33. St. Sylvester I 314-335


Pope Sylvester I was in office for over 20 years and he was the longest reigning Pope at the time of his death. Emperor Constantine had just legalized Christianity and it really helps the job security of being Pope when the Roman Emperor isn’t always trying to martyr you. There is not very much known of Sylvester,as his time in office was pretty drama-free. What is known is that many churches were built during his time,including the original version of the most famous church in the world; St. Peter’s Basilica. When Jesus told Peter that he would be the “Rock upon which my Church is built”,he was speaking figuratively and now,literally,as St.Peter’s was built directly on top of the tomb of Peter. This version of the Church would last for over a thousand years until the present St. Peter’s was built in it’s place. Apostle burial grounds are much more accepting of having things built on top of them,as opposed to the Native American kind……..
One of the most famous legends concerning Pope Sylvester was the baptizing of Emperor Constantine. The Emperor was suffering from leprosy and when the baptizing waters flowed over him,he was miraculously healed. When the Pope mounted his horse to ride back to the Lateran Palace,the grateful Constantine took the bridle and humbly walked the Pope’s horse back home in front of all the Roman people. Pope Sylvester’s feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death on December 31.


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