st.Telesphorus-Pope and martyr

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Feast Day : January 5 (Western Church); February 22 (Eastern Church)



Telesphorus was Greek, probably from Calabria. The eighth pope, he succeeded Sixtus I as bishop of Rome ca. 125 and reigned until ca. 136. He regularly celebrated Easter on Sunday, without abandoning fellowship with those communities that did not follow this custom. It is sometimes said that he instituted Lent, but this is doubtful, as is the legend that he was a hermit. Most of the early popes are listed in ancient martyrologies, although historical circumstances make this suspect in some cases. Not so with Telesphorus, who is known from an independent source to have been martyred. The details of his death, however, are not known. He is commemorated in both the Greek and Roman churches. In art, Telesphorus is shown as a pope with a chalice, over which three Hosts hover, sometimes with a club nearby.

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