39. Pope St. Anastasius I 399-401


Pope Anastasisus was born in Rome to a man named Maximus. Maximus! I love early Roman names! Anastasius was a advocate of asceticism,(severe self-discipline in all things),in your daily life,and during the Mass he instituted a new rule that priests and bishops had to stand with bowed heads during the readings of the Gospels. He also happened to be good friends with St. Augustine,which to non-Catholics would be like saying you were friends with Batman. I mean it must have been awesome is what I’m saying. He died suddenly and was buried in the Catacombs of Pontian. His tomb was discovered in 1618 and it was found next to the tomb of his successor,Pope Innocent I,who also happened to be Anastasius’ son. The end. Wait! What?? Hold on,chill out,there’s nothing tawdry or salacious going on. Innocent was born before Anastasius became Pope,and probably even before he became a priest. You couldn’t marry after you were ordained a priest but a previous marriage would not have held up the ordination to the priesthood or even election to the Papacy. Celibacy of priests was always encouraged but it wasn’t mandatory until the year 1075. Pope Anastasius’ feast day is December 19th.


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