Feast Day : July 11
Little of certainty is known about Pius. He apparently was the son of Rufinas, and may have been a native of Aquileia. His brother Hermas, who claimed to be a former freedman, published a Christian journal called “The Shepard.” Pius became the 10th bishop of Rome, or pope, succeeding St. Hyginus ca. 140 and reigning until ca. 155. The Roman Church was more than ever the center of the Christian world during Pius’s rule. St. Justin and other Christian evangelists visited Rome, and as did certain heretics. The Gnostics Valentinus and Cerdon continued to preach there, as did Marcion, head of the Marcionites, a group that held that Christianity should jettison all vestiges of its Jewish background. Pius presided over the council that excommunicated Marcion in 144, but it is not known whether he took any actions against the Gnostics. Pius is sometimes said to have founded two churches in Rome. However, although these may have been built on the foundations of Christian houses dating from his day, the churches as such date from the fourth century. Pius died ca. 155, perhaps as a martyr like many of his predecessors, although his martyrdom is not mentioned until the ninth century.