Monday, April 22, 2019

Pope St. Caius - April 22

Pope St. Caius

April 22 is the feast of St. Caius, pope.

Pope Caius or Gaius (San Caio) was the 28th Bishop of Rome and Pope of the Catholic Church.

According to tradition he was born in Salona, capital of Dalmatia, to a noble Roman family. Tradition makes him an uncle of the Roman martyr St. Susanna, a brother of St. Gabinius, and a cousin of Emperor Diocletian. This latter fact may explain why many Christians were employed at the imperial court and why the Diocletianic Persecution did not begin until a few years after the Pontiff's death.

According to the Liberian Catalogue he reigned as pope for twelve years, four months and seven days, from December 17, 283 to April 22, 296 AD. He is said to have baptized the men and women who had been converted to Christianity by St. Tiburtius. Previously he was thought to have been a martyr, but now is thought to have died of other causes. Nothing else is known of his life.

He was buried in the Catacomb of Callixtus.

The ancient tomb of Caius, with the original epitaph, was discovered in the 19th century by Italian archaeologist Giovanni Battista de Rossi. In 1880 his relics were transferred to the private chapel of the Barberini family.

He appears in the Roman Martyrology alongside Pope St. Soterius. Historically his cult was particularly strong in Dalmatia and Venice.