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Saint Pius I
Pius I.jpg
Papacy began c. 140
Papacy ended c. 154
Predecessor Hyginus
Successor Anicetus
Personal details
Birth name Pius
Born c. late 1st century
Aquileia, Italy
Died c. 154
Rome, Roman Empire
Feast day July 11
Other Popes named Pius
Papal styles of
Pope Pius I

Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg

Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Saint Pius I was Bishop of Rome, according to the Annuario Pontificio, from 142 or 146 to 157 or 161, respectively.[1] Others suggest that his pontificate was perhaps from 140 to 154.[2]


Early life

Pius is believed to have been born at Aquileia, in Northern Italy, during the late 1st century.[3] His father was called "Rufinus", who was also said to be of Aquileia according to the Liber Pontificalis.[4]

It is stated in the 2nd century Muratorian Canon,[5] and in the Liberian Catalogue,[6] that he was the brother of Hermas, author of the text known as The Shepherd of Hermas. The writer of the later text identifies himself as a former slave. This has led to speculation that both Hermas and Pius were freedmen.


St Pius I governed the Church in the middle of the 2nd century during the reigns of the Emperors Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius.[7] He was the ninth successor of Saint Peter.[2] He decreed that Easter should only be kept on a Sunday. Although being credited with ordering the publication of the Liber Pontificalis,[8] compilation of that document was not started before the beginning of the 6th century.[9] He is said to have built one of the oldest churches in Rome, Santa Pudenziana.

St Pius I endured many hardships during his reign. The fact that Saint Justin taught Christian doctrine in Rome during the pontificate of St Pius I and that the heretics Valentinus, Cerdon and Marcion visited Rome at the same time, is a strong argument for the primacy of the Roman See during the 2nd century.[10] Pope Pius I opposed the Valentinians and Gnostics under Marcion, whom he excommunicated.[11]

There is some conjecture that he was a martyr in Rome, a conjecture that entered earlier editions of the Breviary. The study that had produced the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints stated that there were no grounds for his consideration as a martyr,[12] and he is not presented as such in the Roman Martyrology.[13]

Feast Day

St Pius I's feast day is celebrated on July 11. In the Tridentine Calendar it was given the rank of "Simple" and celebrated as the feast of a martyr. The rank of the feast was reduced to a Commemoration in the 1955 General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII and the General Roman Calendar of 1962. Though no longer mentioned in the General Roman Catholic calendar of saints, he may now, according to the rules in the present-day Roman Missal, be celebrated everywhere on his feast day with a "Memorial", unless in some locality an obligatory celebration is assigned to that day.[14]


  1. ^ "Annuario Pontificio" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2008 ISBN 978-88-209-8021-4), P. 8*
  2. ^ a b Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope St. Pius I
  3. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist.,Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, p. 263
  4. ^ Ed. Duchesne, I, 132.
  5. ^ Ed. Preuschen, "Analecta, 1," Tubingen, 1910.
  6. ^ Ed. Duchesne, "Liber Pontificalis, I, 5."
  7. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," p.263
  8. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," p. 263
  9. ^ "Dictionnaire historique de la papauté", Philippe Levillain, Fayard 1994, p. 1042–1043"
  10. ^ "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," p. 263
  11. ^ "Dictionary of Saints" (First Image Books Edition, April 2005 ISBN 0-385-51520-0), p. 505
  12. ^ "Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 129
  13. ^ "Martyrologium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)
  14. ^ General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 355 c
  • This article incorporates text from the entry Pope St. Pius I in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.
  • "Lives of the Saints, For Every Day of the Year," edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., Ph.D., New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1955, pp 511
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by


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