Pope Sylvester I

Pope Sylvester I (also Silvester, died 31 December 335), was the 33rd Pope of the Catholic Church from 314 to his death in 335. He succeeded Pope Miltiades.[2] He filled the See of Rome at an important era in the history of the Western Church, yet very little is known of him.[3] The accounts of his papacy preserved in the Liber Pontificalis (seventh or eighth century) contain little more than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Church by Constantine I,[4] although it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus.[5] His feast is celebrated as Saint Sylvester's Day in Western Christianity on December 31, while Eastern Christianity commemorates it on January 2.[6]


Sylvester I
33-St.Sylvester I
Papacy began31 January 314
Papacy ended31 December 335
PredecessorMiltiades
SuccessorMark
Personal details
Birth nameSilvester
BornSant'Angelo a Scala, Avellino [1]
DiedDecember 31, 335 (aged ??)
Rome, Italy[1]
Sainthood
Feast day
Venerated in
Attributes
Patronage
Other popes named Sylvester

Biography

During his pontificate, the great churches founded at Rome by Constantine, e.g. the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Old St. Peter's Basilica were built, and several cemeterial churches were built over the graves of martyrs.[5][7]

Sylvester did not attend the First Council of Nicaea in 325, where the Nicene Creed was formulated, but he was represented by two legates, Vitus and Vincentius, and he approved the council's decision.

One of the Symmachian forgeries, the Vita beati Silvestri (c. 501–508), which has been preserved in Greek and Syriac (and in Latin in the Constitutum Silvestri), is an apocryphal alleged account of a Roman council, including legends of Sylvester's close relationship with the first Christian emperor. These also appear in the Donation of Constantine.[5]

Legacy

Long after his death, the figure of Sylvester was embroidered upon in a fictional account of his relationship to Constantine, which seemed to successfully support the later Gelasian doctrine of papal supremacy, papal auctoritas (authority) guiding imperial potestas (power), the doctrine that is embodied in the forged Donation of Constantine of the eighth century. In the fiction, of which an early version is represented in the early sixth-century Symmachean forgeries emanating from the curia of Pope Symmachus (died 514), the Emperor Constantine was cured of leprosy by the virtue of the baptismal water administered by Sylvester.[8]

Sylvester I and Constantine
Pope Sylvester I and Constantine in a 1247 fresco

The Emperor, abjectly grateful, not only confirmed the bishop of Rome as the primate above all other bishops, he resigned his imperial insignia and walked before Sylvester's horse holding the Pope's bridle as the papal groom. The Pope, in return, offered the crown of his own good will to Constantine, who abandoned Rome to the pope and took up residence in Constantinople. "The doctrine behind this charming story is a radical one," Norman F. Cantor observes: "The pope is supreme over all rulers, even the Roman emperor, who owes his crown to the pope and therefore may be deposed by papal decree". Such a useful legend quickly gained wide circulation; Gregory of Tours referred to this political legend in his history of the Franks, written in the 580s.[9]

Pope Sylvester II, himself a close associate of Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, chose the name Sylvester in imitation of Sylvester I.

In the West, the liturgical feast of Saint Sylvester is on 31 December, the day of his burial in the Catacomb of Priscilla.[5] This is the last day in the year and, accordingly, in German-speaking countries and in some others close to them, New Year's Eve is known as Silvester. In some other countries, too, the day is usually referred to as Saint Sylvester's Day or the Feast of Saint Sylvester.[10] In São Paulo, Brazil, a long-distance running event called the Saint Silvester Road Race occurs every year on 31 December.[11]

Legendary

Popesylvesterdragon
Pope Sylvester I portrayed slaying a dragon and resurrecting its victims, a fresco by Maso di Banco

The Donation of Constantine is a document fabricated in the second half of the eighth century, purporting to be a record by the Emperor himself of his conversion, the profession of his new faith, and the privileges he conferred on Pope Sylvester I, his clergy, and their successors. According to it, Pope Sylvester was offered the imperial crown, which, however, he refused.[12]

