Sylvester I

Sylvester I
    Pope St. Sylvester I (314-335)
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Pope St. Sylvester I (314-335)
    Date of birth unknown; d. 31 December, 335. According to the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 170) he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus; the legendary "Vita beati Sylvestri" calls his mother Justa. After the death of Miltiades (Melchiades), Sylvester was made Bishop of Rome and occupied this position twenty-one years. This was the era of Constantine the Great, when the public position of the Church so greatly improved, a change which must certainly have been very noticeable at Rome; it is consequently to be regretted that there is so little authoritative information concerning Sylvester's pontificate. At an early date legend brings him into close relationship wtih the first Christian emperor, but in a way that is contrary to historical fact. These legends were introduced especially into the "Vita beati Sylvestri" (Duchesne, loc. cit., Introd., cix sq.) which appeared in the East and has been preserved in Greek, Syriac, and Latin in the "Constitutum Sylvestri"–an apocryphal account of an alleged Roman council which belongs to the Symmachian forgeries and appeared between 501 and 508, and also in the "Donatio Constantini". The accounts given in all these writings concerning the persecution of Sylvester, the healing and baptism of Constantine, the emperor's gift to the pope, the rights granted to the latter, and the council of 275 bishops at Rome, are entirely legendary. The pope, however, took part in the negotiations concerning Arianism and the Council of Nicæa, and the expression ‘omooúsion was probably agreed upon with him before the council. The pontiff also sent legates to the first œcumenical council. Still it is not certain whether Constantine had arranged beforehand with Sylvester concerning the actual convening of the council, nor whether there was an express papal confirmation of the decrees beyond the signatures of the papal legates (cf. Funk in "Kirchengesch. Abhandlungen und Untersuchungen", I, 95, 501 sq.).
    During Sylvester's pontificate were built the great churches founded at Rome by Constantine, e.g. the basilica and baptistery of the Lateran near the former imperial palace where the pope lived, the basilica of the Sessorian palace (Santa Croce), the Church of St. Peter in the Vatican, and several cemeterial churches over the graves of martyrs. No doubt the pope helped towards the construction of these churches. Sylvester's memory is especially connected with the tiitular Church of Equitius, which takes its name from a Roman presbyter who is said to have erected this church on his property. It was situated near the thermæ of Diocletian, and still exists. Parts of the present building may date from the fourth century. No doubt the pope contributed to the development of the liturgy of the Church at Rome. During his reign, moreover, the first martyrology of Roman martyrs was probably drawn up. Sylvester is connected also with the establishment of the Roman school of singing. on the Via Salaria he built a cemeterial church over the Catacomb of Priscilla, the ruins of which have lately been brought to light. In this church he was buried. His feast is given under 31 December in the "Depositio episcoporum", or list of the burial days of the Roman bishops, which was compiled barely a year after his death; the same date is given in the "Calendar" of Philocalus. This day, therefore, is doubtless the day of his burial. For his possible relations with Armenia, see GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR.
    Liber pontificalis, ed. DUCHESNE, I, 170-201; introduction, cix sq.; JAFFE, Regesta rom. pont., 2nd ed., I, 28-30; Vita beati Sylvestri in LAND, Anecdota syriaca, III, 46 sq. and in SURIUS, Vita sanct., VI, 1173 sq.; LANGEN, Gesch. der römischen Kirche, I, 395 sqq.; DÖLLINGER, Papstfabeln (2nd ed., 1890), 61 sqq.; MARUCCHI, La basilica papale del cimitero di Priscilla (Rome, 1908).
    J.P. KIRSCH
    Transcribed by WGKofron In memory of Fr. John Hilkert, Akron, Ohio. Fidelis servus et prudens, quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sylvester — may refer to: In some countries Sylvester (or Silvester) is the name used to refer to December 31st (New Year s Eve). As a name, it means wooded , from the root Sylvania meaning forest land in Latin.As a single name, the following churchmen*Pope… …   Wikipedia

  • Sylvester — Datos generales Nombre real Sylvester James Nacimiento 6 de diciembre de 1947 Origen Los Ángeles, Califo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sylvester — (von lat. silva, „Wald“) steht für: den glücklosen Kater aus der Zeichentrickserie Sylvester und Tweety Sylvester (Texas), eine Stadt im US Bundesstaat Texas Sylvester (Georgia), eine Stadt im US Bundesstaat Georgia Sylvester (Film), ein Film des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sylvester II — • Pope (999 1003) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Sylvester II     Pope Sylvester II      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • SYLVESTER (J. J.) — SYLVESTER JAMES JOSEPH (1814 1897) Mathématicien anglais, né et mort à Londres, qui a créé avec Arthur Cayley la théorie des invariants algébriques. En 1838, James Joseph Sylvester devint professeur de philosophie naturelle au collège de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sylvester — Sylvester, GA U.S. city in Georgia Population (2000): 5990 Housing Units (2000): 2378 Land area (2000): 5.709895 sq. miles (14.788559 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.032959 sq. miles (0.085364 sq. km) Total area (2000): 5.742854 sq. miles (14.873923 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Sylvester, St. — Sylvester, St., St., der letzte Leidtragende an der Bahre des scheidenden Jahres, welches, als Greis zum liebende Kinde geworden, noch vor Kurzem die fröhlichen Weihnachtsspiele gespielt und nun zur ewigen Heimath wieder eingehen will, wo nur ein …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Sylvester, GA — U.S. city in Georgia Population (2000): 5990 Housing Units (2000): 2378 Land area (2000): 5.709895 sq. miles (14.788559 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.032959 sq. miles (0.085364 sq. km) Total area (2000): 5.742854 sq. miles (14.873923 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Sylvester, WV — U.S. town in West Virginia Population (2000): 195 Housing Units (2000): 94 Land area (2000): 0.256098 sq. miles (0.663292 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.006357 sq. miles (0.016465 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.262455 sq. miles (0.679757 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Sylvester — masc. proper name, from L., lit. woody, sylvan, rural, from L. silvester, from L. silva wood, forest. St. Sylvester s Day is Dec. 31 …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.