Thursday, August 10, 2006
Pope St. Evaristus
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Simple (1955 Calendar): October 26th

Pope St. Evaristus was the fifth Pope of the Holy Catholic Church. As stated in the "Lives of the Saints" by Rev Hoever:
St. Evaristus succeeded St. Anacletus in the See of Rome, during the reign of the Emperor Trajan, and governed the Church nine years.  He first divided Rome into several parishes, to each of which he assigned a priest.  For this reason some consider him the founder of the institution of cardinal-priests.  He also appointed several deacons to assist the Bishop.  He conferred Holy Orders three times in the month of December, when that holy function was usually performed.

In the Pontificals and in most martyrologies, St. Evaristus is honored with the title of Martyr.  Little is known of his life.  He died in 112 and was buried near St. Peter's tomb... St. Evaristus was the first to decree that altars thenceforward should be of stone and that they should be blessed.  
Traditional Matins Reading:

Evaristus was born in Greece, of a Jewish father, and was sovereign Pontiff during the reign of Trajan. He divided the titles of the churches of Rome among the priests, and ordained that seven deacons should attend the bishop when preaching. He also decreed that, according to the tradition of the apostles, matrimony should be celebrated publicly and blessed by a priest. He governed the Church nine years and three months. He held ordinations four times in the month of December, and ordained seventeen priests, two deacons, and fifteen bishops. He was crowned with martyrdom, and buried near the tomb of the prince of the apostles on the seventh of the Kalends of November.

Collect:

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Evaristus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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