Frosinone gave birth to two popes who had a truly special bond, Pope Ormisda and Pope Silverio: one was the father of the other. But there was no sin because when Ormisda had his son he was just a deacon.
Let’s go step by step because Silverio reveals surprises: he is one of the nine popes who have renounced the pontificate (others are Ponziano, Benedict XI, Gregory VI, Gregory XII, Clement I, John XVIII, Celestine V, Benedict XVI).
Pope Osmosis was born in Frosinone and joined the church only after being married and having a son. He was close to Pope Simmaco and helped to shape the split due to the Laurentian schism.
At that time the political heart was no longer Rome, but Constantinople and the emperors could not digest the growing power of the popes. However, disputes did not occur as much on battlefields as on philosophical issues that were related to power management.
At that time that Ormisda went to the pontificate in 514, the problem was the division between temporal power and spiritual power, and this was reflected in the dispute over Christ’s double soul. Was he a person with a dual identity, human and divine, did he also have a double will?
For the Roman church there was only one will (the power of the church) for the emperor who supported the Orthodox church there were two wills (pope and emperor acting on different planes).
Initially, Ormisda succeeded in reconciling churches and relations with Constantinople, especially when Giustino I was elected, who was a fervent Christian. In his pontificate he was able to dampen any other controversial attempt and had good relations with the new ostrogoth rulers in Italy and vandals in Africa.
Silverio was probably born in Ceccano that had become the subdeacon of Campania, a level in the church that is no longer used but was the first degree to the priesthood. He became pope in 536 with many controversies because Empress Teodora wanted a deacon close to the thesis of Empire’s supremacy and the right compromise was found in Silverio.
But his life was not easy and the struggles between papacy and empire took on problematic levels to manage. The various conquerors who had been part of the Roman Empire waged war with each other, always using the pope as part of the power play.
Rome was being devastated by Goths and Byzantines while Empress Teodora fought her personal battle against Pope Silverio. Teodora had ambitions to regain power over Rome, but the growth of the pope’s religious figure prevented her. Under the problem of the dual nature of Christ (human and divine), the struggle between papacy and empire was hidden, and this did not cease until the unity of Italy.
Teodora eventually accused Pope Silverio of complicity with the Goths, and the pope was forced to resign and to exile first in Turkey and then to the island of Palmarola, part of the wonderful Lazio archipelago. Here he is buried and revered as the patron saint of Ponza Island.
Together with his father Ormisda, Saint Silverio is Patron of Frosinone and the two are thus united forever.