Faith & Life


DIED 335 Feast – December 31


Thought to be Roman, Sylvester (or Silvester) served as pope from 314 to 335. His papacy ran almost concurrently with the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, 306-337, but it was Constantine who dominated the times. Sylvester had little influence on Constantine’s pro-Christian decrees and was invited to attend the Council of Nicaea in 325 as one among the church’s bishops. Sylvester did not attend, but sent two legates, who signed the council decrees after the president, a bishop-friend of Constantine’s, had signed them. Through the emperor’s generosity, Sylvester built Rome’s first great churches. Buried in the cemetery of Priscilla, he was among the first non-martyr saints to be venerated in Rome.