Pope Soter bigraphy, stories - Pope

Pope Soter : biography

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Pope Soter ( ; died c. 174) was the head of the Catholic Church from c. 167 to his death c. 174.Chapman, John (1908). "Caius and Soter, Saints and Popes" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the dates may have ranged from 162–168 to 170–177.Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 8* Although his name is derived from the Greek word "σωτήρ" (sōtēr), meaning a "saviour" or "deliverer", he was born in Fondi, Campania, today Lazio region, 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."Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)

It has often been supposed that all the earliest Popes suffered martyrdom; but the Roman Martyrology does not give Pope Soter the title of Martyr. The book detailing the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar states: "There are no grounds for including Saint Soter and Saint Caius among the martyrs."Calendarium Romanum (Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 120

Catholic reactions to the Montanist movement

The Montanist movement, which originated in Asia Minor, made its way to Rome and Gaul in the second half of the 2nd century, during the reign of Eleuterus. Its nature did not diverge so much from the orthodoxy of the time for it to initially be labeled heresy. During the violent persecution at Lyon, in 177, local confessors wrote from their prison concerning the new movement to the Asiatic and Phrygian communities, and also to Pope EleuterusEusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.3.4; translated by G.A. Williamson, Eusebius: The History of the Church (Harmonsworth: Penguin, 1965), p. 206. The bearer of their letter to the pope was the presbyter Irenaeus, soon to become Bishop of Lyon. It appears from statements of Eusebius concerning these letters that the Christians of Lyon, though opposed to the Montanist movement, advocated patience and pleaded for the preservation of ecclesiastical unity.

When the Roman Catholic Church took its definite stand against Montanism is not precisely known. Tertullian records that a Roman bishop sent some conciliatory letters to the Montanists, but based on the complaints of Praxeas "concerning the prophets themselves and their churches, and by insistence on the decisions of the bishop's predecessors" forced the pontiff to recall these letters. Another ancient source states that "Holy Soter, Pope of the City, wrote against them a book, as did the master, Apollonius of Ephesus. Against these wrote the priest Tertullian of Carthage. Who in all ways wrote well, wrote first and wrote incomparably, in this alone did reprehensibly, that he defended Montanus".Pseudo-Augustine, At Rome, the Gnostics and Marcionites continued to preach against the Catholic Church.

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