ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 14
Callistus, a Roman, ruled the Church when Antoninus Heliogabulus was emperor. He instituted the four periods of the year which are known as Ember Days – days on which, in accordance with the apostolic tradition, fasting was to be observed by all. He built the basilica called St Mary across-the-Tiber and enlarged the ancient cemetery on the Appian Way, in which are buried many holy Priests and martyrs. For this reason, it is called the cemetery of Callistus. He reigned five years, one month and twelve days.
HE WAS CROWNED WITH MARTYRDOM
After a long imprisonment, during which he was starved and frequently scourged, he was thrown head-downward into a well. He was crowned with martyrdom under the Emperor Alexander and was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, at the third mile-stone from the City, on the day before the Ides of October . Afterwards his body was carried to the basilica of St Mary across-the-Tiber, and was placed under the high altar, where it is venerated with the greatest devotion.
From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964
God of mercy,
hear the prayers of your people
that we may be helped by Saint Callistus,
whose martyrdom we celebrate with joy.
Through our Lord…