Pope Pontian

Pope Pontian

Infobox Pope
English name=Pontian

term_start=21 July 230
term_end=29 September 235
predecessor=Urban I
dead=dead|death_date= 29 September 235
deathplace=Sardinia, Italy|
infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Pontian
dipstyle=His Holiness
offstyle=Your Holiness
relstyle=Holy Father

Pope Saint Pontian or Pontianus, was pope from 21 July 230 to 29 September 235.

A little more is known of Pontian than his predecessors, apparently from a lost papal chronicle that was available to the compiler of the "Liberian Catalogue" of bishops of Rome, made in the fourth century ("Catholic Encyclopedia").

During his pontificate the schism of Hippolytus came to an end. Pontian and other church leaders, among them Hippolytus, were exiled by the emperor Maximinus Thrax to Sardinia, and in consequence of this sentence he resigned on 25 September or 28 September 235. It is unknown how long he lived in exile: according to "Liber Pontificalis" he died due to the inhuman treatment he received in the Sardinian mines. According to tradition, he died on the island of Tavolara.

His remains were brought to Rome by Pope Fabian and buried in the Catacomb of Pope Callixtus I. His epitaph was rediscovered in 1909 in the crypt of St. Cecilia, Rome, near the papal crypt, reading PONTIANOS, EPISK. ("Pontianus, bishop"). The inscription "MARTUR" ("martyr") had been added in another hand.

His feast day was 19 November, but he is now celebrated jointly with his erstwhile adversary and rival, Hippolytus of Rome, on 13 August. ["Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 146]



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