"Lu Santu Papa Silvestru", a story in Giuseppe Pitrè's collection of Sicilian fables, recounts the legend as follows: Constantine the king wants to take a second wife, and asks Sylvester. Sylvester denies him permission, calling on heaven as witness; Constantine threatens him, and Sylvester, rather than give in, escapes into the woods. Not long after, Constantine falls ill; when he is desperate of ever regaining his health he has a dream which commands him to send for Sylvester. He obeys, and Sylvester receives Constantine's messengers in his cave and swiftly baptizes them, whereafter (having shown them several miracles) he is led back to Constantine, whom he baptizes also, and cures. In this story, Constantine and his entourage are not pagans but Jews.[13]

Another legend has Sylvester slaying a dragon. He is often depicted with the dying beast.[14][15]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Patron Saints Index: Pope Saint Sylvester I". Saints.sqpn.com. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  2. ^ Annuario Pontificio (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2008 ISBN 978-88-209-8021-4), p. 8*
  3. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article "Sylvester I, St"
  4. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Silvester (popes)" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ a b c d Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope St. Sylvester I" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  6. ^ Butler, Alban (1981). Butler's Lives of the Saints, Volume 4. Christian Classics. p. 644. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  7. ^ Dietz, Helen. "Helen Dietz: "The Eschatological Dimension of Church Architecture". The Biblical Roots of Church Orientation. 2005". Sacredarchitecture.org. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  8. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1946). History of Western Philosophy. Psychology Press. p. 366. ISBN 9780415325059. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  9. ^ Reported in Norman F. Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages, 1993:177.
  10. ^ Cohen, Ariel (31 December 2014). "Celebrating an anti-Semitic pope on Sylvester". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 31 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  11. ^ RONDINELLI, Paula. "Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre". Brasil Escola (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  12. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Donation of Constantine
  13. ^ Pitrè, Giuseppe, Fiabe, novelle e racconti popolari siciliani, Volume terzo, Palermo 1875. pp. 39–42
  14. ^ Pohlsander, Hans A. (11 March 2002). The Emperor Constantine – Hans A. Pohlsander – Google Books. ISBN 9780203137215. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  15. ^ Voragine, Jacobus de (1275). "The Life of Saint Silvester". Golden Legend. Retrieved 29 December 2013.

Literature

  • Gisela Schmitt (1995). "Pope Sylvester I". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 10. Herzberg: Bautz. col. 338–341. ISBN 3-88309-062-X.
  • Pope St. Sylvester I (314–335) 
  • Francesco Scorza Barcellona: SILVESTRO I, santo. In: Enciclopedia dei Papi, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana
  • Template:LThK
  • Horst Fuhrmann: Konstantinische Schenkung in: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Vol. 5, Artemis & Winkler, Munich/Zurich 1991, ISBN 3-7608-8905-0, Col. 1385–1387.
  • Wilhelm Pohlkamp: Silvester I., Papst (314–335) in: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Vol. 7, LexMA-Verlag, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-7608-8907-7, Col. 1905–1908.

External links

Media related to Sylvester I at Wikimedia Commons

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Miltiades
Bishop of Rome
Pope

314–335
Succeeded by
Mark
330s

The 330s decade ran from January 1, 330, to December 31, 339.

== Events ==

=== 330 ===

==== By place ====

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

May 11 – Emperor Constantine the Great dedicates Constantinople, or Nova Roma (modern Istanbul), and moves the capitol of the Roman Empire there from Rome. He has spent 4 years building the city on the site of ancient Byzantium, having chosen the site for its strategic location (a seaport with easy access to Anatolia and the Danube). This forms the Roman splinter empire, known as the Byzantine Empire.

The Goths devastate the city of Tanais in the Don River delta.

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

Ezana, king of Axum, extends his area of control to the west. He defeats the Nobates, and destroys the kingdom of Meroë.

==== By topic ====

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

Frumentius is the first bishop of Ethiopia (approximate date).

Eustathius, Patriarch of Antioch, is banished to Trajanopolis.

The Bible is translated into the Gothic language by Wulfila.

Pagan temples begin to be progressively abandoned, destroyed or left to fall into disrepair, save those that are transformed into churches.

