Born a Greek in Necopolis in Epirus to a man named Habundias, Pope Eleutherius--like most early Popes--had an extremely neat name*. Despite this, scant records of his life before his pontification exist today, and I am forced to cite the often spurious information that resides in Liber Pontificalis.

Before being raised to the Papacy in 175 AD, Eleutherius served as a Deacon under Pope St Anicetusand apparently remained in that position during the Papacy of St Sotar. After succeeding Sotar in somewhere around 174-175 AD, it is said that he ordered that 'No food that is suitable for a human being should be despised by his Christians', presumably in response to the Gnostic and Mortanist orders.

A particularly interesting bit in the Liber Pontificalis claims that a British King, Lucius, wrote a missive to Eleutherius requesting baptism and expressing a desire to become a Christian. Although the story is intriguing, it is is considered false by most historians because of a lack of corroboration by other historical documents.

Pope St Eleutherius died May 26, 189 and was buried on Vatican Hill near the body of St Peter.

*Author's opinion. You may not consider it such, and you may not wish to obsessively sub-vocally roll it around your tongue for a 1/2 hour.

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