Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pope St. Telesphorus the Martyr of Rome

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The Greek{1} Pope St. Telesphorus the Martyr of Rome, the seventh successor to St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, ruled from 125 to 136.{2} All we know of his pontificate is that he celebrated Easter on Sunday but remained in communion with those observing different customs,{3} and that he was gloriously martyred under the Roman Emperor Hadrian.{4} The feast day of St. Telesphorus, whose burial place is unknown,{5} is January 5.{6}

O glorious martyr Pope St. Telesphorus of Rome, entreat the merciful God to grant us such grace that we, like you, can courageously bear witness to His wondrous deeds in our everyday lives, even unto death, and that we one day join you in the Kingdom of Heaven and see God face to face. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Notes & References
{1} His name confirms the statement of the Liber Pontificalis that he was Greek. "Telesphorus, St." The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. J. N. D. Kelly. with new material by Michael Walsh. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Fordham University. 11 January 2010 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t99.e8>.
{2} Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Pope St. Telesphorus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 13 Jan. 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14477b.htm>.
{3} According to a fragment of a letter from the great Church Father Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons to Pope St. Victor I of Rome on celebrating Easter, in Eusebius of Caesarea's Church History 5:24:14. Ibid.
{4} According to St. Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3:3:3). Ibid.
{5} Modern excavations disprove the myth that he was buried in the Vatican. Weltin, E. G. "Telesphorus, Pope, St." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 13. 2nd ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 792. 15 vols. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Fordham University Libraries. 9 Jan. 2010.
{6} Ibid.

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