Pope John III

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Pope John III

(561-574).

A Roman surnamed Catelinus, d. 13 July, 574. He was of a distinguished family, being the son of one Anastasius who bore the title of illustris. The year of his birth is not recorded, but he was consecrated pope seemingly on 17 July, 561. Owing to the necessity of waiting for imperial confirmation of his election, an interval of five months elapsed between the death of Pelagius I and the consecration just noted. Although John reigned nearly thirteen years very little is known of his pontificate. It fell during the stormy times of the Lombard invasion, and practically all the records of his reign have perished. He would seem, however, to have been a magnanimous pontiff, zealous for the welfare of the people. An inscription still to be seen in the fifteenth century testified that “in the midst of straits he knew how to be bountiful, and feared not to be crushed amidst a crumbling world”. Two most unworthy bishops, Salonius of Embrun and Sagittarius of Gap, had been condemned in a synod at Lyons (c. 567). They succeeded, however, in persuading Guntram, King of Burgundy, that they had been condemned unjustly, and appealed to the pope. Influenced by the king’s letters, John decided that they must be restored to their sees. It is to be regretted that the papal mandate was put into effect. The most important of the acts of this pope were those connected with the great general, Narses. Unfortunately the “Liber Pontificalis” is enigmatic regarding them. By feminine intrigue at the court of Constantinople, a charge of treason was trumped up against the general, and, in consequence, the only man capable of resisting the barbarians was recalled. It is quite possible that Narses may then have invited the Lombards to fall upon Italy; but it is perhaps more probable that, hearing of his recall, they invaded the country. Knowing that Narses was the hope of Italy, John followed him to Naples, and implored him not to go to Constantinople. The general hearkened to the voice of the pope, and returned with him to Rome (571). But seemingly the court party in the city was too strong for Narses and the pope. John retired to the catacomb of Prætextatus, where he remained for many months. He even held ordinations there. On the death of Narses (c. 572), John returned to the Lateran Palace. His sojourn in the catacombs gave him a great interest in them. He put them in repair, and ordered that the necessaries for Mass should be sent to them from the Lateran. John died 13 July, 574, and was buried in St. Peter’s.

APA citation. Mann, H. (1910). Pope John III. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. m

MLA citation. Mann, Horace. “Pope John III.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 12 Jul. 2018

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

Saint Anacletus

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Saint Anacletus

Pope and Martyr
(† 96)

Saint Anacletus was the second successor to Saint Peter, by whom he was converted to the faith. He was also ordained a deacon and consecrated priest by Christ’s own first Vicar, as Saint Ignatius of Antioch affirms. He was Greek by origin, born in Athens; in the year 83 he was chosen to succeed Saint Cletus, who had been martyred. The emperor Domitian had begun a violent persecution which increased in fury as time passed; but the faith of the Christians did not diminish, only receiving new force from the blood of the martyrs.

This holy Pontiff omitted no solicitude which could animate the faithful to expose their lives generously for the glory of Jesus Christ. During his nine years of reign, he consecrated six bishops. The last of these bishops was Saint Evaristus, who would succeed him; Saint Anacletus consecrated him the year before his death, foreseeing he could not long escape the fate of all the first Vicars of Christ.

One of his enduring ordinances was the law that for the consecration of a bishop, three bishops must participate; that practice had been established by Saint Paul. He also required that all ordinations be accomplished in public. He built a church in honor of Saint Peter, to whom he owed his conversion, at the site of Saint Peter’s burial; the original structure was conserved by Providence amid many tempests. He reserved burial sites for future martyrs in the Christian cemeteries, because multitudes were being condemned under Domitian. He also designated and adorned sites for the interment of future Pontiffs in the Vatican. Saint Anacletus was highly praised by Saint Ignatius of Antioch in a well-known letter. He died on July 13th in the year 96, and was buried in the Vatican.

Certain authors would confound Saint Cletus and Anacletus and make of them one person. Their father’s names are known, however, as well as their place of birth — the one in Italy, the other in Greece; moreover, Saint Cletus was consecrated bishop by Saint Peter, saint Anacletus was ordained a priest by him.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 8

The Conquest of the Precious Blood 

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Conquest of the Precious Blood

Victory, without conquest, is but of little avail to one who invades the territory of the foe. Our Lord came not only to subdue His enemies, but to obtain for Himself a kingdom. By the shedding of His Precious Blood, the kingdoms of this world became the kingdoms of our Lord, and He shall reign for ever and ever. The Blood of Jesus sinking into the ground gave to this earth a new life. The curse had departed, the new era had begun, which shall culminate in the new Heaven and the new earth, wherein dwelleth justice. Pray that the King may soon come to take possession of this kingdom.

The shedding of the Precious Blood also won for Christ our King not only a new territory, but a multitude of new subjects. If the material world was sanctified by the Precious Blood, how much more those who dwelt upon it! What must be the joy of Jesus to look down on countries still faithful to Him amidst trials and persecutions. Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Catholic Austria, many parts of France and Italy, covered with multitudes subdued and held in joyful captivity by the Precious Blood. Rejoice in the wide spread of the Faith, and pray that it may spread more and more.

Above all, the Precious Blood has subdued to the yoke of Christ priests innumerable, monks, nuns, saints in the world and in religion, all rejoicing to be the very bond-slaves of the Precious Blood. Their chief calls himself the Servant of the Servants of God. Pray that you may rejoice to be a willing slave of Jesus Christ.