Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Pope Saint Damasus I (c. 305-384)

Pope Saint Damasus I (c. 305-384)

Patron saint of archaeologists

Feast day: December 11

Saint Damasus I was appointed Pope after the death of Pope Liberius. However, a minority in Rome appointed another man, Ursinus, as Pope. This caused a controversy that resulted in violence and scandal, which was resolved in favor of Damasus.

During his papacy, Christianity was proclaimed the official religion of the Roman Empire, and Latin became the primary liturgical language. Damasus appointed Saint Jerome to translate the Bible into Latin (now known as "the Vulgate" and used as the official Church translation of the Scriptures for centuries).

Pope Saint Damasus took great care in the restoration and preservation of the catacombs and relics of martyrs. Saint Jerome called Damasus "an incomparable person."

(Image in public domain-70)