Popes in a Year
#19 - Pope St. Anterus
Pope from 235-236 A.D.
Died: 236 A.D.
How do we know he was pope?
(“Book of Popes”) lists Pope St. Anterus as the immediate successor of Pontian. Church historian Eusebius, writing around 325 AD, confirms the same and lists him as the 18th successor of St. Peter.
Give me the scoop on Anterus.
Possibly born a slave, and with a twin brother named Eros, Anterus was the son of a man named Romulus. He was elected on November 21, but died soon after, on January 3. Though it’s not certain, Anterus likely died a martyr, given the hostile environment in Rome at the time. It is known for certain that Anterus was buried in the Cemetery of St. Callixtus on the
, though his remains were moved at some point to the Church of St. Sylvester, near the Pantheon in Rome.
What was he known for?
Anterus was the leader in the clubhouse for “shortest papacy”, having reigned a mere 43 days before dying in office. Surprisingly, he now doesn't even crack the Top 10!
Thanks to his grave being discovered in 1854, we have pieces of an epitaph that made up the slab covering his tomb. The inscription, written in Greek, proves the prevalence the language had in the Church up to that point.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
Considering how short Anterus’ papacy was, Christmas was probably the only exciting thing during those 43 days.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Fabian
- John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Thursday, January 26 at 2:00AM