St. Eutychian - The Burying Pontiff

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Except for the information given by the Liber Pontificalis little is known about Pope St. Eutychian, and the accuracy of the "Liber Pontificalis" entry on Pope Eutychian is rather suspect. There is even confusion about the length of his reign between the "Liber Pontificalis," which says that Pope Eutychian ruled the Church eight years and eleven months, and Eusebius, who gives him a reign of only ten months.

Pope Eutychian made a regulation allowing fruit--but only grapes and beans--to be blessed on the altar.

He is said to have buried 324 martyrs with his own hands. He made the regulation that martyrs should be buried in a dalmatic (a purple tunic) and he wished that all burials of martyrs should be reported to him.

Pope St. Eutychian is called a martyr, but that he died a violent death is considered unlikely. He was buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus. And at least the fact that he was buried in this cemetery is certain, for his tombstone has been discovered there. His feast is kept on December 8.

Excerpted from "Popes Through the Ages" by Joseph Brusher, S.J.

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