25. St. Dionysius 259-268


The persecution of Christians by Emperor Valerian was so severe and unrelenting that it was over a year before we could gather together to elect a new Pope. Dionysius was elected in 259 and shortly afterward,Emperor Valerian was captured and killed during a Roman battle with Persia(aw,that’s a shame. Ha.). A new Emperor named Gallienus came to power and he shockingly issued an edict of toleration of Christianity. Sweet baby Jesus,an intelligent and thoughtful human being is now running Rome;who’d ever guess that would happen? Churches,property and lands that were taken from the Church were now being returned and Pope Dionysius could actually catch a breath and start to reorganize and repair the Church without constant threat of losing his head. Literally. Being that previous Popes and some Christians actually looked forward to being martyred for their faith,it’s hard to say whether Pope Dionysius felt fortunate to die peacefully after nine relatively quiet years as the Bishop of Rome. His feast day is the day of his death on December 26th.Things were finally starting to look up for Christians. Will it last? Sigh. No.


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