From resignations to drownings and beheadings, the papacy is full of unusual and surprising moments.
Pope Sixtus II (August 257-August 258) -- Roman Emperor Valerian sent out a decree condemning Christian priests, bishops and deacons to death. While giving a sermon, Pope Sixtus II was captured by the emperor’s men and beheaded -- the first victim of the infamous 258 Persecutions.
National Archives and Records Administration
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