SAINTS

JAN. 10: ST. AGATHO

(Died 681)

St. Agatho is the oldest man ever to become pope. There is reliable information that records that he was more than 100 years old when he stepped into “the shoes of the fisherman!”

Born in Sicily, he became a Benedictine monk in Palermo. He succeeded Pope Donus in 678. Shortly after Agatho became pope, St. Wilfred, archbishop of York who had been unjustly and uncanonically deposed from his see by Theodore of Canterbury, arrived at Rome to invoke the authority of the Holy See in his behalf. At a synod which Pope Agatho convoked in the Lateran to investigate the affair, Wilfred was restored to his see.

The chief event of Agatho’s pontificate is, however, the Sixth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in 680, at which the papal legates presided and which practically ended the Monothelite heresy (which denied the human nature of Christ’s existence).

Before the decrees of the council arrived in Rome for the approval of the pope, Agatho had died. He was buried in St. Peter’s on Jan. 10, 681. Pope Agatho was remarkable for his affability and charity. Because of his many attributed miracles, he has been styled Thaumaturgus, or Wonderworker. His memory is celebrated by the Latin as well as the Greek Church.

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Ott, M. (1907). Pope St. Agatho. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved Jan. 5, 2021 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01204c.htm