St Martin I, Pope and Martyr

Pope_Martin_I_Illustration

Born at Todi in Umbria, Martin accepted at the beginning of his pontificate to recall Paul of Constantinople, a heretic to the Catholic faith, by sending letter and legates. But Paul, supported by the emperor Constans, banished the legates of the Apostolic See to various islands. The Pope aroused by this crime, gathered at Rome a council of hundred and five bishops, who condemned Paul. During the council the emperor sent the exarch Olympius to Italy, to depose the Pope. But Olympius died a miserable death, after failing to harm Martin any way. Then on the emperors orders Theodore Kalliopes took over the Lateran Basilica and the nearby residence of the pope, and arrested Martin, first sending him to the island of Naxos, and then bringing him to Constantinople. Here the holy pope was chained and suffered mockery and insults. Exiled to the Chersonesus, he departed his life in the beginning of the eight year of his pontificate, worn out with hardship and destitution for the sake of the Catholic faith. His body was later taken to Rome and was burried in the Church dedicated to SS. Sylvester and Martin.

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