Did you ever wonder how the Church chose to celebrate Easter on a Sunday? No, not the fact that it is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox – just that it is celebrated on a Sunday. I know you are probably thinking, “Jesus rose on Sunday therefore it makes sense we celebrate it on a Sunday.” Great logic but hindsight is always 20/20. For the early Church, it was not as clear. But if you are still wondering, well you are in luck today! The answer is….Pope St. Victor.
Pope St. Victor reigned from 189-199. Popular custom says that he died a martyr bearing witness with his own life for our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a native African and his dad’s name was Felix. There are some really notable facts about him. They include:
- Obtaining the release of Christians from the prison mines of Sardinia
- Celebrating the liturgy (the first Pope to do so)
- Writing Church documents in Latin and not Greek
But the most notable act that we continue use in the Church (besides the patrimony of our Latin language) is that he decreed that Easter should be celebrated universally on Sunday. While this was common in the West it was no so in the East. And now you know!
Pope St. Victor, ora pro nobis!