Another “Just in Case” Posting

Just in case you didn’t think you had a chance at sainthood because of some sin, weakness or failure, take a look at today’s feast day, St. Callistus.

Callistus was a slave in the imperial household in Rome in the first and second centuries. His master put him in charge of his bank, and Callistus lost the money, ran awary and was caught. His was imprisoned, then released. He was later arrested for causing a brawl in a Jewish synagogue and condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia, only to be released after a time by the Emperor’s mistress.

He won his freedom somehow, and was made superintendent of the Christian burial grounds in Rome, an area still called the Catacombs of St. Callistus. The pope ordained him a deacon and then was elected pope himself. He was bitterly attacked by the losing papal contender, Hippolytus, who set himself up as an anti-pope. Hippolytus accused Pope Callistus of being too lenient on the people, because he allowed those who had done public penance to receive Holy Communion; allowed marriages between free women and slave men; authorized the ordination of men who had been married two or three times; held that mortal sin was not good reason to depose a bishop; and allowed those who, during the persecutions refuted the faith, to be readmitted.

Pope Callistus was martyred during an uprising in the Trastevere area of Rome, probably in the year 223.

By the way, Hippolytus later went on to repent and is now venerated as St. Hippolytus!

Hey, we all have a shot at it, don’t we?!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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