[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Fabian I, Pope of Rome

III Century
Pope/St. Fabian was elected pope in 236 by a dove. According to legend, he was carting dung outside the chamber where the papal election was being held. When a dove landed on his head, he was immediately proclaimed pope. During his tenure, he organized the church of Rome into seven regions, each of which was the charge of a deacon. Each deacon had a subdeacon to serve under him, and each had six assistants. Fabian ordained Novation and founded churches in France. The pope also improved the cemetaries of Rome. He was also responsible for returning the relics of Pontian and Hippolytus to Rome. Decius had Fabian arrested in 250, and the pope died in prison.

Karen Rae Keck


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