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Pope Marcellus I

Cultural Catholic - Pope Marcellus I (308-309)

30th Pontiff (308-309)

Following the death of Pope Marcellinus, the Roman See was vacant for nearly four years due to the Diocletian persecution of the Catholic Church.  Once calm had been restored in Rome, Pope Marcellus I, a Roman, was elected pope on May 27, 308.

Pope Marcellus I undertook ecclesiastical reorganization of the Church and was most merciful to those who repented after having denied their faith during the persecution. However, when the Lapsi people refused to do penance for their renunciation of faith, Pope Marcellus I was outraged.  Violence and bloodshed ensued as Christian Rome rioted in response to the harshness of the pope.

Emperor Maxentius exiled Pope Marcellus I as a troublemaker forcing the pope to work as a stable hand in the oratory of a seized church which had been converted into a stable.

Pope Marcellus I died of exhaustion January 16, 309.

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