Sergius I, Pope, St.
SERGIUS I, POPE, ST.
Pontificate: Dec. 15, 687 to Sept. 7, 701; b. Palermo, Sicily; d. Rome. Sergius, born of a Syrian family from Antioch living in Palermo, went to Rome under Pope ad eodatus, was ordained, and under Leo II became titular priest of St. Susanna. After Pope conon's death, a triple election of the archdeacon Paschal, the archpriest Theodore, and Sergius, was resolved in Sergius's favor (December of 687). Theodore submitted but Paschal died in prison five years later, unrepentant. The exarch John Platyn demanded the gold promised him by Paschal if elected, and Sergius was forced to pay before Platyn would permit his consecration. Sergius rejected the reforming decrees of the quinisext or Trullan council (692) that opposed Roman practices and laws: canons 3, 13, and 30 sanctioned a married clergy; canon 36 called for the exaltation of Constantinople as had the Councils of Constantinople I and Chalcedon; and canons 52 and 55 differed sharply from western Lenten practices. Papal legates in Constantinople signed the acts, but Sergius disavowed their action. Emperor Justinian II arrested two councilors of the pope and tried to capture the pope himself, but the militias of Ravenna, the Pentapolis, and Rome prevented this. Schismatic Aquileia, alienated by the three chap ters controversy, was restored to unity through the Lombard King Cunipert and the pope. Sergius baptized King caedwalla of wessex (689), sent the pallium to Abp. brithwald of canterbury, ordered wilfrid of york restored to his see, and granted the privileges aldhelm had requested. He wrote to jarrow abbey asking that a learned monk (bede?) be sent to aid the curialists in Rome. Sergius was also on good terms with the Frankish kingdom, and it was he who blessed and encouraged wil librord's mission to the Frisians. Sergius added the Agnus Dei to the Mass and introduced processions on the four great feasts of Our Lady.
Feast: Sept. 9.
Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. p. ewald (repr. Graz 1956) 1:244–245. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 1886–92) 1:371–382. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. h. leclercq (Paris 1907–38) 3.1:560–581. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 1902–32) 1.2:77–104. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) 5:316–323, 407–409. g. barone adesi, Monachesimo ortodosso d'Oriente e Dritto romano nel tardo antico (Milan 1990). É. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 1903–50) 14.2:1913–16. o. bertolini, Roma di fronte a Bisanzio e ai Longobardi (Bologna 1941); "I papi e le relazioni politiche di Roma coniducati Longobardi…," Rivista di storia della Chiesa iri Italia 8 (1954) 1–22. r. m. cholu, Married Clergy, and Ecclesiastical Continence in Light of the Council in Trullo (691) (Rome 1986). j. herrin, "'Femina byzantina' The Council in Trullo on Women," Dumbarton Oaks Papers (1992) 97–105. h. ohme, "Das Concilium Quinisextum. Neue Einsichten zu einem umstrittenen Konzil," Orientalia Christiana Periodica 58 (Rome 1992) 367–400. c. g. pitsakis, "Le droit matrimonial dans les canons du concile in Trullo," Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum 24 (1992) 158–185. m. van esbroeck, Aux origines de la Dormition de la Viérge. Études historiques sur les traditions orientales (1995). j. n.d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 82–83.
[c. m. aherne]
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