« Caius, ecclesiastical writer Caius, pope Calandio or Calendio, bishop of Antioch »

Caius, pope

Caius (3). Pope from Dec. 17 (16?) a.d. 283 (9 or 10 days after the death of his predecessor Eutychianus), to Apr. 22, a.d. 296, i.e. for 12 years 4 months 1 week (Pontifical, Bucher, p. 272), but only for 11 years according to Anastasius (c. 24) and to most Latins, and for 15 years according to Eusebius, who speaks of him as a contemporary (H. E. vii. 32; Chron. 284). He is probably the same as Caius the deacon, imprisoned with pope Stephen, a.d. 257 (Anastas. c. 24). Just as he was raised to the chair, the stern old Roman Carus died mysteriously in a thunderstorm in the East, and his profligate son Carinus succeeded to the empire at Rome. These events would seem to make a persecution, such as is assigned to this period by various martyr Acts, not in itself improbable, and though the Acts in question are untrustworthy (see Tillemont, iv. 565), we are hardly justified in taking Eusebius for a witness to the contrary, as far as concerns the West. The probability is confirmed by the delay of the funeral of Eutychianus till July 25, 284 (v. Rossi, ii. 378). The persecution is not represented as general, but as aimed at a few obnoxious devotees, and Caius does not appear as leading, accompanying, or inciting them, but only as exercising a fatherly supervision. Probably the persecution continued for some time under Diocletian. The early Pontifical, as well as Anastasius, makes Caius of Dalmatian origin and cousin to this emperor. The Acts of St. Susanna confirm this, but are untrustworthy (Till. iv. 760). Caius is said in the early Pontifical to have avoided persecution by hiding in the crypts. During his latter years the Church must have enjoyed peace. He is said by Anastasius to have established the 6 orders of usher, reader, exorcist, subdeacon, deacon, and presbyter, as preliminary stages necessary before attaining the episcopate, and also to have divided Rome into regions assigned to the deacons. He is said to have sent Protus and Januarius on a mission to Sardinia (Mart. Rom. Baron. Oct. 25). He died in peace according to the 6th-cent. Pontifical, and is not called a martyr by any one earlier than Bede and Anastasius. He was succeeded by Marcellinus. A decretal is ascribed to him. From a confusion between the calends of March and of May in the Mart. Hieron., Rabanus assigns his death, and Notker his burial, to Feb. 20 (Rossi, ii. 104). His commemoration on July 1 in the Mart. Hieron. is unexplained (ib. p. 105). He was the last of the 12 popes buried in the crypt of Sixtus, in the cemetery of Callistus (ib. p. 105). He is therefore mentioned again, Aug. 9, at which date a copy of the inscription set up by Sixtus III. was placed in the margin of the ancient martyrology (ib. pp. 33–46).


« Caius, ecclesiastical writer Caius, pope Calandio or Calendio, bishop of Antioch »
VIEWNAME is workSection