Pope St. Anicetus of Rome

Originally posted 6/18/2010.

The 10th successor of the glorious martyr St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, was Pope St. Anicetus of Rome, son of John{1} and a native of Emesa in Syria,{2} who reigned from 155{3} until his death from natural causes{4} on April 20, 166.{5} Bishop St. Polycarp the Martyr of Smyrna (February 23) visited St. Anicetus soon after he became pope, and they agreed to disagree regarding the day to celebrate Easter.{6} St. Anicetus had St. Polycarp celebrate Mass.{7} The holy pontiff, who kept in touch with the anti-Gnostic Church Fathers Sts. Hegesippus (April 7) and Justin Martyr (June 1),{8} constructed a memorial shrine for St. Peter on Vatican Hill.{9} St. Anicetus, whose feast day is April 20,{10} was first buried next to St. Peter in the Vatican, after which his holy relics were transferred to the Cemetery of St. Callistus.{11} In 1604, the holy{12} Pope Clement VIII of Rome (1/30/1592-3/3/1605) permitted the exhumation of his holy relics.{13} Duke Giovanni Angelo of Altemps put the body in an ornate chapel in his palace,{14} and Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria received the holy head of St. Anicetus.{15} One of the pope’s relics is in the Church of St. Vulfran in Abbeville, France.{16}

O righteous pontiff St. Anicetus, you shepherded the Catholic faithful wisely and peacefully. Pray that all those who are outside of the Catholic Church will promptly enter into her and find salvation in her, the only saving ark. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

Notes & References
{1} According to the Liber Pontificalis. Kelly, J.N.D. “Anicetus, St.” The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, with new material by Michael Walsh. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Fordham University. 18 Jun. 2010 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t99.e11>.
{2} According to the Liber Pontificalis. Martin, Jean-Pierre. “ANICETUS.” The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, 1st ed. Ed. Philippe Levillian, John W. O’Malley. Routledge, 2002. Religion Online. Taylor & Francis. 18 Jun. 2010 <http://www.routledgereligiononline.com:80/Book.aspx?id=w064_w064b49>.
{3} Weltin, E. G. “Anicetus, St. Pope.” New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 1, 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. p. 455. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Fordham University Libraries. 18 Jun. 2010.
{4} There is no historical basis for the legend that Pope St. Anicetus was martyred under Lucius Verus (r. 3/8/161-169) and Marcus Aurelius (r. 3/8/161-3/17/180). Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 120.
{5} The year 166 is from Kelly, loc. cit.
{6} According to Eusebius of Caesarea. Ibid.
{7} Ibid.
{8} Ibid.
{9} Ibid.
{10} 2004 Roman Martyrology for April 20.
{11} Bollandists 4:454.
{12} Barbiche, Bernard. “CLEMENT VIII.” The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, 1st ed. Ed. Philippe Levillian, John W. O’Malley. Routledge, 2002. Religion Online. Taylor & Francis. 18 Jun. 2010 <http://www.routledgereligiononline.com:80/Book.aspx?id=w064_w064b204>.
{13} Bollandists 4:454.
{14} Ibid.
{15} Ibid.
{16} Ibid.


One Response to Pope St. Anicetus of Rome

  1. […] *Which Popes Were Martyred? *Pope St. Alexander I of Rome *Pope St. Anacletus the Martyr of Rome *Pope St. Anicetus of Rome (155-166) *Pope St. Anterus of Rome **Pope St. Eutychian of Rome *Pope St. Evaristus of Rome *Pope St. Gaius […]

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