by M. J. Joachim
Pope Sixtus I, son of Pastor, was a Roman by birth. Some resources indicate Pastor was also a priest. Sixtus’s reign lasted approximately ten years, sometime between 114 – 128. Exact dates are undetermined.
Pope Sixtus I appears to have had great reverence for the Mass. He is credited with protecting sacred vessels (chalice and paten, which are used during the transformation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ), providing that only men of the cloth (deacons, priests and bishops) could touch them. He is also credited with including the Sanctus, prior to the Eucharistic Prayer during Mass.
Another item credited to Pope Sixtus I is that bishops returning to their local flock after visiting the Holy See, could not be received by their people, unless they were presenting Apostolic Letters. (In other words, Pope Sixtus I set bishops apart – my personal interpretation of this particular decree.)
It appears that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was beginning to take shape and become more formal under the reign of Pope Sixtus I. Bishops and priests became more loyal to a single leader (the pope) in Rome. Reverence for the Mass and its sacred venue were more clearly defined, with precautions taken to respect not only Church teachings, but all things holy, as well.
On another note…
This week marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. My heart breaks every time I think about it. Please, please pray as much as you can for an end to abortion. And if you feel so inspired, take positive steps to protect our unborn children any way you can!
Best to all,
Lives of the Popes (McBrien ©1997)
Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain, Rafael (1483 – 1520), Sistine Madonna
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