Saint Evaristus, Third or Fourth Holy Father

Today’s Saint was Pope from the year 99, succeeding Saint Clement I – when the Apostle John was still alive – until his death in 107. Evaristus, according to tradition, was a Greek, but the son of a Jewish father, Judah, from Bethlehem – making him like Christ at least in lineage. But he also followed his Saviour spiritually, becoming a Christian, a priest and eventually elected to the See of Rome. It was Evaristus who set up priests in their hierarchy in Rome, and decreed that marriages should be celebrated publicly, in the presence of a priest (further specified by the Council of Trent a millennium and a half on). All in all, what one witnesses in these earliest days of the Church is a fully Catholic Church, a Newman discovered.

Evaristus may have been martyred, even if he be listed not as such in the Roman Martyrology. But we beseech his intercession in our own tumultuous days. +