes by country of origin. They are listed in chronological order within each section.

As the office of pope has existed for almost two millennia, many of the countries of origin of popes no longer exist, and so they are grouped under their modern equivalents. Popes from Italy are in a separate section, given the very large number of popes from that peninsula.

List of popes who died violently

A collection of popes who have had violent deaths through the centuries. The circumstances have ranged from martyrdom (Pope Stephen I) to war (Lucius II), to a beating by a jealous husband (Pope John XII). A number of other popes have died under circumstances that some believe to be murder, but for which definitive evidence has not been found.


Lucius (Greek: Λούκιος Loukios; Etruscan: Luvcie) is a male given name derived from Lucius (abbreviated L.), one of the small group of common Latin forenames (praenomina) found in the culture of ancient Rome. Lucius derives from Latin word Lux (gen. lucis), meaning "light" ( March 5

March 5 is the 64th day of the year (65th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 301 days remain until the end of the year.

May 12

May 12 is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 233 days remain until the end of the year.

Pope Lucius

Pope Lucius may refer to:

Pope Lucius I (c 200–254), 22nd Catholic pope

Pope Lucius II (died 1145), 166th Catholic pope

Pope Lucius III (c 1100–1185), 171st Catholic pope

Pope Lucius II

Pope Lucius II (Latin: Lucius II; died 15 February 1145), born Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, was Pope from 9 March 1144 to his death in 1145. His pontificate was notable for the unrest in Rome associated with the Commune of Rome and its attempts to wrest control of the city from the papacy.

Pope Stephen I

Pope Stephen I (Latin: Stephanus I; died 2 August 257) was the Bishop of Rome from 12 May 254 to his death in 257. Of Roman birth but of Greek ancestry, he became bishop after serving as archdeacon of Pope Lucius I, who appointed Stephen his successor.

Saint Lucius

Saint Lucius is the name of:

Pope Lucius I (died 254), pope from June 25, 253 to March 4, 254

Saint Lucius of Chur, first bishop of Chur (feast on Dec 2)

Saint Lucius of Cyrene, one of the founders of the Christian Church in Antioch of Syria (feast on May 6)

Lucius of Britain, semi-legendary king of Britain

Ptolemaeus and Lucius (died 165), Christian martyrs

Quintian, Lucius and Julian (died 430), African martyrs

Saint Nohra (or Nuhra), also known as St. Lucius, a Maronite saint

Bishop Lucius of Caesarea, one of the Martyrs of Caesarea (also known as Luke and Lucas)

Saint Nohra

Saint Nohra (also Nuhra), St. Lucius or Mar Nohra was a Maronite saint and mar, still popular in Lebanon today. The saint's name derives from Aramaic, meaning "light". He was born in Persia in the third century, and is not to be confused with Pope Lucius I.According to the Maronite synaxarion, his day of remembrance is 22 July.

Also according to the Maronite Synaxarion, it is mentioned that he has travelled preaching the Gospel and suffered martyrdom in Smar Jbeil, Batroun, Lebanon. His name in Syriac means "light" and he is the patron saint of anyone suffering from blindness or eye diseases. His Church in Smar Jbeil is in the center of the town, on the main street leading the travelers to Batroun.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
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)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
Virgin Mary
See also

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