St. Stephen I, Pope of Rome
A Roman by birth, Pope/St. Stephen was a priest when elected to the papacy
in 254. He believed that baptism is a sacrament that need be administered
only once, even if heretics had done the baptizing. He and Cyprian of
Carthage wrangled over the issue and over the pope's reinstatement of two
Spanish bishops, whom a synod had deposed for apostacy. Stephen defended
the right of bishops to appeal to Rome and was the first to use St. Peter
as an argument for Rome's primacy. Stephen died a martyr in 257, during
the persecutions of Emperor Valerian.
Karen Rae Keck
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