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From The Lives of the Popes from the Time of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII. Written Originally in Latin by B. Platina, Native of Cremona, and translated into English (from an anonymous translation, first printed in 1685 by Sir Paul Rycaut), Edited by William Benham, Volume I, London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, [1888, undated in text]; pp. 50-52.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 252-253.

LUCIUS, by birth a Roman, his father’s name Porphyrius, was chosen bishop when Gallus Hostilianus was emperor.

Gallus associated to himself in the Government his son Volusianus, in whose time there arose so great a plague to revenge the cause of Christianity, that there were few families, much less cities and provinces, which had not their share in the public calamity. But while Gallus and Volusianus were engaging in a civil war against Æmilianus, who had attempted an alteration of the government, they were both killed at Terani, before they had completed the second year of their empire. Æmilianus, a person of obscure birth, was slain 51 ere he had possessed his usurped power three months; and soon after Valerianus and Gallienus were chosen emperors — the former by the army in Rhetia and Noricum, the latter at Rome by the Senate. Their government proved very pernicious to the Roman State by means of their own pusillanimity and the cruelty they exercised against the Christians. For both the Germans had marched forward as far as Ravenna, laying all waste wherever they came with fire and sword; and also Valerianus himself, making war in Mesopotamia, was taken prisoner by the Parthians and forced to live in the most ignominious servitude, for Sapor, king of Persia, made use of him for a footstool when he got up on horseback — a punishment which justly befell him for this reason, that as soon as he was seized of the empire, he was the eighth from Nero who commanded that the Christians should be put to tortures, be made to worship idols, or upon their refusal be put to death. Gallienus, being terrified by this manifest judgment of God, suffered the Christians to live quietly. But it was now too late, for by the Divine permission, the barbarians had already made inroads upon the Roman borders, and certain pernicious tyrants arose, who overthrew at home what was left undestroyed by the foreign enemy. Gallienus hereupon leaves the care of the public, and spending his time very dissolutely at Milan, was there slain.

Lucius, upon the death of Volusianus, being released from banishment, at his return to Rome, ordained that every bishop should be accompanied wherever he went with two presbyters and three deacons, as witnesses of his life and actions. In his time suffered St Cyprian, who was first a professor of rhetoric, and afterward, as St Hierom tells us, at the persuasion of Cæcilius, the presbyter, from whom he took his surname, becoming a Christian, he gave his estate to the poor. Having been first ordained a presbyter, and then Bishop of Carthage, he was put to death under Gallus and Volusianus. His life and martyrdom were excellently well written by Pontius, a presbyter, and his companion in exile. And it ought not to be forgotten that Cyprian, before he died, was reconciled to the opinion of the Church of Rome, that heretics were not to be rebaptized, but to be received without any further ceremony than that of imposition of hands — a matter about which there had been formerly a great controversy between him and Cornelius. But to return to Lucius; 52 before his martyrdom, which he suffered at the command of Valerianus, he delivered up his ecclesiastical power to Stephanus, the archdeacon. He conferred holy orders thrice in the month of December, ordaining four presbyters, four deacons, seven bishops. He was interred in the cemetery of Calistus in the Via Appia, August the 25th. He was in the chair one year, three months, three days; and by his death the see was vacant thirty-five days.

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Previous Pope:  22. St. Anterus. 23. St. Lucius I. Next Pope: 24. St. Stephanus I.

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