April 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 9

The Eighth Pope

Saint Telesphoros

Photo of Greek columnsPope Saint Telesphoros (125-136) – As is often the case, accurate information concerning the pontificate of Telesphoros is sparse. All agree that he reigned for eleven years.

The practice of proclaiming the Gloria at the Midnight Mass of Christmas and the custom of the seven-week fast before Easter were attributed to Telesphoros erroneously. It was commonly known that Telesphoros observed Easter on Sunday consistently. Disregarding what day of the week it was, some Christians celebrated Easter each year on the fourteenth of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar.

Thankfully, there is sufficient evidence that Telesphoros did suffer the death of a martyr. He is the first of the second century popes to be verified as suffering a martyr's death.

Habemus papam.