Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pope St. Lucius I of Rome

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The 21st successor of St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, was Pope St. Lucius I of Rome, a confessor of the faith{1} who, after being exiled by Emperor Gallus to Civitavecchia,{2} miraculously{3} returned to Rome under Emperor Valerian{4} and reigned from June 25, 253 to March 5, 254.{5} Nothing is known of what he did as pope other than that he continued the policy of his predecessor, St. Cornelius the Martyr (251-253), by readmitting the lapsi of the Decian persecution into the Church after they did appropriate penance.{6} After the Roman{7} St. Lucius I died of natural causes,{8} he was interred in the cemetery of Callistus, where part of his epitaph was salvaged.{9} The feast day of Pope St. Lucius I is March 4.{10} His holy relics were either transferred by Pope St. Paul I (757-767) to the Church of San Silvestro in Capite or transferred by Pope St. Paschal I (817-824) to the Basilica of St. Praxedes.{11}

O laudable confessor Pope St. Lucius I of Rome, entreat the merciful God to save our souls, and pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Notes & References
{1} According to the Church Father Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage (Epistle 61), whose feast day is September 16. Weltin, E. G. "Lucius I, Pope, St." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 846. 15 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Fordham University Libraries. 9 Jan. 2010.
{2} Ibid.
{3} According to the Felician Catalogue. Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Pope St. Lucius I." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 8 Dec. 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09411a.htm>.
{4} According to Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage (Epistle 61). Weltin, loc. cit.
{5} "Lucius I, St." The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. J. N. D. Kelly. with new material by Michael Walsh. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Fordham University. 9 January 2010 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t99.e24>.
{6} Weltin, loc. cit.
{7} According to the Liber Pontificalis, which also, based on unknown sources, calls him the son of Porphyrius. Kirsch, loc. cit.
{8} The Romans did not honor St. Lucius I as a martyr after he reposed in the Lord, and the "Chronograph of 354" has him under "Depositio episcoporum" rather than "Depositio martyrum." Ibid.
{9} Weltin, loc. cit.
{10} Ibid.
{11} Kirsch, loc. cit.

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