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St Silvestrus the first, Pope of Rome

          Silvestre was born in Rome. His dad Rofinos died while Silvestre was a mere child; thus he was brought up as a good Catholic by his pious mother Justa (or Yusta), he studied religion and philosophy and became a priest.

          He occupied the Pertain Chair (became a pope) in the year 314, during the days of Constantine the Great, thanks to whom the Church got to get out of the catacombs and gain freedom. It was the pope Silvestre who baptized Constantine. Once the Church was free, the pope started with a great zeal a long and hard work to reform the Church and repair the harm that was caused by the long years of persecution. He then had a council held in France, where he excommunicated the Donatians. But the most important event during his papacy was the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (325) that condemned the heresy of Arius. Nicea Council was possible thanks to Constantine who facilitated the attendance of 380 bishops which excommunicated the Arian heresy, and affirmed the divinity of Christ the Lord. Pope Silvestre confirmed the teaching of the council, which became our Creed until today.

King Constantine donated to Pope Silvestre the Lateran Castle, while he moved his throne to Constantinople, which he named after himself, so the Pope becomes the only sovereign religious and civil rulers in Rome and its suburbs. This was historically known as the great gift of Constantine.

There was no limit to the zeal of Pope Silvestre, who built several churches in Rome, among which was Saint Peter’s church (324). And through presiding over the general councils, he affirmed that the highest authority in the Church belongs to the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ. He died in the year 335, after 21 years of remarkable service in the Church. May his prayers be with us. Amen.