st.Siricius-Pope and martyr

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Feast Day : November 26



Siricius, son of Tiburtius, was born in Rome about 334. He entered the Roman Church at an early age and served as lector and later deacon under Pope Liberius (r. 352–366) and Pope St. Damasus (r. 366–383). Damasus died on December 11, 384, and although the antipope Ursinus (who had been excommunicated by Damasus) claimed the see, Siricius was consecrated bishop on December 17. His pontificate was marked by his denunciation and excommunication in 392 of the monk Jovinian, who averred that Mary had lost her virginity with the birth of Jesus and that she and Joseph had had other children after Jesus. Siricius is known also for a papal decree sent to Bishop Himerius of Tarragona (Spain) requiring married priests to desist from cohabitation with their wives and threatening sanctions against those who did not obey. This was the earliest insistence on clerical celibacy and also the earliest decretal that has survived in its entirety. Siricius died on November 26, 399, and was buried in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla on the Via Salaria. His tomb became a popular site in seventh-century pilgrimages. His name was inserted in the Roman Martyrology by Pope Benedict XIV (r. 1740–58).

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