(1) 1. MARTINO (ca. 590-655)
Birth. Ca. 590, Todi, Umbria. Of a noble family. Son of Fabricius.
Education. (No information found).
Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title or deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church before 649. Aprocrisiario (ambassador) of Pope Teodoro I in Constantinople.
Papacy. Consecrated Pope Martin I on July 5, 649. He was consecrated before the imperial confirmation arrived, because at that moment the exarchate of Ravenna was vacant. Because of this, his election could be considered illegal, and the behavior of the Roman clergy seemed like a defiance of Emperor Constans II. As a result, the emperor considered him an illegitimate pope. Celebrated the Lateran Council of 649, attended by 105 bishops and had five sessions, October 5, 8, 17, 19 and 31 The assembly discussed the edict of Constans II, the Typus, with which he ordered silence to the entire Christianity on the question of Christ's will. The council condemned not only the Typus, but also the Ekthesi of Emperor Heraclius I and also those who wrote in favor of the Monothelist heresy; implicitly, the council condemned the emperor, who wanted to silence the Church on this question, which was properly theological. Emperor Constans II named a new exarch of Ravenna, Olimpio, and sent him to Italy with the principal aim of obtaining the signing of the Typus not only by the bishops, but also by all the citizens and arresting the pope if he opposed. Exarch Olimpio arrived in Rome during the celebration of the council, but found an obstacle in the citizen militia, which did not seem willing to follow him. The militia, which is appeared for the first time, was composed by the most illustrious citizens and landowners of the city. It received a subsidy from time to time from Constantinople, but was in essence national and Roman. Without its support the plan of the exarch was impossible to be carried on.
Exarch Olimpio then tried another plan, as told by the Liber pontificalis and hypocritically seemed to renounce his wicked designs. One day when the pope was celebrating a solemn mass in the Basilica of the Holy Mother of God ever Virgin, now known under the name of Santa Maria ad Praesepe, or S. Maria Maggiore, the exarch presented himself for communion; he had ordered his squire to remain close and kill the pope when he approached to give him communion. But the Almighty God, the Liber pontificalis adds, who protects his faithful servants and saves them from all dangers, made the squire suddenly blind so that he could not see the pope when taking the sacrament of the Eucharist in his hand, and approached exarch to give him a kiss of peace. The squire then claimed under oath that this sudden blindness avoided the horror of seeing innocent blood spilled during the celebration of the sacred mysteries and avoided a horrible crime that would have dismayed the Church of God. Exarch Olimpio, seeing that God's hand protected Pope Martin I, told him what orders he had, made peace with him and left Rome with his army to fight the Saracens in Sicily who had seized the island. He died in this enterprise.
The emperor sent a new exarch Theodore Calliope, with the precise order of arresting the pope. He entered Rome on June 15, 653 at the head of troops from Ravenna. The pope, unable to move from the Lateran because he was sick of gout, to follow the obligations of the ceremonial, sent the new exarch him some members of the clergy, who paid tribute in the palace of the Caesars. The exarch pretended to be saddened by the illness of the pope and declared that the next day he would go to visit him, in fact, he showed the greatest kindness, pretending to be the bearer of a renewed friendship from the emperor. In fact, his tactics tended to circumvent possible clashes with the Roman army in the implementation of his project. For this purpose, he did not act on Sunday, wanting to avoid the resentment of the people, who on that holiday, would be gathered around the Lateran patriarchium, and postponed the meeting until Monday. Exarch Theodore Calliope put into action his plan: first sent word to Pope Martin I indicating that feared that the Lateran was defended by the army in battle array, as he had come with peaceful intentions. The pope, trusting and naive, allowed him to search every room; this is done, the exarch surrounded the palace with troops and entered with his entourage. He approached the pope, who was lying on a bed before the high altar of the basilica surrounded by the clergy, and his behavior changed significantly, with arrogance he presented an imperial decree ordering the deposition of Pope Martin I, accused of having usurped the