THE HOLY FATHERS OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE OF SAINTS STEPHEN AND MARK
The Holy Fathers of the Apostolic See are Pope Saint Leo X (Roman Catholic) and Saint Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh (Russian Orthodox). The Holy Fathers are the two principle representatives of the historic Apostolic, spiritual, infrastructural, ethnic, and cultural legacy that the Apostolic See of Rome-Ruthenia (United Roman-Ruthenian Church) inherited and perpetuates. Both are key figures in the Apostolic Succession of the modern United Roman-Ruthenian Church. They are not the founders of the Church, for the Church was founded in 33 AD by Christ. The establishment of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church was in 2008.
Saint Leo X, Bishop of Rome, was the first Florentine Archfather, by which the Bishop and Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia is temporal successor to St. Peter the Apostle. The Catholicate of Rome-Ruthenia is a descendant and successor of the patriarchate founded by Saint Aftimios Ofiesh. Together they also represent the Roman-Russian ecclesiastical, ethnic, and cultural nature of the Apostolic See, the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, and its temporal heritage wing, the Pontifical Imperial State of Rome-Ruthenia.
POPE SAINT LEO X
Leo X, Lord of Florence, reigned as Bishop of Rome and Sovereign of the
Pontifical States from 1513 to 1521. Born Giovanni
de'Medici, was a member of the Medici family that ruled Florence and
Etruria. Cardinal de' Medici was elected to the papacy following Pope
Saint Julius II. He oversaw the closing sessions of the Fifth Council
of the Lateran and led a war that successfully secure his
nephew's rule as Duke of Urbino. He was also a great patron of the
arts, following the tradition of his family. Perhaps most famously, he
issued the Bull Exsurge Domine
that excommunicated Martin Luther, effectively launching the
Counter-Reformation. As such, he is the first Baroque Roman Pope.
SAINT ARCHBISHOP AFTIMIOS OFIESH
Saint Aftimios Abdullah Ofiesh was born in Lebanon and was originally a cleric in the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch. He came to the United States in 1905 and eventually served as Bishop of Brooklyn, New York, in the Russian Orthodox Church from 1917 to 1933, immediately succeeding Saint Rafael of Brooklyn. In the midst of the canonical disputes following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, he was commissioned to establish the American Orthodox Catholic Church under the auspices of Eastern Orthodoxy. He serves as the head of that church until his death in 1966.
In 1933, Saint Aftimios married Mariam, a parishioner of St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He was buried in Wilkes-Barre, and his widow wrote a biography of his life and career in 1999. Saint Aftimios became the Apostolic progenitor of several Orthodox and Old Catholic jurisdictions, including the United Roman-Ruthenian Church, around the world.
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