Sixtus II

Pope 257-58. He resumed relations with the churches of Africa and Asia Minor, as well as with Cyprian, so ending a rupture over the validity of baptism by heretics. The latter he held valid, as had his predecessor Stephen I. He was nevertheless tolerant toward the rebaptism policy of the Eastern churches, probably influenced by Dionysius of Alexandria. Among the most highly venerated of the early martyrs (he was beheaded under Valerian while conducting services in the cemetery of Praetextatus), his name was in the Roman calendar of the mid-fourth century, and remains in the Canon of the Mass. There is no proof for his having written Ad Novatianum or composed, even edited, the “Pythagorean Sentences of Sextus” translated by Rufinus of Aquileia.