Popes in a Year
#12 - Pope St. Soter
Pope from 166-174 A.D.
Died: 174 A.D.
How do we know he was pope?
St. Irenaeus identifies St. Soter as the 12th pope and 11th successor of St. Peter in
Give me the scoop on St. Soter.
Likely born in Campania, Italy (southern Italy, the front part of the boot’s ankle, and the region that gave the world spaghetti), Soter’s name means “savior” or “deliverer”. The Roman Martyrology, a book of early martyrs, doesn’t list St. Soter as a martyr for the faith, but his feast day is celebrated April 22. Interestingly, Soter's feast is the same as St. Caius (or "Gaius"), who would become pope just over a century later.
What was he known for?
It’s generally thought that St. Soter was a 2nd Century version of Pope Francis -- as in, he had a huge love for the poor. He also wrote exhortations to various churches urging all bishops and priests to profess their faith boldly and joyfully. Like
, just not on the Internet.
We know both of these things thanks to a fragment of a letter to Pope St. Soter from St. Dionysius, then bishop of Corinth, who wrote to thank the pope for his alms to needy churches in numerous cities.
The letters of St. Soter were so solid, they were apparently read at Mass in many places as a teaching document, along with the Pope St. Clement's
Epistle to the Corinthians
What else was going on in the world at the time?
Around the end of Soter’s pontificate, Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius suppressed a revolt by Avidius Cassius, the governor of Syria, after Avidius declared himself emperor. Apparently that was a big no-no, since shortly thereafter Avidius was assassinated by Roman officers.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Eleutherius
- John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Tuesday, January 17 at 2:00AM