St. Sixtus III
Son of Xystus, St. Sixtus was Chief Roman priest at the time of his election to succeed Pope St. Celestine I on 31 July 432. He was known to St. Augustine. On his election, St. Prosper Aquitaine wrote: "We trust in the protection of the Lord, and that what he has done for us in Innocent, Zosimus, Boniface and Celestine he will do also in Sixtus; and as they guarded the flock against declared and openly professed wolves, so he may drive off the hidden ones," referring to the teachers of Semi-Pelagianism. At first he seems to have sympathized with Pelagius but, reminded of the limits of his prudence and charity by St Augustine, he did abandon him.
Sixtus was a conciliator. Following the Council of Ephesus (431) he encouraged the negotiation between Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch who were in disagreement regarding the two natures in Christ. When they at last came to an agreement, he wrote to congratulate them (433).
Among the other fortifications in the city, Sixtus restored the Liberian Basilica, now called St. Mary Major and rebuild the Lateran Baptistery, giving it the present form. A second basilica was joined to the Church of St. Lawrence outside-the-walls to replace what had been carried off by the Visigoths. Valentinian III was persuaded by him to contribute silver and gold ornaments to the basilicas of Sts Peter, Paul and John Lateran.
After his death on 19 August 440, his mortal remain were buried in St. Lawrence's church, and his name was included in the 9th century version of the Roman Martyrology by Ado of Sens.
Reflection :"Noting is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but Jesus: neither things nor persons, neither ideas nor emotions, neither honour nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honour, delight, heart and soul" (St. Bernadette).