This very beautiful reliquary containing a bone fragment of Pope Victor I marks the earliest relic of the Papal Artifacts’ Collection.
The date of birth of Pope St. Victor is unknown, but we do know that he was Pope from 189 to 199.
Victor was a native African, and his father’s name was Felix. He is known for having obtained the release of many Christians who had been deported to the mines of Sardinia, and for being the first Pope to celebrate the liturgy and write Church documents in Latin rather than Greek.
He is most famous, however, for decreeing that Easter be universally celebrated on a Sunday, a practice already common in the West, but not so in the East.
He died in 199, possibly from martyrdom.
The Catholic tradition has always venerated the relics of our saints. The following commentary by Father Richard Kunst, Curator of the Papal Artifacts’ Collection, explains why.