Feast Day: December 31
Born:(around 265) :: Died:335
St. Sylvester was pope during the reign of Emperor Constantine. In fact, Sylvester I became pope in 314 and he reigned until his death in 335 for twenty-one years. He had the Church of St. John Lateran and many other churches built.
Emperor Constantine at first was not a Christian and was very cruel to Pope Sylvester and the other Christians.
The emperor then found he had leprosy and arranged to have a pagan ceremony of some kind performed (something like a witchdoctor's rain dance). He was frightened and badly wanted to be cured.
Then Constantine had a dream in which St. Peter and St. Paul spoke to him. They told the emperor to go to Pope Sylvester for a cure.
Constantine hurried to the pope and asked if he could be baptized. The pope agreed and was happy to perform the baptism in the basilica of St. John Lateran.
During the Baptism ceremony Emperor Constantine was completely cured. From then on, Constantine not only allowed the Christian religion to continue, but encouraged and helped to spread it.
Pope Sylvester I was the first pope who was not a martyr to be proclaimed a saint. In the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, a beautiful mosaic decorates one wall. It shows Jesus giving keys of spiritual power to Pope St. Sylvester I.
Take some time today to remember the many special blessings of the year. How has God drawn me closer to himself in the past year?
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