Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Saint Linus. Pope And Martyr. Feast Day, Today, 23 September.

Text  and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

English: The Cupola of the Basilica of Saint Peter, Rome.
Italiano: Città del Vaticano - Cupola della Basilica di S. Pietro.
Photo: January 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: MarkusMark.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Linus (+ 79 A.D.)
Date: Copied from en: to he: by he:User:Ches.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Linus (+ 79 A.D.) was, according to several early sources, the second Bishop of Rome and is listed by the Catholic Church as the second Pope.

His Papacy lasted from circa 67 A.D., to his death, circa 79 A.D. According to other early sources, Pope Clement I was the second Pope; per the Annuario Pontificio, Clement was the fourth Pope. Among those considered by the Catholic Church to have held the position of Pope, only Clement, Linus and Peter are specifically mentioned in the New Testament.

The earliest witness, to Linus's status as Bishop, was Irenaeus, who, about the year 180 A.D., wrote: "The Blessed Apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus, the Office of the Episcopate."

The Oxford Dictionary of Popes interprets Irenaeus as classifying Linus as the First Bishop of Rome. Linus is presented, by Saint Jerome, as "the first, after Peter, to be in charge of the Roman Church", and, by Eusebius, as "the first to receive the Episcopate of the Church at Rome, after the Martyrdom of Saint Peter and Saint Paul". Saint John Chrysostom wrote: "This Linus, some say, was second Bishop of the Church of Rome, after Peter", while the Liberian Catalogue presents Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and Linus as his successor in the same Office.

The Liber Pontificalis also presents a List that makes Linus the second in the Line of Bishops of Rome, after Peter, while also stating that Peter Ordained two Bishops, Linus and Cletus, for the Priestly Service of the Community, devoting himself instead to Prayer and Preaching, and that it was to Clement that he entrusted the Church as a whole, appointing him as his successor.

Tertullian, too, wrote of Clement as the successor of Peter. Jerome classified Clement as "the fourth Bishop of Rome, after Peter" (i.e., fourth in a series that included Peter), adding that, "most of the Latins think that Clement was second after the Apostle."

The Apostolic Constitutions denote that Linus, who was Ordained by Paul, was the first Bishop of Rome and was succeeded by Clement, who was Ordained by Peter. Cletus is considered Linus's successor by Irenaeus, and the others cited above, who present Linus either as the first Bishop of Rome or, if they give Peter as the first, as the second.

The Liberian Catalogue and the Liber Pontificalis date Linus's Episcopate to 56 A.D. – 67 A.D., during the Reign of Nero, but Jerome dates it to 67 A.D. – 78 A.D., and Eusebius puts the end of his Episcopate at the second year of the Reign of Titus (80 A.D.).

Irenaeus identifies Linus with the Linus mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:21 as an associate of the Apostle Paul. Others, of the sources mentioned above, say the same.

According to the Liber Pontificalis, Linus was an Italian, born in Volterra, in the Tuscany Region. His father's name was recorded as Herculanus. The Apostolic Constitutions name his mother as Claudia (immediately after the name "Linus", in 2 Timothy 4:21, a Claudia is mentioned, but the Apostolic Constitutions does not explicitly identify that Claudia as Linus's mother).

According to Liber Pontificalis, Linus issued a Decree that women should cover their heads in Church, created the first fifteen Bishops, and that he died a Martyr and was buried on the Vatican Hill, next to Peter. It gives the date of his death as 23 September, the date on which his Feast is still Celebrated. His name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass.

With respect to Linus's supposed Decree requiring women to cover their heads, J.P. Kirsch commented in the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Without doubt, this Decree is apocryphal, and copied by the author of the Liber Pontificalis from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (11:5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. The statement made, in the same source, that Linus suffered Martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. For, between Nero and Domitian, there is no mention of any persecution of the Roman Church; and Irenaeus (1. c., III, iv, 3), from among the early Roman bishops, designates only Telesphorus as a glorious Martyr."

The Roman Martyrology does not list Linus as a Martyr. The entry about him is as follows: "At Rome, Commemoration of Saint Linus, Pope, who, according to Irenaeus, was the person to whom the Blessed Apostles entrusted the Episcopal care of the Church, Founded in the City, and whom Blessed Paul the Apostle mentions as associated with him."

A tomb, found in Saint Peter's Basilica, in 1615, by Torrigio, was inscribed with the letters LINVS and was once taken to be Linus's tomb. However, a note by Torrigio shows that these were merely the last five letters of a longer name (e.g. Aquilinus or Anullinus). A Letter on the Martyrdom of Peter and Paul was once attributed to Linus, but, in fact, dates to the 6th-Century.

The Feast Day of Pope Linus is 23 September.

[Editor: There is a famous Character, in the Strip Cartoon "Peanuts", named Linus van Pelt, who is Charlie Brown's blanket-toting best friend and Sally's love interest. Linus is the most insecure, but the smartest out of all the Characters.]

The following Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Saint Linus.
Pope and Martyr.
Feast Day 23 September.


Red Vestments.

"At Rome," says the Roman Martyrology, "the triumph of Saint Linus, Pope and Martyr, who immediately succeeded Saint Peter in the government of the Church. He suffered Martyrdom, and was buried on the Vatican Hill, next to the Prince of the Apostles."

The name of Saint Linus is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, after the names of the Apostles.

Mass: Státuit, and Collects of the Mass: Sacerdótes.

Commemoration of Saint Thecla.

St Andrew Daily Missal (Traditional Mass)

Available (in U.K.) from

Available (in U.S.A.) from

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