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During the pontificate of St. Sylvester, from 314 to 335, the long persecutions in Rome came to an end, and the Church emerged from her hidden existence in the catacombs. The blood of the early martyrs, the seed of Christianity, blossomed into a rich harvest as the Faith spread throughout the Roman Empire. St. Sylvester, the first Pope of Peace, further strengthened the faith by convening the first ecumenical council of Nice and condemning the heresy which taught that Christ was inferior to the Father in the Blessed Trinity.