Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Pope Saint John I (525 A.D. - 526 A.D.) Martyr. Feast Day 27 May.

Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint John I.
Pope and Martyr.
Feast Day 27 May.


Red Vestments.

Illustration of Pope Saint John I.
Date: 1911.
Author: Artaud de Montor, Alexis François.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Saint John I (Papacy 525 A.D. - 526 A.D.) governed The Church at the time when the Arian King, Theodoric, ravaged Italy. This King, having artfully enticed the Pope to Ravenna, caused him to be thrown into a dark dungeon, where he died.

His body was buried at Rome in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Mass: In Paschaltime, Protexísti. Out of Paschaltime, Sacerdótes Dei. Collects: In both cases from Mass: Sacerdótes.

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Pope John I (Latin: Ioannes I; 470 A.D. – 18 May 526 A.D.). He was a native of Siena (or the "Castello di Serena"), near Chiusdino, in Italy. He is the first Pope known to have visited Constantinople whilst in Office.

While a Deacon in Rome, he is known to have been a partisan of the Anti-Pope, Laurentius, for, in a Libellus written to Pope Symmachus in 506 A.D., John confessed his error in opposing him, condemned Peter of Altinum and Laurentius, and begged pardon of Symmachus. He would then be the "Deacon John" who signed the "Acta" (Ecclesiastic publication) of The Roman Synod of 499 A.D., and 502 A.D; the fact The Roman Church only had seven Deacons at the time makes identifying him with this person very likely. He may also be the "Deacon John" to whom Boethius, the 6th-Century philosopher, dedicated three of his five religious tractates, or treatises, written between 512 A.D. and 520 A.D.

John was very frail when he was Elected to the Papacy as Pope John I. Despite his protests, Pope John was sent by the Arian King, Theodoric the Great, Ruler of the Ostrogoths, a Kingdom in present-day Italy, to Constantinople, to secure a moderation of a decree against the Arians, issued in 523 A.D., of Emperor Justin, Ruler of the Byzantine, or East Roman, Empire.

King Theodoric threatened that if John should fail in his mission, there would be reprisals against the orthodox, or non-Arian, Catholics in the West. John proceeded to Constantinople with a considerable entourage; his Religious companions included Bishop Ecclesius of Ravenna, Bishop Eusebius of Fanum Fortunae, and Sabinus of Campania. His Secular companions were the Senators Flavius Theodorus, Inportunus, Agapitus, and the Patrician, Agapitus.

Emperor Justin is recorded as receiving John honorably and promised to do everything the embassy asked of him, with the exception of restoring converts from Arianism-to-Catholicism to their original beliefs. Although John was successful in his mission, when he returned to Ravenna, Theodoric's Capital in Italy, Theodoric had John arrested on the suspicion of having conspired with Emperor Justin. John was imprisoned at Ravenna, where he died of neglect and ill treatment. His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

The Liber Pontificalis credits John with making repairs to the cemetery of the Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus, on the Via Ardeatina, that of Saints Felix and Adauctus, and the cemetery of Priscilla.

Pope John I is depicted in art as looking through the bars of a prison or imprisoned with a Deacon and a Sub-Deacon. He is Venerated at Ravenna and in Tuscany.

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