Martyr, died in 223 A.D.
Feast Day: October 14
Much of what is known about Saint Callistus comes from his enemy, St. Hippolytus, who was bitter about losing the papal election to him.
According to "Saint of the Day" on the FranciscanMedia.org website:
Hippolytus accused Callistus of being too lenient, for reasons we may find surprising: 1) Callistus admitted to Holy Communion those who had already done public penance for murder, adultery, fornication; 2) he held marriages between free women and slaves to be valid—contrary to Roman law; 3) he authorized the ordination of men who had been married two or three times; 4) he held that mortal sin was not a sufficient reason to depose a bishop; 5) he held to a policy of leniency toward those who had temporarily denied their faith during persecution.
Callistus was martyred during a local disturbance in Trastevere, Rome, and is the first pope (except for Peter) to be commemorated as a martyr in the earliest martyrology of the Church.
For more information on Saint Callistus, visit My Catholic Life!.
ST. CALLISTUS PRAYER
God of mercy, hear the prayers of Your people that we may be helped by Saint Callistus, whose martyrdom we celebrate with joy. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.