Patron saint of the city of León and the Province of León, Spain – Pope Marcellus I

Pope Marcellus I  was born January 6, 255, was the was the bishop of Rome from May or June 308 until his death. He succeeded Marcellinus, after a period of time.  Under the Roman emperor, Maxentius, he was banished from Rome in 309.  This was came from the discontent of Christians from the severity of the penances he had imposed on Christians who hadn’t kept the faith under other recent persecutions. He was followed by Pope Eusebius

For a time after the death of Marcellinus in 304, the Diocletian continued his persecution continued nonstop with incredibly cruelty.  After Diocletian abdicated in 305, Maxentius became Caesar. Christians enjoyed comparative peace. It still took another two years before a new bishop of Rome was elected. In 308, Marcellus first entered on his office Marcellus found the church in great confusion. The meeting-places and some of the cemeteries had been confiscated.  Ordinary life and activity of the church was interrupted. Many weaker members who had fallen away during the persecution.  Those that stayed demanded the weak should have to do heavy penance to be readmitted to communion.

Marcellus divided the church territory into twenty-five districts with a priest, who prepared the catechumens for baptism and directed the performance of public penances. The priest was responsible for the burial of the dead and for the celebrations of the martyrs. The pope also had a new burial place laid out.
At the beginning of the 600s, there were twenty-five churches in Rome.

This work of the pope was interrupted by the disagreements about readmitting people. Marcellus was called wicked by those who had lapsed because he believe they should perform penance for their guilt. Serious conflicts ensued.  Some ended in bloodshed.  The leader of the dissenters was an apostate who had denied the Faith even before the outbreak of persecution. The tyrannical Maxentius had the pope seized and sent into exile at the end of 308 Marcellus died shortly after leaving Rome, and was venerated as a saint.Since 1969 his feast day was January 16, on local calendars, and is no longer on the General Roman Calendar.