=== 331 ===

==== By place ====

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

Emperor Constantine the Great vigorously promotes Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Roman Empire.

Constantine I dedicates the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.

Constantine I promulgates a law against divorce.

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

Gogugwon becomes ruler of the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo.

==== By topic ====

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

Eusebius of Caesarea writes the Onomasticon.

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

Gregory the Illuminator withdraws to a small sanctuary in the Daranali province (Armenia).

=== 332 ===

==== By place ====

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

Emperor Constantine I and his son Constantine II, aged 16, defeat the Goths in Moesia. The Goths become Roman allies and protect the Danube frontier.

Constantine I constructs a bridge across the Danube in order to increase trade between the Visigoths and Rome.

May 18 – Constantine I announces a free distribution of food to the citizens in Constantinople, similar to the food given out in the city of Rome. The amount is approximately 80,000 rations a day, doled out from 117 distribution points around the city.

=== 333 ===

==== By place ====

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

Flavius Dalmatius and Domitius Zenofilus are appointed consuls.

Emperor Constantine the Great pulls Roman troops out of Britain and abandons work on Hadrian's Wall.

Calocaerus revolts against Constantine I and proclaims himself emperor. Flavius Dalmatius, responsible for the security of the eastern frontier, is sent to Cyprus to suppress the rebellion.

December 25 – Constantine I elevates his youngest son Constans to the rank of Caesar at Constantinople.

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

Shi Hong succeeds his father Shi Le as Emperor of the Later Zhao Empire, in the Period of the Sixteen Kingdoms, but Shi Hong's third cousin Shi Hu held real power. Empress Dowager Liu (widow of Shi Le) failed to get rid of Shi Hu and Shi Hu had her deposed and killed.

=== 334 ===

==== By place ====

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

Flavius Dalmatius puts down a revolt in Cyprus led by Calocaerus. Calocaerus is brought to Tarsus (Cilicia) and executed.

The Goths protect the Danube frontier against an invasion by the Vandals.

Emperor Constantine the Great reauthorises gladiatorial combat.

Julius Firmicus Maternus makes the first recorded observation of solar prominences, during an annular eclipse (July 17).

=== 335 ===

==== By place ====

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

September 14 – Emperor Constantine I consecrates the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

September 19 – Flavius Dalmatius is raised to the rank of Caesar, with control of Thracia and Macedonia.

Hannibalianus, nephew of Constantine I, is made Rex Regum ("King of Kings of the Pontic people").

November 7 – Athanasius is banished to Trier, on charge that he prevented the corn fleet from sailing to Constantinople.

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

Samudragupta succeeds Chandragupta I as king of the Gupta Empire.

Tuoba Hena ousts Tuoba Yihuai as chieftain of the Tuoba Clan.

Emperor Shi Hu moves the capital of the Later Zhao state to Yecheng.

==== By topic ====

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

First Synod of Tyre: Constantine I convenes a gathering of bishops at Tyre to depose and exile Patriarch Athanasius of Alexandria.

Constantine I reinstates the Alexandrian priest Arius (declared a heretic at the First Council of Nicaea in 325) in a synod at Jerusalem about a year before Arius' death.

September 13 – The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is consecrated.

December 31 – Pope Sylvester I dies at Rome after a 21-year reign. He is succeeded by Mark as the 34th pope.

=== 336 ===

==== By place ====

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

The military successes of Emperor Constantine I result in most of Dacia being reconquered by the Roman Empire.

The first recorded customs tariff is in use in Palmyra.

==== By topic ====

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

January 18 – Pope Mark succeeds Pope Sylvester I as the 34th pope.

Pope Mark begins to build the basilica of San Marco; the church is devoted to St. Mark.

Arius, Alexandrian priest, collapses in the street at Constantinople (approximate date).

Pope Mark dies at Rome after an 11-month reign. No successor is immediately found.

=== 337 ===

==== By place ====

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

May 22 – Constantine the Great, first Christian Roman emperor of the Western Empire (312–324), and of the Roman Empire (324–337), dies in Achyron, near Nicomedia, at age 65 after he is baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia.

