Spirituality for Today – January 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 6

The Seventeenth Pope

Saint Urban I

An illustration of Pope Saint Urban the firstPope Saint Urban I (222-230) – The reign of Pope Urban I enjoyed the good fortune of coinciding with that of the Emperor Alexander Severus. Julia Mannaea, who was the mother of the new emperor, had developed a friendship with the renowned Christian teacher Origen. In addition, Emperor Alexander Severus was by nature tolerant of the many religions of the empire – particularly Christianity. Thus, the reign of Pope Urban I would be free of persecution by the Roman Empire. The Church grew substantially during Pope Urban's reign.

Unfortunately, there is little reliable information about his achievements as pope. Scholarship accepts that Pope Urban I was buried in the Catacomb of Praetextus which is location on the Appian Way.