Pope Caius

Pope Caius

Infobox Pope
English name=Saint Caius

birth_name=Caius or Gaius
term_start=December 17, 283
term_end=April 22, 296
dead=dead|death_date=April 22, 296
infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Caius
dipstyle=His Holiness
offstyle=Your Holiness
relstyle=Holy Father

Pope Saint Caius or Gaius was Pope from December 17, 283 to April 22, 296. Christian tradition makes him a native of the Dalmatian city of Salona, today "Solin" near Split, the son of a man also named Caius, and a member of a noble family related to the Emperor Diocletian. [ [http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/50400 San Caio ] ]

Little information on Caius is available except that given by the "Liber Pontificalis", which relies on a legendary account of the martyrdom of St. Susanna for its information. According to legend, Caius baptized the men and women who had been converted by Saint Tiburtius (who is venerated with St. Susanna) and Saint Castulus. [ [http://www.aciprensa.com/santos/santo.php?id=94 ACI Prensa - Santos ] ] His legend states that Caius took refuge in the catacombs of Rome and died a martyr. [ [http://www.cfpeople.org/Books/Pope/popep28.htm St. Caius ] ]

House of Caius

About 280, an early Christian house of worship was established on the site of Santa Susanna, which, like many of the earliest Christian meeting places, was in a house ("domus ecclesiae"). The "domus" belonged, according to the sixth-century "acta", to brothers named Caius and Gabinus, prominent Christians. Caius may be this Pope, or Caius the Presbyter. Gabinus is the name given to the father of Saint Susanna. Thus, sources state that Caius was the uncle of Saint Susanna. [ [http://www.santasusanna.org/ourUniqueHistory/popes.html Santa Susanna ] ]


During his pontificate, anti-Christian measures increased, although new churches were built and cemeteries were expanded. St Caius may not have been martyred: Diocletian’s persecution of Christians began in 303 AD, after Caius’ alleged death, and Diocletian was not immediately hostile to Christianity upon becoming emperor. [ [http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/50400 San Caio ] ] [ [http://www.cfpeople.org/Books/Pope/popep28.htm St. Caius ] ] As pope, he decreed that before someone could assume the position of bishop, he must first be porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon, and priest. He also divided the districts of Rome among the deacons. [ [http://www.cfpeople.org/Books/Pope/popep28.htm St. Caius ] ] [ [http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0422.htm Saint Patrick's Church: Saints of April 22 ] ]

Tomb and burial

Caius is mentioned in the fourth-century "Depositio Episcoporum" (therefore not as a martyr): "X kl maii Caii in Callisti". [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03144c.htm CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Caius and Soter ] ]

St Caius' tomb, with the original epitaph, was discovered in the catacombs of Callixtus and in it the ring with which he used to seal his letters (see Arringhi, Roma subterr., 1. iv. c. xlviii. p. 426). In 1631, his alleged residence in Rome was turned into a church. However, it was demolished in 1880 to make room for the Ministry of War, on the Via XX Settembre, and his relics were transferred to the chapel of the Barberini family. [ [http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/50400 San Caio ] ]

Veneration as a saint

Saint Caius's feast day is on April 22, as is that of Saint Soter. They are celebrated jointly in the Tridentine Calendar and in the successive versions of the General Roman Calendar until that of 1969, since when they are omitted. Both are mentioned under 22 April in the Roman Martyrology, the official list of recognized saints. The entry for Saint Caius is as follows: "At Rome, in the cemetery of Callistus on the Via Appia, the burial of Saint Caius, Pope, who, fleeing from the persecution of Diocletian, died as a confessor of the faith." [Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)]

St Caius is portrayed in art wearing the Papal Tiara with Saint Nereus. He is venerated in Dalmatia and Venice. In Florence, the Church of San Gaggio on the via Senese was dedicated to him. In 2003, plans were put into effect to turn it into residential council housing. [ [http://www.comune.firenze.it/firenzelacittanuova/us/n/ac_opere_all_e.htm Firenze la città nuova - Gallery ] ]


External links

* [http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/01_01_0283-0296-_Caius,_Sanctus.html Opera Omnia by Migne patrologia Latina]
*it icon [http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/50400 San Caio]

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