papal throne without awaiting the confirmation of Emperor Constans II, and demanded the transfer of the pontiff to Constantinople be judged. The clergy resented the exarch's actions, but the troops took quick action, probably without shedding blood, with their swords cut the candles that lit up the church, seized the pope and dragged him into the palace of the Caesars. The exarch assured the pope that he could bring along whoever it was of his liking, and several of the soldiers later brought their belongings for the trip, the pope did not react, and his behavior was exemplary, accepting whatever he felt that awaited him in Byzantium. The pontiff could have raised the people, inciting the town militia, and causing a civil war, but he did not, evidently because the action of Exarch Theodore Calliope was very fast or, perhaps, because the pontiff wanted to avoid a bloodshed. The exarch accelerated the operation: the night of June 19, 653, did bring the pope into the ship anchored in the river Tiber, after allowing him only six servants. The exarch closed the city gates, fearing that supporters of the pope could in the meantime mobilized the militia and the people, and sailed to Porto. From there began the long journey that touched Miseno head and reached several islands, including Naxos, where there was a break of almost a year, a harrowing journey, because the pope was suffering from dysentery and was not allowed to land. In practice, he traveled as a prisoner. In vain the priests and faithful of the various berths came to pay homage to the pontiff and to bring gifts, the latter all ended in the pockets of his jailers. It was only the beginning of a martyrdom.
When Pope Martin I finally arrived in Constantinople on September 17 of 654, there had been in Rome, for more than a month, another pope, Eugenius I, consecrated at the will of Emperor Constans II. Pope Martin I did not, of course, receive in Byzantium the honors reserved to many of his predecessors, he was now considered a bishop whatsoever.The pope was immediately sent to prison without the possibility of talking to anyone. Only three months after his arrival in Constantinople, began the trial for treason, which was clearly a farce, but with tragic consequences.Pope Martin I wanted to set up a defense by addressing issues of faith, he believed that was the subject of unfounded allegations; the prefect Troilo imposed silence, telling the pope that the process was because of offense to the state. The pontiff accused of having persuaded Exarch Olimpio to rebel against the emperor and of calling the Saracens to Sicily to help him in his campaign against Byzantium. Pope Martin I said that in Olimpio he had embraced my enemy redeemed; and that to the Saracens he had given money to redeem the Christians abandoned by the emperor; he added that as pontiff he had defended the faith against the Typus. But the death sentence had already been established. Pending the execution of the death penalty,the pontiff had to endure other sufferings. Transported to a public patio on a chair, since the infirmities impeded him to walk and to stand on his feet, the episcopal pallium and mantle were removed, half-naked in the bitter cold and loaded with chains, he was dragged through the city to the prison. The Monothelist patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, who was very sick and dying, learning the treatment to which the emperor was subjecting the pope, felt remorse and prayed Emperor Constans II to change the death penalty for that of exile. The emperor fulfilled this request but did not change his opinion because when Patriarch Paul died and the heretic Patriarch Pyrrhus was reelected, Pope Martin I refused to remove the anathema launched against him by his predecessor, Pope Theodore I. Pope Martin I remained in prison until March 655, when he was sent into exile in Chersonesus, now reduced to starvation, abandoned by all, especially, what troubled him most, by the Roman clergy, who, since it had a new pope, had not preoccupied about. Pope Martin I hoped in his underwear, that according to tradition, during his absence the Roman see would have been administered by an archdeacon, an arch priest and a primicerius; but the Roman clergy was afraid but it was difficult to excuse its weakness and thoughtlessness. When Pope Eugenius I was elected, Pope Martin I still had not been cruelly stripped of his papal pallium. He represented the Church in misery, in misfortune, in the torture of an exile nobly born. The clergy of Rome was not at its height. Curiously, the official list of popes in Annuario Pontificio considers them, Popes Martin I and Eugenius I, as reigning simultaneously.
