[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Callistus I, Pope of Rome

II/III Centuries
Ordained a deacon by Pope Zephyrinus, St. Calixtus was a slave when he was young. When the bank that his owner gave him charge over failed, Calixtus fled. He was captured and sentenced to work on a treadmill. His creditors gained his release. He was later exiled to Sardinia. Some say the Jews denounced him as a Christian; others say he had been brawling in a synagogue. Spared by the generosity of Marcia, mistress to Emperor Commodus, Calixtus received a pension from Pope Victor I and was sent to Anzio. Elected to the papacy in 217, Calixtus faced opposition from Hippolytus, who became anti-pope. C. 220, Calixtus excommunicated Sabellius, who believed that Christ was a modal expression of God the Father and was not the co-eternal Son of the Father.

Karen Rae Keck


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