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Saint Celestine I Pope of Rome, April 8

Τὸ χάσμα καὶ σὲ παμμάκαρ, Κελεστῖνε,
Χοροῦ διιστᾷ μὴ μεμακαρισμένου.
Saint Celestino I was a Pope of Rome who was declared a saint. He was bishop of Rome from 422 until July 27, 432. In art, Pope Celestine is depicted with a dove, dragon, and flame. He was succeeded by Sixtus III.

He originated from ancient Rome. From his early years it is only known that his father's name was Priscus. He is said to have lived for a time in Milan (Milan), Italy, along with Saint Ambrose. The first written reference to Celestinos is in a document of Pope Innocent I, from the year 416, in which he is referred to as Celestinos the deacon.

Various parts of the liturgy are attributed to him, but without certainty as to their subject. Celestine sent delegates to the Ecumenical Council at Ephesus, 431, which condemned Nestorianism. He even wrote 4 letters (to the bishops of Africa, Illyria, Thessalonica and Narbonne), all dated March 15, 431.
Saint Patrick sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine I; wall mosaic in St Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

St. Celestinos actively condemned Pelagianism and was zealous for Orthodoxy. He sent to Ireland in 431 Palladius as bishop. Celestinus died on July 26, 432. [The latter's work was continued by the bishop Patrick. The Pope became enraged with the Novatians in Rome and imprisoned their bishop. After his death, which occurred on April 6, 432, he was canonized. He was buried in the cemetery of Agia Priscilla, in Via Salaria. Later his remains were transferred and today they are in the Basilica of Santa Prasente. The Catholic Church commemorates him on April 6 (the day of his death).
Portrait of: Pope Celestine in the Basilica of San Paolo Fuori la Mura, Rome


Pontificate
According to the Liber Pontificalis, the start of his papacy was 3 November. However, Tillemont places the date at 10 September. The Vatican also gives his pontificate as starting on 10 September 422.

Various portions of the liturgy are attributed to Celestine I, but without any certainty on the subject. In 430, he held a synod in Rome, at which the teachings of Nestorius were condemned. The following year, he sent delegates to the First Council of Ephesus, which addressed the same issue. Four letters written by him on that occasion, all dated 15 March 431, together with a few others, to the African bishops, to those of Illyria, of Thessalonica, and of Narbonne, are extant in re-translations from the Greek; the Latin originals having been lost.

Celestine actively condemned the Pelagians and was zealous for Roman orthodoxy. To this end he was involved in the initiative of the Gallic bishops to send Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes travelling to Britain in 429 to confront bishops reportedly holding Pelagian views.

He sent Palladius to Ireland to serve as a bishop in 431. Celestine strongly opposed the Novatians in Rome; as Socrates Scholasticus writes, "this Celestinus took away the churches from the Novatians at Rome also, and obliged Rusticulus their bishop to hold his meetings secretly in private houses.". The Novationists refused absolution to the lapsi, but Celestine argued that reconciliation should never be refused to any dying sinner who sincerely asked for it. He was zealous in refusing to tolerate the smallest innovation on the constitutions of his predecessors. As St. Vincent of Lerins reported in 434:

Holy Pope Celestine also expresses himself in like manner and to the same effect. For in the Epistle which he wrote to the priests of Gaul, charging them with connivance with error, in that by their silence they failed in their duty to the ancient faith, and allowed profane novelties to spring up, he says: "We are deservedly to blame if we encourage error by silence. Therefore rebuke these people. Restrain their liberty of preaching."
In a letter to certain bishops of Gaul, dated 428, Celestine rebukes the adoption of special clerical garb by the clergy. He wrote: "We [the bishops and clergy] should be distinguished from the common people [plebe] by our learning, not by our clothes; by our conduct, not by our dress; by cleanness of mind, not by the care we spend upon our person".

Death and legacy
Celestine died on 26 July 432. He was buried in the cemetery of St. Priscilla in the Via Salaria, but his body, subsequently moved, now lies in the Basilica di Santa Prassede. In art, Celestine is portrayed as a pope with a dove, dragon, and flame, and is recognized by the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic Churches as a saint.