September 9 – Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their father Constantine I as co-emperors. The Roman Empire is divided between the three Augusti (see map).

September – A number of descendants of Constantius Chlorus, and officials of the Roman Empire, are executed for a purge against the sons of Constantine I.

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

King Shapur II of Persia begins a war against the Roman Empire. He sends his troops across the Tigris to recover Armenia and Mesopotamia.

Shapur II besieges the Roman fortress of Nisibis (Syria), but is repulsed by the forces under Lucilianus.

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

Murong Huang claims the title of Prince of Yan, effectively beginning the kingdom of Former Yan.

==== By topic ====

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

February 6 – A 4-month papal vacancy ends. Pope Julius I succeeds Pope Mark as the 35th pope.

June 17 – Constantius II announces the restoration of Athanasius as Patriarch of Alexandria.

Paul I becomes Patriarch of Constantinople.

Christianity is declared an official religion in Caucasian Iberia, marking the rise of Christianity in Georgia.

=== 338 ===

==== By place ====

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

The Romans, allied with the Goths, arrive in the north of the Roman Empire to protect the Danube frontier.

Emperor Constantius II intervenes against the Persians in Armenia.

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

Shapur II, king of the Persian Empire, begins a widespread persecution of Christians; he orders forcible conversions to the state religion, Zoroastrianism, lest the Christians disrupt his realm while he is away fighting the Romans in Armenia and Mesopotamia.

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

Tuoba Yihuai, ruler of the Tuoba Dai clan, dies and is succeeded by his brother Tuoba Shiyijian.

==== By topic ====

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

Church of Santa Costanza, Rome, is started to be built (approximate date).

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

Eusebius of Nicomedia becomes Patriarch of Constantinople after Paul I is banished.

Non-Christians are persecuted by the Roman Empire as pagans.

=== 339 ===

==== By place ====

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

Emperor Constantius II hastens to his territory in the East, where a revived Persia under king Shapur II is attacking Mesopotamia. For the next 11 years the two powers engage in a war of border skirmishing with no real victor.

==== By topic ====

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

Pope Julius I gives refuge at Rome to the Alexandrian patriarch Athanasius, who is deposed and expelled during the First Synod of Tyre (see 335).

Eusebius of Nicomedia is made bishop of Constantinople, while another Arian succeeds Athanasius as bishop of Alexandria under the name Gregory.

335

Year 335 (CCCXXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Albinus (or, less frequently, year 1088 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 335 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.

Betause

Betause (died 327) was a 4th-century Bishop of Reims.Of Greek origin, he was the nephew of Pope Eusebius, the son of his sister.

He was ordained fourth bishop of Rheims by Pope Miltiades in 312AD and attended the Council of Arles of 314 with his deacon, Primogenite. He is listed in the council records as from "the first province of Belgium".By 314AD, Betause had built a new cathedral because until then, the Christians in Reims had only a small building and a cemetery outside the city. The new church was dedicated to the Holy Apostles.

He asked Pope Sylvester I to transfer the seat of the bishopric to Reims which was moved under Saint Nicaise. This church was destroyed at the end of the 18th century.He also built the Saint-Christophe chapel where saint Rémi was latter buried. Betause died in 327.

December 31

December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. It is known by a collection of names including: Saint Sylvester's Day, New Year's Eve or Old Years Day/Night, as the following day is New Year's Day. It is the last day of the year. The following day is January 1 of the following year.

Dulcinian

The Dulcinians were a religious sect of the Late Middle Ages, originating within the Apostolic Brethren. The Dulcinians, or Dulcinites, and Apostolics were inspired by Franciscan ideals and influenced by the Joachimites, but were considered heretical by the Catholic Church. Their name derives from the movement's leader, Fra Dolcino of Novara (ca. 1250–1307), who was burned as a heretic on the orders of Pope Clement V.

