St. Siricius, Pope | Saint of the Day | November 26

Prayer to St. Siricius, Pope

Almighty and eternal God, You willed to set St. Siricius over Your entire people and to go before them in word and example. By his intercession keep the pastors of Your Church together with their flocks and guide them in the way of eternal salvation. Amen.

St. Siricius was elected Pope in 384 at the death of St. Damasus I and reigned until 399. Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758) added the name of Pope Siricius to the Roman Martyrology on November 26 with the statement that he was “distinguished for his learning, piety, and zeal for religion, condemning various heretics and strengthening ecclesiastical discipline”.

The “heretics” were the monk Jovinian and Bonosus of Sardica who denied the perpetual virginity of Mary and the merit of virginity as well. “Ecclesiastical discipline” refers to the decisions that Siricius gave on certain question of church order and the Sacraments addressed to him by Bishop Himerius of Tarragona.

The general instruction, which Hinerius was ordered to communicate to other Bishops, is the earliest Papal decretal extant in its entirety and includes the earliest known attempt at the enforcement of clerical celibacy by the Roman See.