Feast Day : April 6
Also known as: Xystus
Sixtus was born in Rome, the son of Pastor; his name suggests that he may have been of Greek origin. He was the seventh pope, reigning for about 10 years, from the death of Alexander I ca. 115 to ca. 125. According to the Liber Pontificalis, Sixtus passed three ordinances, decreeing that: only sacred ministers were allowed to touch the sacred vessels; bishops who had been summoned to the Holy See could not be received by their dioceses without presenting Apostolic letters; and after the Preface in the Mass the priest should recite the Sanctus with the people. However, this last decree is wrongly attributed to him, raising doubts about whether he was responsible for the former two decrees. Like his predecessors, Sixtus is thought to have died a martyr. He was buried in the Vatican, near St. Peter, but his relics may have been moved later. Some sources say that they were translated to Alatri in 1132; in his Lives of Saints, Butler contends that Pope Clement X (r. 1670–76) gave some of them to Cardinal de Retz, who placed them in the abbey of St. Michael in Lorraine. However, it is possible that they still rest in the Vatican basilica.