Pope Victor I

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Pope Saint Victor I was Pope from 189 to 199 (the Vatican cites 186 or 189 to 197 or 201).[1]

Pope Victor I was the first bishop of Rome born in the Roman Province of Africa. He was later canonized. His feast day is celebrated on July 28 as "St Victor I, Pope and Martyr".[2]

Before his elevation to the Roman episcopacy, a difference in dating the celebration of the Christian Passover/Easter between Rome and the bishops of Asia Minor had been tolerated by both the Roman and Eastern churches. The churches in Asia Minor celebrated it on the 14th of the Jewish month of Nisan, the day before Jewish Passover, regardless of what day of the week it fell on, as the Crucifixion had occurred on the Friday before Passover. The Latins called them Quartodecimans. Rome and the West celebrated Easter on the Sunday following the 14th of Nisan. Victor is remembered for the great concern he displayed for order in the church by severing ties with bishops such as Polycrates of Ephesus who opposed his views on Easter.[3] He also broke with Theodotus of Byzantium for his beliefs about Christ.[4]

Until Victor's time, Rome celebrated the Mass in Greek. Pope Victor changed the language to Latin, which was used in his native North Africa. According to Jerome, he was the first Christian author to write about theology in Latin. Latin masses, however, did not become universal until the latter half of the fourth century.[5]


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