Pope Saint Simplicius reigned when the last of the western Roman Emperors fell in 476 a.d.. He defended the action of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy, labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders. He worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West.
Pope St. Hilarius (d. 468) had been a trusted aide to Pope Saint Leo the Great. Papal legate. As pope, Hilarius confirmed the work of several general councils, rebuilt and remodeled many churches, fought Nestorianism, and held several Councils at Rome.
Pope Saint Hyginus was bishop of Rome from about 138 to about 140. He was born in Athens, Greece at an unknown date. The Liber Pontificalis also relates that this pope organized the hierarchy and established the order of ecclesiastical precedence (Hic clerum composuit et distribuit gradus). Eusebius claims that Hyginus's pontificate lasted four years.
Pope Saint Telesphorus (ca. 125 - 138 AD) was a Greek who had been an anchorite. He ruled the Church in the time of Emperor Antoninus Pius. To St. Telesphorus are attributed some church practices which endure down to this day.
Pope Saint Sylvester surely was appointed by God to govern his holy church in the first years of her temporal prosperity and triumph over her persecuting enemies. His pontificate was one of the most important, crucial and eventful of all Popes.
Blessed Pope Urban V was born Guillaume de Grimoard at Grisac in Languedoc, 1310. He always had a Benedictine spirit and even wore his monk’s habit as pope. His reign was blessed by his peacekeeping activity between the French and Italian kings, the founding of many universities, his zeal for the crusades and his decision to return the papacy to Rome and end the Avignon exile of the popes.
Pope Damasus I's pontificate coincided with the rise of Constantine I and the reunion and redivision of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire as well as what is sometimes known as the Constantinian shift associated with the widespread legitimization of Christianity and the later adoption of Christianity as the religion of the Roman state.
He was just standing there, not doing anything special. As a Syrian priest he must have felt a little out of place among the Roman people mourning that day for the dead Pope. As a good preacher, he must have wanted to speak to the funeral procession about Christ's promise of resurrection. As a learned man, he must have wondered who would follow the holy Saint Gregory II as Pope and where he would take the Church. As a holy man, he must have been praying for Gregory II and for all the people around him to find their place after death in God's arms. But he was just one of the crowd.
Little is known of this apostolic father beyond a few facts. He was a disciple of S. Peter, and perhaps of S. Paul. It is thought that the Clement whom S. Paul praises as a faithful fellow- worker, whose name is written in the Book of Life [Philippians 4:3], was Clement, afterwards bishop of Rome. But there is great difficulty in admitting this supposition. It is certain that Clement, the idol of the Petrine party in the Primitive Church, about whom their myths and traditions circled lovingly, was quite removed in feeling from the Pauline party.
Pope Saint Leo I is one of the only two Popes in two thousand years to be called "the Great." He is perhaps most famous for persuading Attila the Hun to abandon his plans to sack the city of Rome and to withdraw his forces beyond the Danube river (452)