Popes in a Year
#17 - Pope St. Urban I
Pope from 222-230 A.D.
Died: 230 A.D.
How do we know he was pope?
(“Book of Popes”) lists Pope St. Urban I as the immediate successor of Callixtus I and 16th successor of St. Peter. Church historian Eusebius, writing around 325 AD, confirms the same.
Give me the scoop on Urban I.
There isn’t a lot of scoop to be had, because little is known for certain about St. Urban I's life. He's mentioned in the legendary
Acts of St. Cecilia
and in the
as having baptized hundreds and being a solid preacher. However these stories are pretty much just that - legendary - and have little historical value. St. Urban died on May 23, 230.
What was he known for?
It’s likely that St. Urban was a pro at converting people to the faith. We can deduce this, because during the early 200s there was a significant uptick in Roman Catacombs (burial sites) being built. That proves that the Church’s numbers grew quite a bit during that time, thanks mostly to Emperor Severus Alexander saying, “You guys are cool,” and letting the Church go peacefully about its business during his reign.
St. Urban I had to deal with the same anti-pope, Hippolytus, as his predecessor for his whole papacy (a not-so-fun fact). We’re guessing they probably didn’t hang out much.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
Around the year 225, the Roman Catacombs began to be decorated with Christian paintings for the first time.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Pontian
- John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Tuesday, January 24 at 2:00AM