Pope Saint Soter (died 174) was the Bishop of Rome, succeeding Pope St. Anicetus, during the latter half of the 2nd Century with his pontificate, according to the Annuario Pontificio, beginning between 162 and 168 then ending between 170 and 177. Although his name is derived from the Greek word “σωτήρ” (sōtēr), meaning a “saviour” or “deliverer”, he was born in Fondi, Campania, Italy. Soter is known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest and he also formally inaugurated Easter as an annual festival in Rome.
Saint Soter’s feast day is celebrated on 22 April, as is that of Saint Caius. The Roman Martyrology, the official list of recognized saints, references Soter: “At Rome, Saint Soter, Pope, whom Dionysius of Corinth praises for his outstanding charity towards needy exiled Christians who came to him, and towards those who had been condemned to the mines.”