Stephen I of Rome

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 16:06, February 21, 2013 by Wsk (talk | contribs) (link)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

The hieromartyr Stephen I of Rome was the Bishop of Rome from 254 to 257. Stephen took a conciliatory approach to re-baptism of those who were baptized by splinter groups and to restoration of repentant bishops deposed for unfaithfulness during the persecutions. His feast day is August 2.


Stephen was a Roman of Greek ancestry who served as archdeacon to Bp. Lucius. Following the Decian persecutions of 250-251 Stephen zealously contended against the heresy of Novatus, particularly against Marcian, the bishop of Arles, who denied penance and communion even to those who repented.

Stephen became Bishop of Rome in 254 following the repose of Bp. Lucius who had named Stephen as his successor. In contradiction to the position of Cyprian of Carthage, Stephen held that converts to Orthodoxy who had been baptized by splinter sects did not need to be re-baptized, a position that later gained broad acceptance.

Emperor Valerian began new persecutions of Christians that soon involved Bp. Stephen. Tradition relates that he died by beheading on August 2, 257. In one version he was beheaded while he was sitting in the pontifical throne, while another relates that Stephen was beheaded with a sword in the temple of Mars.

Succession box:
Stephen I of Rome
Preceded by:
Lucius I
Bishop of Rome
Succeeded by:
Sixtus II
Help with box