Saint Julius I

Saint Julius I

Julius I, Saint, pope (337-52), a Roman; successor of St. Marcus. In the controversy over Arianism, when both sides appealed to him for support, he convened a synod at Rome (340), at which were present St. Athanasius, Marcellus of Ancyra, and many other Catholic exiles from the East. The Arians of the East seem to have refused his invitation. The principal result of the entire incident was a letter from the pope to the Arians, questioning their sincerity in the matter of the council, acquitting Athanasius of every charge, and chiding the Arians for not appealing to the pope at the beginning, since, he said, he had the principal see and the appellate jurisdiction over the whole church. As an early example of the papal claims the letter is remarkable. He was succeeded by Liberius. Feast: Apr. 12.
Pope Saint Julius I, was pope from February 6, 337 to April 12, 352.

He was a native of Rome and was chosen as successor of Mark after the Roman see had been vacant for four months. He is chiefly known by the part he took in the Arian controversy. After the followers of Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was now the Patriarch of Constantinople, had renewed their deposition of Athanasius as bishop of Alexandria, at a synod held in Antioch in 341, they resolved to send delegates to Constans, Emperor of the West, and also to Julius, setting forth the grounds on which they had proceeded. Julius, after expressing an opinion favourable to Athanasius, adroitly invited both parties to lay the case before a synod to be presided over by himself. This proposal, however, the Arian Eastern bishops declined to accept.

On this second banishment from Alexandria, Athanasius came to Rome, and was recognised as a regular bishop by the synod presided over by Julius in 342. Julius sent a letter to the Eastern bishops that is an early instance of the claims of primacy for the bishop of Rome. Even if Athanasius and his companions were somewhat to blame, the letter runs, the Alexandrian Church should first have written to the pope. "Can you be ignorant," writes Julius, "that this is the custom, that we should be written to first, so that from here what is just may be defined" (Epistle of Julius to Antioch, c. xxii).

It was through the influence of Julius that, at a later date, the council of Sardica in Illyria was held, which was attended only by seventy-six Eastern bishops, who speedily withdrew to Philippopolis and deposed Julius at the council of Philippopolis, along with Athanasius and others. The three hundred Western bishops who remained, confirmed the previous decisions of the Roman synod; and by its 3rd, 4th, and 5th decrees relating to the rights of revision claimed by Julius, the council of Sardica perceptibly helped forward the pretensions of the Bishop of Rome. Julius died on April 12, 352 and was succeeded by Liberius.

Julius is considered a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, with his feast day on April 12.

References

  • Duff, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Yale University Press, 2001, pp. 30–32. ISBN 0300091656

External links

Original text from the 9th edition (1880) of an unnamed encyclopedia

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