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Monday, June 20, 2011

Saint Silverius, Pope and Martyr, June 20th

Saint Silverius, Pope and Martyr, June 20th

Saint Silverius, Pope and Martyr

This Silverius was the son of Pope Hormidas, and a subdeacon in Rome when Saint Pope Agapitus died at Constantinople in 536, which same he in that year succeeded in the Papacy. His orthodoxy and holiness shone brightest in his dealing with heresy, and in upholding a sentence which had been passed by the said Agapitus. For the latter had deposed Anthimus from the Patriarchate of Constantinople on account of his defence of the heresy of Eutyches ; and Silverius would never allow of his restoration, although the Empress Theodora repeatedly asked him to do so. The woman was enraged at him on this account, and ordered Belisarius to send Silverius into exile. He was accordingly banished to an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, whence he is said to have written these words to a friend : I am fed upon the bread of tribulation and the water of affliction, but nevertheless I have not given up, and I will not give up, doing my duty. However, the sickness and the hardships of his exile soon broke his strength, and he fell asleep in the Lord on June 20th, about the year 537. According to the Pontifical Book, he ruled the Church for more than three years, and ordained in the month of December thirteen priests, five deacons, and nineteen bishops for divers Sees.


Be merciful to the people of thy flock, O Lord, eternal Shepherd and Bishop of the souls of men : and keep us in thy continual protection at the intercession of thy blessed Martyr, the Holy Father Silverius, whom thou didst raise up in thy Church to be thine under-shepherd, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

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