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ST. EVARISTUS

ca. 100 - 105 AD

St. Evaristus was, according to the "Liber Pontificalis," a Greek from Antioch whose father, Juda, was a Jew from the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem. He ruled the Church while Domitian, Nerva, and Trajan were emperors. His pontificate saw the end of Domitian's tyranny and the start of the Antonine dynasty.

According to the "Liber Pontificalis" this pope divided Rome into parishes. This, however, is generally believed by modern scholars to be a later organization. He also appointed seven deacons to check the preaching of a bishop for possible slips which might have dogmatic implications. This might refer to the prefaces of the mass where sometimes a sermon was added to the prayer recalling the feast. Evaristus is said to have ordained fifteen bishops, seven priests, and two deacons.

Of his death nothing is known except that according to tradition he was a martyr. St. Evaristus is buried near St. Peter on the Vatican. His feast is celebrated on October 26.


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