14. St.Victor I 189-199


One of three Popes from Africa,St.Victor served as Bishop of Rome during a relatively peaceful time. Peaceful for Christians…..but for heretics? Not so much. Victor was excommunicating heretics left and right,gnostics,montanists,a guy named Theodotus;all felt the wraith of Victor. He even went so far as to excommunicate Eastern Christians who were still celebrating Easter on the Jewish day of Passover,and not on the Sunday after Passover like they were in the west. This was a bit much,and his fellow bishops and priests let him know it,so he backed off of this unpopular position and lifted the excommunications on those Christians.
Victor was one of the first Popes to have direct dealings with the Roman Empire. Emperor Commodus was sympathetic to Christians,and a member of his court(Marcia,who may have been a Christian herself),worked with Victor on getting Christians pardoned and released from slave labor in the mines of Sardinia,among them was future Pope Callixtus.
Victor was the first Pope to celebrate Mass in Latin instead of Greek,as Latin was the prominent language of Northern Africa at the time. The Latin Mass must have been beautiful to hear because it stuck around for about 1800 years after Victor passed away. Dominus vobiscum! (Psst,that’s Latin for “The Lord be with you”)


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