URGENT! Make a gift that will be doubled. We have $10,746 left to match by December 1st.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pagan Roman emperor venerated Christ’s image

Catholic World News - July 20, 2011

A pagan Roman emperor venerated an image of Christ every morning, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi notes in a brief L’Osservatore Romano article.

Alexander Severus (222-35) “venerated at dawn in his lararium portraits of his ancestors, images of several emperors, the figure of Apollonio of Tiana, but also the icons of Christ, Abraham and Orpheus,” writes the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. “This syncretism was widespread in the empire at the time and the Roman pantheon unhesitatingly gathered together the figures, ideas, symbols and cults of the Orient, creating an intercultural and multi-religious climate which corresponded to the multiethnic makeup of the populations of the metropolis and of the empire.”

Although several saints were martyred during Alexander Severus’ reign, the era is viewed as a relatively tolerant time that preceded the brutal persecutions of Decius (249-51), Valerianus (253-58), and Diocletian (286-305).

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($65,724 to go):
$150,000.00 $84,276.12
44% 56%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Art and theology, beauty and truth, work together in the New Evangelization 2 hours ago
Anatomy of Conversion 3 hours ago
Anatomy of Conversion 7 hours ago
It is a failure of mercy to deny sin November 20
Yesterday's news, tomorrow November 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days