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Pope Miltiades

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Pope Miltiades

Pope Saint
Miltiades
Papacy began 2 July 311
Papacy ended 10 January 314
Predecessor Eusebius
Successor Sylvester I
Personal details
Birth name Miltiades (or Melchiades)
Born (date unknown)
northern Africa
Died 10 January 314
Rome, Western Roman Empire
Sainthood
Feast day 10 December
Papal styles of
Pope Miltiades
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Miltiades or Melchiades (Greek: Ο Άγιος Μιλτιάδης ; Μελχιάδης ὁ Ἀφρικανός; died 10 January 314), also called in Latin Pope Miltiades, was Bishop of Rome from 2 July 311 to his death in 314.[1][2]

Origins

According to the Liber Pontificalis, Miltiades was African. He was possibly a North African native from berber people,[3] although scholar Richard P. McBrien states he was probably Roman.[4]

Pontificate

His elections marked the end of a period sede vacante lasting from the death of Pope Eusebius on 17 August 310 or, according to others, 309, soon after the Emperor Maxentius had exiled Eusebius to Sicily.

During his pontificate, in October 312, Constantine defeated Maxentius and assumed control over Rome. Constantine presented the pope with the Lateran Palace, which became the papal residence and seat of Christian governance. Early in 313, Constantine and fellow Emperor Licinius reached an agreement at Milan that they would grant freedom of religion to the Christians and other religions and restore church property.

Death

Later in 313, Miltiades presided over the Lateran Synod in Rome, which acquitted Caecilian of Carthage and condemned Donatus as a schismatic (see Donatism). He was then invited to the Council of Arles but died before it was held.

Legacy

The Liber Pontificalis, compiled from the 5th century onwards, attributed the introduction of several later customs to Miltiades, including not fasting on Thursdays or Sundays, although subsequent scholarship now believes the customs probably pre-dated Miltiades.

In the 13th century, the feast of Saint Melchiades (as he was then called) was included, with the mistaken qualification of "martyr", in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 10 December. In 1969, it was removed from that calendar of obligatory liturgical celebrations,[5] and his feast was moved to the day of his death, 10 January, with his name given in the form "Miltiades" and without the indication "martyr".[6]

References

  1. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 8*
  2. ^ Saints For Dummies -Rev. John Trigilio, Jr., Rev. Kenneth Brighenti - 2010 p 109 "Pontificate: AD 311–AD 314 Feast day: December 10 Melchiades was the first pope to see the end of Roman persecution of Christians"
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2000), 56.
  5. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 148
  6. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)

External links

  • :Historical "Gift of Constantine" Journal Article Concerning Miltiades and Constantine
  • Opera Omnia
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Eusebius
Bishop of Rome
Pope

311–314
Succeeded by
Sylvester I
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