Optional Memorial of St Pontian & St Hippolytus

St Pontian became Pope in the year 231 and was banished by the Emperor Maximus and exiled to Sardinia in 235. He resigned the Papacy so that the Church could elect an active Pontiff. He died in Sa as a result of ill treatment and exhaustion in the salt mines of Sardinia about the year 235.

St Hippolytus was a priest, a distinguished writer and teacher. When Pope Callistus was elected Pope, he accused him of being too lenient with penitents. He was in schism with three Popes including Pope Pontian in his lifetime, although not seen as a formal heretic but an over-zealous disciplinarian. In 235 he was also banished to the Island of Sardinia, where he was reconciled with the church and Pope Pontian. He was a strong defender of Orthodoxy but admitted his excesses through his contrite and humble reconciliation. He died like Pope Pontian as a consequence of the harsh treatment dealt against him in 235. The bodies of both martyrs were brought back to Rome and buried with solemn rites as Church martyrs.

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