Pope Eugene I
English name=Eugene I
10 August 654
2 June, 657
other=Eugene infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Eugene I
Pope Saint Eugene I or Eugenius I, was
popefrom 10 August, 654to 1 June, 657.
He was a native of
Rome, born to one Rufinianus. He was elected popeon 10 August, 654, ascended in 655, and died on 1 June, 657of natural causes.
Little is known of Pope Eugene's early life other than that he was a was a Roman from the Aventine, and was known for his holiness, gentleness, and charity. He had been a cleric from his youth and held various positions within the Church of Rome. [ [http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0602.htm Eugenius I, Pope (RM)] [http://www.cfpeople.org/Books/Pope/POPEp75.htm The Popes] ]
Election under unusual circumstances
On the banishment of Martin I by Emperor
Constans II, he showed greater deference than his predecessor to the emperor's wishes, and made no public stand against the Monothelitismof the patriarchs of Constantinople.
Martin I was carried off from Rome on
18 June, 653, and he was kept in exile until his death in September 655. Little is known about what happened in Rome after Pope Martin's departure, but it was typical in those days for the Holy Seeto be goverened by the archpriestand archdeacon.
After a year and two months, a successor was found to Martin in Eugene.
Almost immediately after his election, Eugene was forced to deal with the heresy of Monothelitism, i.e., the Christ had only one will.
Constantinople letter affair
One of the first acts of the new pope was to send
papal legates to Constantinoplewith letters to Emperor Constans II, informing him of his election, and professing his faith. The legates unfortunately allowed themselves to be deceived, or bribed, and brought back a synodical letter from Peter, the new Patriarch of Constantinople(656-666), while the emperor's envoy, who accompanied them, brought offerings for St. Peter, and a request from the emperor that the pope would enter into communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople. Peter's letter proved to be written in a difficult and obscure style, and avoided making any specific declaration as to the number of "wills or operations" in Christ. When its contents were read to the clergy and people in the church of St. Mary Major, they not only rejected the letter with indignation, but would not allow the pope to leave the basilica until he had promised that he would not on any account accept it (656).
So furious were the Byzantine officials at this harsh rejection of the wishes of their emperor and patriarch that they threatened, that when the state of politics allowed it, they would roast Eugene, and all the talkers at Rome along with him, as they had roasted Pope Martin I. Eugene was saved from the fate of his predecessor by the advance of the Muslims who took
Rhodesin 654, and defeated Constans himself in the naval battle of Phoenix (655).
It was almost certainly this pope who received the youthful St.
Wilfridon the occasion of his first visit to Rome ("c." 654). At Rome he gained the affection of Archdeacon Boniface, a counsellor of the apostolic pope, who presented him to his master. Eugene "placed his blessed hand on the head of the youthful servant of God, prayed for him, and blessed him". Nothing more is known of Eugene except that he consecrated twenty-one bishops for different parts of the world, and that he was buried in St. Peter's.
*This article incorporates original text from the 9th edition (1879) of the "
*"This article incorporates text from the
public domain" Catholic Encyclopedia"."
*The Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
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