St Sylvester

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Saint Of The Day

Pope. St Sylvester became Pope in 314 and served for 21 years until his death in 335 during the reign of the Emperor Constantine.

According to one legend, Constantine persecuted Pope Sylvester to begin with. But then the emperor contracted leprosy. He was going to have a pagan ritual of some kind but one night he had a dream in which St Peter and St Paul told him to go to the Pope for help.

Constantine asked Pope Sylvester to baptise him. While he was receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, in the Basilica of St John Lateran, the emperor was cured. From then on, Constantine not only permitted the Christian religion to exist, but encouraged it.

Devotion to Pope Sylvester I was well-known during the early Church. He was the first pope not a martyr to be proclaimed a saint. In the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome, there is a mosaic which shows Jesus giving keys of spiritual power to Pope St Sylvester I.