Popes in a Year
#52 - Pope St. Hormisdas
Pope from 514-523 A.D.
Died: 523 A.D.
Give me the scoop on Hormisdas.
This pope was born into a wealthy Roman family, and was married prior to receiving major orders (that was still allowed back then). As a result, being pope became somewhat of the family business, as Hormisdas’ son, Silverius, ascended to the Chair of Peter just 13 years after his father’s death. Prior to being elected, Hormisdas was one of St. Symmachus’ right-hand men during the trying years of Laurentius’ stint as antipope, serving as deacon to the previous pope. He was elected without issue (praise God) just a day after his predecessor’s death, on July 20, 514, and reigned for just over nine years. His feast day is August 6.
What was he known for?
St. Hormisdas is the man to thank for ending the Acacian Schism, that rift between East and West that lasted roughly three and a half decades. Despite Emperor Anastasius’ dodgy attitude toward bringing about peace, Hormisdas’ persistence throughout his first four years in office finally brought about an agreement. Since it was primarily bishops in the East who were in error, believing that Christ only had one nature (instead of two), it was their signing of a confession of faith written by Hormisdas that officially brought the schism to its happy end.
The confession of faith signed by the Eastern bishops became known as the
(“Formula of Hormisdas”) and was, in fact, used at the First Vatican Council nearly
later to help define and solidify our understanding of papal infallibility. That contribution can be read
, in Session 4, Chapter 4.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
The abbey of St. Maurice was built in Switzerland in 515, situated in the southwest corner of the country. It’s still in existence today and is home to 40 canons and 2 lay brothers, who serve five parishes in the nearby Diocese of Sion and operate a prominent secondary school. 15 centuries? Pretty impressive.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. John I
SOURCES (and further reading)
- John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
- Pope St. Hormisdas -
- Pope Hormisdas -
- The Formula of Pope St. Hormisdas -
- Saint-Maurice d’Agaune -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Tuesday, March 14 at 2:00AM