St Sylvester I


St Sylvester I was Pope from 31 January 314 to 31 December 335, succeeding Pope Miltiades.He filled the See of Rome at a very important era in the history of the Catholic Church, but very little is known of him. The accounts of the papacy of Pope Sylvester I preserved in the Liber Pontificalis (7th or 8th century) are little else than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Church by Emperor Constantine I, but it does say that he was the son of a Roman named Rufinus. During his pontificate were built the great churches founded at Rome by Constantine, e.g. the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, St. Peter’s Basilica, and several cemeterial churches over the graves of martyrs. Sylvester died in Rome in 335 and is the patron saint of animals.


About Author

Fr Anthony is a priest of the Congregation of St Michael the Archangel, and is currently the Director of Identity and Mission at the Australian Catholic University.