Monday, February 29, 2016

What we know of Pope Linus

The following is taken from Charles Coulombes book "Vicar's of Christ: A History of the Popes"

ST. LINUS (67-76)

Linus came from Volterra, in Tuscany. Son of one Herculanus, his father ordered him to Rome. There he heard St. Peter preach the Gospel, and became a fervent Christian. His virtues, knowledge and zeal induced St. Peter to consecrate him bishop and choose him as a companion for his apostolic travels. St. Peter, when he went to Jerusalem to preside at first council, left Linus in Rome as his vicar. He was one of those in Rome saluted by St. Paul in 2 Timothy 4: 21. Returning to Rome, St. Peter entrusted to Linus an important mission in Gaul, centering on Besançon. There the bishop made numerous converts by virtue of his eloquent preaching. But a little after the persecution of Nero broke out, Linus returned to Rome in order to help Ss. Peter and Paul. When they were imprisoned, he replaced them in governing the Church, and was chosen by St. Peter as his successor (the only Pope to be so selected). He accompanied St. Peter to his martyrdom, and afterwards was helped by Saint Marcellus and some of the other faithful to bury him.

During his reign occurred many important events, among them the death of Nero, the destruction of Jerusalem (with its Temple, thus severing the Church’s last connection with Judaism) and the dispersion of the Jews, many of whom converted to the Christian faith. He wrote the Acts of Peter, particularly as regarded St. Peter’s dealing with Simon Magus. As Pope, he decreed, in keeping with the teaching of Ss. Peter and Paul, that women should cover their heads at worship, a tradition maintained until the 1960’ s. St. Linus performed many miracles: apart from raising a dead person to life, he was expert at casting out devils. On one occasion, he expelled the demon from a possessed girl who was the daughter of an ex-consul called Saturninus. Angered at his child’s subsequent conversion, the angry father had St. Linus imprisoned and then beheaded.

He was buried near St. Peter on the Vatican Hill. In Volterra, San Lino, a simple convent church with a single nave was built at the request of Raffaello Maffei on the site where St. Linus’s residence once stood. The high altar is surmounted by a wood panel of the Virgin and saints by Francesco Curradi, and the nave displays The Birth of the Virgin by Cesare Dandini (first half of the 17th century) and The Visitation of Elizabeth by Cosimo Daddi (1619). The presbytery houses the funeral monument of Raffaello Maffei executed by an artist from Fiesole, Silvio Cosini, in 1522.

Mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass, his feast in the Western Church is September 23, and in the Coptic rite July 1.

It is worth picking up the book and looking into what we know of the Pope's throughout history
Click HERE for the link


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