Maso di Banco

Maso di Banco (working c 1335- 1350) was an Italian painter of the 14th century, who worked in Florence, Italy. He and Taddeo Gaddi were the most prominent Florentine pupils of Giotto di Bondone, exploring the three-dimensional dramatic realism inaugurated by Giotto.Maso's name and work are known to us from Lorenzo Ghiberti's autobiographical I Commentari, which identifies frescoes in the chapel of the Holy Confessors at Santa Croce, Florence as his chief work. The frescoes, not signed or dated but probably c 1340, represent scenes from the Life of St. Sylvester (Pope Sylvester I), the Last Judgment, and The Entombment.

His fresco of a particular judgment is in the Bardi banking family chapel of Santa Croce. It features Gualtiero de' Bardi pleading on behalf of his soul before Jesus Christ.

Nanni di Banco, a sculptor of the early 15th century, is not related to Maso.

Papal cross

The papal cross is a Christian cross, which serves as an emblem for the office of the Pope in ecclesiastical heraldry. It is depicted as a staff with three horizontal bars near the top, in diminishing order of length as the top is approached. The cross is thus analogous to the two-barred archiepiscopal cross used in heraldry to indicate an archbishop, and seems to have been used precisely to indicate an ecclesiastical rank still higher than that of archbishop. In the past, this design of the cross was often used in ecclesiastical heraldry as a distinctive mark of his office. It was often merely an artistic device, as use of a staff or crosier was not part of the traditional papal insignia. However, at least one staff surmounted with a papal cross does exist.

Symbolism connected with the papal powers have been attached to the three crossbars, similar to the symbolism attached to the three bands on the papal tiara.

Pope Sylvester

Pope Sylvester, or Silvester may refer to:

Pope Sylvester I (314–335)

Pope Sylvester II (999–1003)

Pope Sylvester III (1045)

Antipope Sylvester IV (1105–1111)

Saint-Sylvestre

Saint-Sylvestre may refer to:

Saint-Sylvestre, Quebec

Saint-Sylvestre, Ardèche, France

Saint-Sylvestre, Haute-Savoie, France

Saint-Sylvestre, Haute-Vienne, France

Saint-Sylvestre, Quebec

Saint-Sylvestre is a municipality in the Municipalité régionale de comté de Lotbinière in Quebec, Canada. It is part of the Chaudière-Appalaches region and the population is 989 as of 2009. It is named after Pope Sylvester I.

Saint Paris

Saint Paris or Paris of Teano (Italian: San Paride di Teano) (d. 346) was ordained Bishop of Teano by Pope Sylvester I. His feast day is August 5.Many legends exist about him, but the only definite fact seems to be that he was a bishop of Teano.He was succeeded by Saint Amasius of Teano (d. 356).

The legends say that Paris was of Greek origin and was the apostle and first bishop of Teano. His miracles included killing a dragon near a spring, close to which Teano Cathedral was founded, which is dedicated to San Paride ad Fontem ("Saint Paris at the Spring"). It was at the request of the church authorities of Teano that his name was included in the Roman Martyrology.

Saint Paternian

Paternian or Paternianus (Italian: San Paterniano) is the name of an Italian saint. A native of Fermo who escaped to the mountains during the persecutions of Christians by Diocletian, he was then appointed bishop of Fano by Pope Sylvester I.(Paternian is often confused with Parthenian (Parteniano), a bishop of Bologna, also commemorated on July 12.)

Saint Sylvester's Day

Saint Sylvester's Day, also known as Silvester (also spelled Sylvester, Szilveszter, or Sylwester) or the Feast of Saint Sylvester, is the day of the feast of Pope Sylvester I, a saint who served as Pope of the Western Church from 314 to 335 and is considered by tradition as overseeing both the First Council of Nicaea and Roman Emperor Constantine I's conversion to Christianity. Among the Western Christian Churches, the feast day is held on the anniversary of Saint Sylvester's death, 31 December, a date that, since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, has coincided with New Year's Eve. For these Christian denominations, Saint Silvester's Day liturgically marks the seventh day of Christmastide. Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Sylvester's feast on a different day from the Western Churches, i.e. on 2 January. Saint Sylvester's Day celebrations are marked by church attendance at Midnight Mass or a Watchnight service, as well as fireworks, partying, and feasting.

