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Pope Julius I

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Julius I
Papacy began 6 February 337
Papacy ended 12 April 352
Predecessor Mark
Successor Liberius
Personal details
Birth name Julius
Born ???
Rome, Western Roman Empire
Died 12 April 352
Rome, Western Roman Empire
Other Popes named Julius
Papal styles of
Pope Julius I
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Saint Julius I, was pope from 6 February 337 to 12 April 352.

He was a native of Rome and was chosen as successor of Mark after the Roman seat had been vacant for four months. He is chiefly known by the part he took in the Arian controversy. After the followers of Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was now the Patriarch of Constantinople, had renewed their deposition of Athanasius as bishop of Alexandria, at a synod held in Antioch in 341, they resolved to send delegates to Constans, Emperor of the West, and also to Julius, setting forth the grounds on which they had proceeded. Julius, after expressing an opinion favourable to Athanasius, adroitly invited both parties to lay the case before a synod to be presided over by himself. This proposal, however, the Arian Eastern bishops declined to accept.

On this second banishment from Alexandria, Athanasius came to Rome, and was recognised as a regular bishop by the synod presided over by Julius in 342. Julius sent a letter to the Eastern bishops that is an early instance of the claims of primacy for the bishop of Rome. Even if Athanasius and his companions were somewhat to blame, the letter runs, the Alexandrian Church should first have written to the pope. "Can you be ignorant," writes Julius, "that this is the custom, that we should be written to first, so that from here what is just may be defined" (Epistle of Julius to Antioch, c. xxii).

It was through the influence of Julius that, at a later date, the council of Sardica in Illyria was held, which was attended only by seventy-six Eastern bishops, who speedily withdrew to Philippopolis and deposed Julius at the council of Philippopolis, along with Athanasius and others. The three hundred Western bishops who remained, confirmed the previous decisions of the Roman synod; and by its 3rd, 4th, and 5th decrees relating to the rights of revision claimed by Julius, the council of Sardica perceptibly helped forward the claims of the Bishop of Rome. Julius died on 12 April 352 and was succeeded by Liberius.

Julius is considered a saint in the Catholic Church, with his feast day on 12 April.

Julius is also credited with setting Jesus' birthday on December 25th.[1]


  1. "Christmas". History Channel. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Pope St. Julius I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • Duff, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, Yale University Press, 2001, pp. 30–32. ISBN 0300091656

External links

Original text from the 9th edition (1880) of an unnamed encyclopedia

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by