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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Lucius (1) i

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Lucius (1) I., bp. of Rome, after Cornelius, probably from June 25, 253, to Mar 5, 254, or thereabouts. These dates are arrived at by Lipsius ( Chronol. der röm. Bischöfe ) after elaborate examination of conflicting data.

The Decian persecution having been renewed by Gallus, and Cornelius having died in banishment at Centumcellae, Lucius, elected in his place at Rome, was himself almost immediately banished. His banishment was of very short duration; for Cyprian, in his one extant letter addressed to him, while alluding to his election as recent, congratulates him also on his return (Ep. 61). A large number of Roman exiles for the faith appear from this letter to have returned to Rome with Lucius. In a letter to his successor Stephen ( Ep. 68), Cyprian calls both Lucius and Cornelius "blessed martyrs," but probably uses the word to include confessors. For, though the Felician and later editions of the Liber Pontifcalis say that Lucius was beheaded for the faith, the earlier Liberian Catalogue mentions his death only; and it is in the Liberian Depositio Episcoporum, not Martyrum, that his name is found. With regard to the then burning question of the reception of the lapsi, on which the schism of Novatian had begun under his predecessor Cornelius, he continued the lenient view which Cornelius, in accord with St. Cyprian of Carthage, had maintained (Cypr. Ep. 68). The Roman Martyrology, the Felician, and other editions of the Liber Pontificalis, rightly assign the cemetery of Callistus as his place of burial, and De Rossi has discovered, in the Papal crypt, fragments of a slab bearing the inscription ΛΟΥΚΙC . Six decreta, addressed to the churches of Gaul and Spain, are assigned to Lucius by the Pseudo-Isidore, and three others by Gratian—all undoubtedly spurious.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Lucius (1) i'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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