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Popes of the 1st Century

History of the Roman Catholic Papacy and Church

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Below is a list of all of the popes who reigned during the first century. The first number is which pope they were. This is followed by their chosen name, the starting and ending dates of their reigns, and finally the number of years they were pope. Follow the links to read short biographies of each pope and learn about what they did, what they believed, and what impact they had on the course of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

1. St. Peter: 32 - 67
Saint Peter is an important figure in Christianity generally and Roman Catholicism specifically. For all Christians, he is regarded as one of Jesus' leading disciples. For Roman Catholics, tradition says that Peter was the first bishop of Rome and therefore also the first pope, thus in theory establishing an unbroken line between the current Catholic leadership and the disciples personally chosen by Jesus.

2. St. Linus: 67 - 76 (c. 10 years)
Not much is known about Pope Linus - any truth to his life and his papacy has been lost in legend and myth by this point.

3. St. Anacletus (Cletus): 76 - 88 (c. 11 years)
Based upon his name, it seems likely that Pope Anacletus was Greek - at the time, because of the Greek influence upon both Rome and Christianity, having a Greek pope would have seemed natural an for a long time there were many Greek popes in the rolls.

4. St. Clement I: 88 - 97 (10 years)
Clement I is the first pope about whom we have much information - indeed, according to early sources he is described as having been ordained by Peter himself and as Peter's immediate successor, not his third successor.

5. St. Evaristus: 97 - 105 (c. 8 years)
Nothing is really known about Pope Evaristus, although his name indicates a Greek origin (it means "pleasing" or "acceptable") making him the second Greek pope after Anacletus.

 

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