This is a painting of three remarkable African popes: Saints Victor I, Miltiades, and Gelasius I.

Victor I was the bishop of Rome in the late second century and is remembered for obtaining the release of many Christians who had been deported to the mines. Miltiades was the bishop of Rome from 311 to his death and is remembered for ending the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. Gelasius I was the bishop of Rome from 1 March 492 to his death and is remembered for affirming the primacy of Rome and for his prolific writing style.

These popes have one common theme that is important today - the Catholic Church has long been open to people of all backgrounds. Their legacies show that the Church has been and continues to be open and welcoming to all, regardless of ethnicity. In fact, in 2019, Africa added more than 8 million Catholics, making it the largest area of Catholic growth in the world. This trend is projected to continue, with the Catholic population estimated to reach nearly 350 million by 2050. Therefore, shining a light on African saints will become even more important in the near future.

This image is in the public domain.
Image composed in collaboration with AI

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