Exiled to Crimea by Emperor Constans II, he embarked from Herion on Holy Thursday March 26, 655, and arrived in Chersonesus on the following May 15. In mid-June and in the beginning of September 655, he wrote his last two letters to a friend in Constantinople. In his letters, the pope complained with sweetness about having been forgotten by his church of Rome, which did not even provided him with food, even though it was able to do it. The pope prayed God to strengthen his Church in faith and guide its legitimate substitute against heresies. During his pontificate, he ordained thirty three bishops for different sees, eleven priests and five deacons. Pope Martin I was a great pontiff who accepted martyrdom in defense of the orthodoxy of faith and did not compromise politically.
Death. September 16, 655, starvation, cold, harsh treatment, gout, dysentery, or a combination of all of these, while in exile in Chersonesus, in the Black Sea (now Sevastopol, Crimea). Buried before the wall of Chersonesus, in the basilica of S. Maria ad Blachernas. Nothing of his tomb or the church exists today. It is believed that Pope Sergius II had his relics transferred to the church of S. Martino ai Monti (now Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti), Rome (1).
Sainthood. Inscribed as a martyr in the Roman Martyrolgy, his feast was celebrated on November 12 (the day of the supposed transfer of his relics to Rome); today, his feast is celebrated on April 13 in the West; and on September 20 in the East. He was the last pope to be venerated as a martyr.
Bibliography. Casper, Erich. "Die Lateran synode von 649." Zeitschrift f|r Kirchengeschichte, LI (1932), 75-137; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 453-458; Conte, Pietro ; Riedinger, Rudolf. Il sinodo Lateranense dell'Ottobre 649. Città del Vaticano : Pontificia Accademia Teologica Romana ; Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1989. (Collezione teologica ; 3). Note: "La nuova edizione degli atti a cura di Rudolf Riedinger rassegna critica di fonti dei secoli VII-XII." Addenda, corrigenda, emendanda; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XXXVII; Del Re, Niccolò. "Martino I, papa, santo."Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p.686-687; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 144, no. 1; Jenal, Georg. "Martino I, santo." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 598-603; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 73-75; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, I, 336-340; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 122, no. 74; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 53-54; Riedinger, Rudolf. "Aus den Akten der Lateran-Synode von 649", Byzantinische Zeitschrift, LXIX (1976), 17-38; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 230-234; Sacrorum conciliorum nova, et amplissima collectio : in qua praeter ea quae Phil. Labbeus, et Gabr. Cossartius S.J. et novissime Nicolaus Coleti in lucem edidere ea omnia insuper suis in locis optime disposita exhibentur, quae Joannes Dominicus Mansi lucensis, congregationis matris dei evulgavit. Editio novissima ab eodem Patre Mansi .... Paris : H. Welter, 1901-1927. 54 v. in 57, X, 863-1188.
Webgraphy. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, Encyclopaedia Britannica; his image and biography, in English, Wikipedia; biography by Joseph Bruscher, S.J., in English, Popes through the Ages; biography, in English, Magnificat; biography, in English, BookRags; biography, Lives of the Popes in the Seventh Century, The History and the Lives of the Popes; biography, in Italian, Dizionario biografico degli italiani; biography by Georg Jenal, in Italian, Encilocpedia dei papi, Treccani; his image and biography, in Italian; images and biography, in Italian, Santi e Beati; Pope St. Martin I - The Completion of the Via LUCIS, blog of Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Canada; his image and biography, in English, Saints of the day; his image and biography, in German, Das Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon; larger version of the same image, Das Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon; Den hellige pave Martin I (~600-655), biography in Norwegian; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; another engraving from the same source; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, iStockphoto; his engraving, Il Mercante in Asta; engravings, Araldica Vaticana; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; and another engraving from the same source.
(1) Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 122, no. 74, indicates that concerning this belief, nowadays the majority of the scholars opine that the relics that were transferred were those of St. Martin of Tours and that those of Pope St. Martin I had remained in Sevastopol.
©1998-2016 Salvador Miranda.