Pope Saint Cornelius

detail of a stained glass window of Pope Saint Cornelius, by Clemens Winkhold, 1889; church of Saint Barbara, Breunig, Germany; photographed on 6 November 2010 by Reinhardhauke; swiped off Wikimedi CommonsMemorial


Bishop. Reluctant 21st pope, elected after a year-and-a-half period during which the persecutions were so bad that papal ascension was a quick death sentence.

Worked to maintain unity in a time of schism and apostasy. Fought Novatianism and called a synod of bishops to confirm him as rightful pontiff, as opposed to the anti-pope Novatian. Had the support of Saint Cyprian of Carthage and Saint Dionysius. He welcomed back those who had apostacized during the persecutions of Decius; the documents that settled this matter prove the final authority of the Pope. Exiled to Centemcellae in 252 by Roman authorities to punish Christians in general, who were said to have provoked the gods to send plague against Rome. Martyr.

A document from Cornelius shows the size of the Church in Rome in his papacy: 46 priests, 7 deacons, 7 subdeacons, approximately 50,000 Christians.

Papal Ascension


Name Meaning

  • battle horn



MLA Citation

  • “Pope Saint Cornelius“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 September 2021. Web. 18 October 2021. <>