San Paride ad Fontem, Teano

San Paride ad Fontem in Formis is an ancient Romanesque-style, Roman Catholic church located in the Ternità neighborhood, about 1.5 kilometers southeast of the center of the town of Teano, province of Caserta, region of Campania, Italy.

It was named ad Fontem because this low ground once had a spring at which St Paride of Teano (Paris of Teano), the town's 4th century bishop, preached. Paride bishop, born in Athens, was reputed to have miraculously tamed or killed a dragon living in a cave near town. He was canonized by pope Sylvester I

The Baptism of Constantine

The Baptism of Constantine is a painting by assistants of the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. It was most likely painted by Gianfrancesco Penni, between 1517 and 1524.

After the master's death in 1520, Penni worked together with other members of Raphael's workshop to finish the commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Baptism of Constantine is located in the Sala di Costantino ("Hall of Constantine"). In the painting the Emperor Constantine the Great is depicted kneeling down to receive the sacrament from Pope Sylvester I in the Baptistery of the St John Lateran. The painter has given Sylvester the traits of Clement VII, the Pope who had ordered the frescoes to be finished, after the work was interrupted during the papacy of Hadrian VI.

While attempting the control and serenity typical of the High Renaissance, the crowded scene demonstrates the Mannerist tendency towards complexity and discordance.

The Donation of Constantine (painting)

The Donation of Constantine or Donation of Rome is a painting by assistants of the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. It was most likely painted by Gianfrancesco Penni or Giulio Romano, somewhere between 1520 and 1524. After the master's death in 1520, they worked together with other members of Raphael's workshop to finish the commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Donation of Constantine is located in the Sala di Costantino ("Hall of Constantine"). It was inspired by the famous forged documents that supposedly granted the Popes sovereignty over Rome's territorial dominions.

The painting depicts an apocryphal historical event: Emperor Constantine kneels before Pope Sylvester I and offers the Pope and his successors control of the city of Rome and the entire Western Roman Empire. The depiction of Sylvester is modeled after Pope Clement VII who became pope in 1523.[1] The painting (anachronistically) shows the interior of the original Saint Peter's Basilica,[2] which was in the process of being rebuilt at the time the painting was made. In the center background of the painting is the altar with its twisted, Solomonic columns. These columns were a gift from Constantine who supposedly took them from the ruined Jewish temple.

The Schola Cantorum of Rome

The Schola Cantorum was the trained papal choir during the Middle Ages, specializing in the performance of plainchant for the purpose of rendering the music in church. In the fourth century, Pope Sylvester I was said to have inaugurated the first Schola Cantorum, but it was Pope Gregory I who established the school on a firm basis and endowed it. The choir ranged anywhere from twenty to thirty boys or men. Only the most skilled in singing were selected to participate in the Schola Cantorum.

Vocius of Lyon

Vocius of Lyon was the ninth bishop of Lyon and succeeded Ptolemy probably around 300.We do not know much about his life however, in 314, he participated as bishop of Lyon in the Council of Arles, just after Constantine recognized Christianity with the Edict of Milan. This council brought together twenty bishops of Western Europe including fifteen from Gaul and declared condemnation of Donatism, already affirmed by a council in Rome in 313. He signed the Acts of the councils and the synodal letter of the Council to Pope Sylvester I to confirm the canons of the council. It is accompanied by another cleric of Lyon, Gétulin (or Petulinus), exorcist of Lyons, who also signs the acts of conciles.

Volusianus of Trier

Volusianus was bishop of Trier at the end of the 5th century.

Very little is known of his life but he is one of a number of bishops around this time. The rapid succession of bishops named in the late 5th and early 6th centuries indicates the troubled times in the period of transition from the Roman to Frankish rule in Trier, which was itself Frankish by 496.

After a period of crisis for the Christian community some stabilisation had apparently occurred under his predecessors.

Volusianus has been associated with the so-called New Year's Privilege, referring to the grant by Pope Sylvester I (314-335) of certain privileges to the church in Trier, although some question the authenticity of such a grant.

Where Volusianus was buried is unknown.

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