formerly 14 September
Bishop. Twenty-first pope, elected after a year-and-a-half period during which the persecutions were so bad that papal ascension was a quick death sentence.
Worked to maintain unity in a time of schism and apostasy. Fought Novatianism and called a synod of bishops to confirm him as rightful pontiff, as opposed to the anti-pope Novatian. Had the support of Saint Cyprian and Saint Dionysius. He welcomed back those who had apostacized during the persecutions of Decius; the documents that settled this matter prove the final authority of the Pope. Exiled by Roman authorities to punish Christians in general, who were said to have provoked the gods to send plague against Rome. Martyr.
A document from Cornelius shows the size of the Church in Rome in his papacy: 46 priests, 7 deacons, 7 subdeacons, approximately 50,000 Christians.
martyred in 253
buried at the cemetery of Saint Callistus at Rome