St. Lucius I - A Compassionate Pontiff

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St. Lucius, according to the "Liber Pontificalis," was a Roman, the son of Porphyrius. When he succeeded St. Comelius, the persecution of Trebonianus Gallus was still raging, and the new Pope was exiled. Soon, however, the persecution died away and Lucius was able to return to Rome. There is extant a letter from St. Cyprian congratulating the Pope on his return from exile and praising him for his confession of Christ.

St. Lucius continued the policy of Cornelius in admitting repentant apostates to communion after due penance. St. Cyprian praises him for this.

The Liber Pontificalis attributes to Pope Lucius a decree ordering that two priests and three deacons should live with a bishop that they might be witnesses for him. Duchesne, however, considers this decree apocryphal.

According to the "Liber Pontificalis," Pope Lucius was beheaded in the persecution of Valerian. This is almost certainly inaccurate, for Lucius died before the persecution of Valerian broke out. At any rate, St. Lucius died some time in the beginning of March 254, and was buried in the Cemetery of Calixtus. His tombstone has been discovered. The feast of St. Lucius is kept on March 4.

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

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