lundi 28 mars 2016

Saint SIXTE III, Pape

Saint Sixte III

Pape (44 ème) de 432 à 440 ( 440)

Il fut un ardent défenseur du concile d'Ephèse qui avait reconnu à la Vierge Marie le titre de "Mère de Dieu". Il fit rebâtir la basilique de Sainte-Marie Majeure à Rome, l'embellissant de mosaïques remarquables. Il accomplit également une œuvre d'apaisement entre l'Église de Rome et les Églises d'Orient. Nous connaissons sa correspondance avec saint Augustin qui l'invite à une grande vigilance contre les pélagiens.

À Rome sur la voie Tiburtine, près de saint Laurent, en 440, saint Sixte III, pape, qui apaisa les dissensions entre le patriarcat d’Antioche et celui d’Alexandrie et donna au peuple de Dieu, dans la ville de Rome, la basilique de Sainte-Marie sur l’Esquilin.

Martyrologe romain

Saint Sixte III (432-440)

Il naquit à Rome.

Amateur d'art, il embellit la basilique de Sainte-Marie-Majeur, la dotant de mosaïques qui sont, encore de nos jours, admirés par tous.

Il fit construire aussi l'église de Saint-Laurent, à Lucina.

Pope St. Sixtus III


Consecrated 31 July, 432; d. 440. Previous to his accession he was prominent among the Roman clergy and in correspondence with St. Augustine. He reigned during the Nestorian and Pelagian controversies, and it was probably owing to his conciliatory disposition that he was falsely accused of leanings towards these heresies. As pope he approved the Acts of the Council of Ephesus and endeavoured to restore peace between Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch. In the Pelagian controversy he frustrated the attempt of Julian of Eclanum to be readmitted to communion with the Catholic Church. He defended the pope's right of supremacy over Illyricum against the local bishops and the ambitious designs of Proclus of Constantinople. At Rome he restored the Basilica of Liberius, now known as St. Mary Major, enlarged the Basilica of St. Lawrence-Without-the-Walls, and obtained precious gifts from the Emperor Valentinian III for St. Peter's and the Lateran Basilica. The work which asserts that the consul Bassus accused him of crime is a forgery. He is the author of eight letters (in P.L., L, 583 sqq.), but he did not write the works "On Riches", "On False Teachers", and "On Chastity" ("De divitiis", "De malis doctoribus", "De castitate") attributed to him. His feast is kept on 28 March.


DUCHESNE (ed.), Lib. Pont., I (Paris, 1886), 126-27, 232-37; BARMBY in Dict. Christ. Biog., s.v. Sixtus (3); GRISAR, History of Rome and the Popes, tr. CAPPADELTA, I (St. Louis, 1911), nos. 54, 135, 140, 144, 154.

Weber, Nicholas. "Pope St. Sixtus III." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 28 Mar. 2016 <>.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

March 28

St. Sixtus III., Pope

HE was a priest among the Roman clergy in 418, when Pope Zozimus condemned the Pelagian heretics. Sixtus was the first, after this sentence, who pronounced publicly anathema against them, to stop their slander in Africa that he favoured their doctrine, as we are assured by St. Austin and St. Prosper in his chronicle. The former sent him two congratulatory letters the same year, in which he applauds this testimony of his zeal, and in the first of these letters professes a high esteem of a treatise written by him in defence of the grace of God against its enemies. It was that calumny of the Pelagian heretics that led Garnier into the mistake, that our saint at first favoured their errors. But a change of this kind would not have been buried in silence. After the death of St. Celestine, Sixtus was chosen pope, in 432. He wrote to Nestorius to endeavour to reclaim him after his condemnation at Ephesus, in 431: but his heart was hardened, and he stopped his ears against all wholesome admonitions. The pope had the comfort to see a happy reconciliation made, by his endeavours, between the Orientals and St. Cyril: in which he much commended the humility and pacific dispositions of the latter. He says, “that he was charged with the care and solicitude of all the churches in the world, 1 and that it is unlawful for any one to abandon the faith of the Apostolic Roman Church, in which St. Peter teaches in his successors what he received from Christ.” 2 When Bassus, a nobleman of Rome, had been condemned by the emperor, and excommunicated by a synod of bishops for raising a grievous slander against the good pope, the meek servant of Christ visited and assisted him in person, administered him the viaticum in his last sickness, and buried him with his own hands. Julian of Eclanum or Eeulanum, the famous Pelagian, earnestly desiring to recover his see, made great efforts to be admitted to the communion of the Church, pretending that he had become a convert, and used several artifices to convince our saint that he really was so: but he was too well acquainted with them to be imposed on. This holy pope died soon after, on the 28th of March, in 440, having sat in the see near eight years. See his letters, Anastasius’s Pontifical, with the notes of Bianchini, &c.

Note 1. Ep. 1. ad Episc. Orient. p. 1236. Ep. decret. t. 1. [back]

Note 2. Ep. 6. ad Joan. Antioch. contra Nestor. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume III: March. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.