Pope Sixtus I

Pope Saint
Sixtus I
Papacy began c. 115
Papacy ended c. 124
Predecessor Alexander I
Successor Telesphorus
Personal details
Birth name Sixtus or Xystus
Born 42
Rome, Roman Empire
Died 125
Rome, Roman Empire
Feast day 3 April
Title as Saint Martyr
Other popes named Sixtus
Papal styles of
Pope Sixtus I
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style Saint

Pope Sixtus I (42 – 124,125,126 or 128) was the Bishop of Rome from c. 115 to his death c. 124.[1] He succeeded Pope Alexander I and was in turn succeeded by Pope Telesphorus. In the oldest documents, Xystus (from the Greek word for "polished") is the spelling used for the first three popes of that name. Pope Sixtus I is also the sixth Pope after Peter, leading to questions whether the name "Sixtus" (meaning "sixth") might be fictitious.[2]


The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio (2012) identifies him as a Roman who served from 117 or 119 to 126 or 128.[1] According to the Liberian Catalogue of popes, he served the Church during the reign of Hadrian "a consulatu Negro et Aproniani usque Vero III et Ambibulo", that is, from 117 to 126.[1] Eusebius states in his Chronicon that Sixtus I was pope from 114 to 124, while his Historia Ecclesiastica, using a different catalogue of popes, claims his rule from 114 to 128. All authorities agree that he reigned about ten years.[1]

Sixtus I instituted several Roman Catholic liturgical and administrative traditions. Like most of his predecessors, Sixtus I was believed to have been buried near Saint Peter's grave on Vatican Hill, although there are differing traditions concerning where his body lies today.

He was a Roman by birth, and his father's name was Pastor. According to the Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne, I.128), he passed the following three ordinances:

Alban Butler (Lives of the Saints, 6 April) states that Clement X gave some of his relics to Cardinal de Retz, who placed them in the Abbey of St. Michael in Lorraine. The Xystus who is commemorated in the Catholic Canon of the Mass is Xystus II, not Xystus I.

His feast is celebrated on 6 April.[1]

See also


Reliquary of the Pope, made in 1596, exhibited at The Permanent Ecclesiastical Art Exhibition "The Gold and Silver of Zadar" in the St. Mary's Church, Zadar, Croatia
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ott, Michael. "Pope St. Sixtus I" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912.
  2. PBS video, "Saints and Sinners."


  • Benedict XVI. The Roman Martyrology. Gardners Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-548-13374-3.
  • Chapman, John. Studies on the Early Papacy. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971. ISBN 978-0-8046-1139-8.
  • Fortescue, Adrian, and Scott M. P. Reid. The Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451. Southampton: Saint Austin Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4.
  • Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples. London: Covenant Pub. Co, 1968. OCLC 7181392
  • Loomis, Louise Ropes. The Book of Popes (Liber Pontificalis). Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope St. Sixtus I". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 
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Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Alexander I
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by
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