Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 14 October

St Pope Callistus I (c 218 – c 223) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Biography here:

Bl Ana María Aranda Riera
St Angadrisma of Beauvais
St Bernard of Arce
St Celeste of Metz
St Dominic Loricatus
St Donatian of Rheims (Died 390)
St Fortunatus of Todi
St Franciszek Roslaniec
St Gaudentius of Rimini
St Gundisalvus of Lagos
Bl Jacques Laigneau de Langellerie
St Lupulo of Capua
St Lupus of Caesarea
St Manacca
St Manehildis
St Modesto of Capua
Bl Richard Creagh
Bl Roman Lysko (1914–1949) Martyr
St Rusticus of Trier
St Saturninus of Caesarea
St Stanislaw Mysakowski
St Venanzio of Luni

Martyrs of Caesarea – (4 saints): Three brothers and a sister martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Carponius, Evaristus, Fortunata and Priscian. In 303 in Caesarea, Cappadocia (in modern Turkey) – their relics enshrined in Naples, Italy.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Ana María Aranda Riera
• Blessed Jacques Laigneau de Langellerie

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 14 October – The Memorial of St Pope Callistus I

Thought for the Day – 14 October – The Memorial of St Pope Callistus I

The life of this man is another reminder that the course of Church history, like that of true love, never did run smooth.   The Church had to–and still must–go through the agonizing struggle to state the mysteries of the faith in language that, at the very least, sets up definite barriers to error.   On the disciplinary side, the Church had to preserve the mercy of Christ against rigorism, while still upholding the gospel ideal of radical conversion and self-discipline.  Every pope—indeed every Christian—must walk the difficult path between “reasonable” indulgence and “reasonable” rigorism.    (Fr Don Miller OFM)

St Callistus I, pray for us!st callistus I - pray for us - 14 oct 2017

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – St Pope Callistus I – 14 October

Saint of the Day – St Pope Callistus I – 14 October Pope and Martyr Also known as Callixtus I/Calixtus I.  Papal Ascension – c 218 – martyred c 223.   Legend says he was killed by being thrown down a well with a millstone around his neckbut there is no solid evidence.   Patronage – cemetery workers.callistus I

The most reliable information about this saint comes from his enemy Saint Hippolytus, an early antipope, later a martyr for the Church.   A negative principle is used:  if some worse things had happened, Hippolytus would surely have mentioned them.

Callistus was a slave in the imperial Roman household.   Put in charge of the bank by his master, he lost the money deposited, fled and was caught.   After serving time for a while, he was released to make some attempt to recover the money.   Apparently he carried his zeal too far, being arrested for brawling in a Jewish synagogue.   This time he was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia.   Through the influence of the emperor’s mistress he was released and went to live at Anzio.

After winning his freedom, Callistus was made superintendent of the public Christian burial ground in Rome–still called the cemetery of Saint Callistus–probably the first land owned by the Church.   The pope ordained him a deacon and made him his friend and adviser.

Callistus was elected pope by a majority vote of the clergy and laity of Rome and thereafter was bitterly attacked by the losing candidate, Saint Hippolytus, who let himself be set up as the first antipope in the history of the Church.   The schism lasted about 18 years.

Hippolytus is venerated as a saint.   He was banished during the persecution of 235 and was reconciled to the Church.   He died from his sufferings in Sardinia.   He attacked Callistus on two fronts—doctrine and discipline.   Hippolytus seems to have exaggerated the distinction between Father and Son–almost making two gods–possibly because theological language had not yet been refined.   He also accused Callistus of being too lenient, for reasons we may find surprising:  1) Callistus admitted to Holy Communion those who had already done public penance for murder, adultery and fornication;  2) he held marriages between free women and slaves to be valid—contrary to Roman law;  3) he authorised the ordination of men who had been married two or three times;  4) he held that mortal sin was not a sufficient reason to depose a bishop;  5) he held to a policy of leniency toward those who had temporarily denied their faith during persecution.

Pope Saint Callistus I is held to have initiated a practice in the Church known as Ember (meaning four times per year) Days, to bring down blessings on each season of the year. Within the liturgical year, the Church designated a group of three days which were set aside for fast and abstinence.   This observation occurred four times during the course of the liturgical year.    The practice, which was observed for centuries, has since faded.

Callistus was martyred during a local disturbance in Trastevere, Rome and is the first pope–except for Peter–to be commemorated as a martyr in the earliest martyrology of the Church.