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The Hieromartyr Fabian II of Rome was the bishop of Rome of the Church of Rome from 236 to 250. The remarkable feature of his episcopate was the manner of his election as related by Eusebius of Caesarea [1]. His feast day is August 5.


Nothing is known of Bp. Fabian's life before his election and consecration as Bishop of Rome. He was a layman and a stranger to the city of Rome. After the repose of Bp. Anterus in 236, Fabian was among those who came to Rome and were present when the election process for the new bishop began on January 10, 236. While a number of prominent people were being considered, a dove was seen to fly down and alight on the head of Fabian. To the assembled council the sight of the dove recalled the Gospel scene of the Holy Spirit descending on the Jesus and so, was divinely inspired. The assembly at once proclaimed Fabian bishop by acclamation.

Little is known of his episcopate that saw a lull in the persecutions during which his episcopacy was characterized as having amicable relations with the Roman imperial government. During this period Bp. Fabian was able to return to Rome the bodies of Bishop Pontianus and Hippolytus, who had died in exile in the Sardinians mines, for Christian burials in the catacombs.

According to Liber Pontificalis Fabian divided Rome into seven districts. He is credited with the consecration of seven bishops as missionaries to Gaul. Bp. Fabian died a martyr on January 20, 250 at the beginning of the persecutions of Decius and was buried in the crypt of the Popes in the catacomb of St. Callistus where the Greek inscription, Fabian, bishop and martyr, on his tomb has survived.


  1. Church History, VI29
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Fabian of Rome
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Bishop of Rome
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