+ Innocent was born in Albano, Italy, and became the 40th bishop of Rome in 402.
+ As Pope, Innocent fought against the Novatian heresy (which denied that the Church had the authority or power to grant absolution to the lapsi—Christians who denied their faith during times of persecution).
+ In addition to working bring stability to the Church in a time of great theological unrest, he also helped the city recover after it was sacked by the Alaric the Goth in 410.
+ While defending the primacy of the bishop of Rome, Innocent also collaborated with and supported Saint John Chrysostom, as well as the bishops of North Africa as they dealt with theological controversies within their local communities.
+ Pope Innocent I is remembered as having been an intelligent, capable man who fulfilled the duties of his office with integrity, discretion, and faith.
+ Saint Innocent died on March 12, 417. He has been honored as a saint since the time of his death.
For prayer and reflection
“It should be clear that we are Christ’s servants, stewards of the mysteries of God; the great quality of a steward is to be faithful to his duty.”—Acts 20:28
On this day, the Church remembers Saint Heiu of Hartlepool, the first woman to take religious vows in Northumbria (England). She would later found a monasteries for women in Hartlepool and Healaugh. Saint Heiu died in the middle of the seventh century.
Almighty ever-living God, who chose blessed Innocent to preside over your whole people and benefit them by word and example, keep safe, we pray, by his intercession, the shepherds of your Church along with the flocks entrusted to their care, and direct them in the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Pope)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.