Saint of the Day for 27 October: St. Evaristus
St. Evaristus: the fourth pope, martyr and patron of prisoners
Pope and martyr
1st Century, Evaristus, Greece
c. 108, Rome
O God, who in Pope St. Evaristus you gave the universal Church a pastor admirable for doctrine and holiness of life, grant that we, who venerate him as master and protector, may burn before you by the flame of charity and shine before men by the light of good works. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Rome, St. Evaristus, pope, who ruled the Church of Rome for fourth after Blessed Peter, under Emperor Trajan.
The Saint and Mission
St. Evaristus, who lived in the first century A.D., is situated in a crucial period for the spread of Christianity, when mission took on connotations of courage and sacrifice. His figure, though shrouded in the dimness of history, emerges as a shining example of fidelity to Christ’s missionary mandate, leaving us with a significant and inspiring testimony.
As the fourth Pope of the Catholic Church, St. Evaristus found himself leading a community still in the process of formation and consolidation, characterized by a strong tension between fidelity to the new faith and the pressures of an often hostile cultural and social context. In this delicate phase, his role proved crucial in directing and consolidating the mission of the nascent Church.
Through his ministry, St. Evaristus was able to embody Christ’s missionary mandate, working with decision and dedication for the affirmation and spread of the Gospel message. His commitment resulted in a constant and reassuring presence for the Christian community, testifying with his life to the transforming power of the Gospel.
His pastoral work was characterized by his ability to communicate the faith clearly and effectively, making the Christian message accessible to all, regardless of their social or cultural position. St. Evaristus understood the importance of an inclusive and welcoming Church, capable of reaching out to anyone in search of truth and hope.
His ministry was also marked by a desire to structure and organize the Christian community so that it could respond more effectively to its missionary vocation. In this sense, St. Evaristus worked to strengthen the bonds of communion and solidarity among Christians, aware that unity and sharing are essential elements for a credible and fruitful witness.
Despite the challenges and difficulties of his time, St. Evaristus never lost sight of the missionary horizon of the Church, working tirelessly so that the message of Christ could reach every corner of the known world. His life was a clear example of how mission is not so much a matter of grand gestures or eloquent words, but rather a journey of daily fidelity and concrete love.
St. Evaristus remains for us a model of a zealous pastor and a passionate missionary, a man who knew how to live his vocation with generosity and dedication, showing that mission is first and foremost a loving response to God’s call, an unremitting commitment to be a living sign of his merciful love.
The Saint and Mercy
St. Evaristus, the fourth Pope of the Catholic Church, lived in a time of great challenges for the Christian community, facing persecution and difficulties of all kinds. His figure emerges as a living expression of divine mercy, embodying the message of love and acceptance that Jesus left to his disciples.
In a historical context marked by violence and misunderstanding, St. Evaristus was able to show the merciful face of God through his pastoral ministry. With a great openness of heart, he welcomed all who approached the Christian community, regardless of class, race or social status. His actions were imbued with a deep sense of compassion and love for humanity, testifying that mercy is not a theological abstraction but a living and working reality.
St. Evaristus’ fidelity to the mission he received translated into a constant commitment to be a tangible sign of God’s goodness and tenderness. He understood that mercy does not end in isolated acts of benevolence, but translates into a constant attitude of listening, welcoming and forgiving. In this sense, his example invites us to reflect on how mercy is an essential dimension of the Christian journey, a horizon toward which to strive with perseverance and humility.
Through his life, St. Evaristus shows us that mercy is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Despite persecution and difficulties, he never succumbed to the temptation of anger or revenge, choosing instead the path of love and forgiveness. His testimony thus becomes a clear reminder to never lose sight of the centrality of mercy in our daily actions, reminding us that it is only through the concrete practice of merciful love that we can become true disciples of Christ.
St. Evaristus remains an important reference point for all those who are called to live out their faith in difficult and challenging contexts. His life encourages us not to be afraid to show the merciful face of God in our daily walk, recognizing that it is precisely through mercy that we can help build a more just and fraternal world.
The figure of St. Evaristus invites us to make mercy the cornerstone of our Christian actions, rediscovering the transforming power of love that knows no boundaries and becomes close to every man and woman, especially those who are most fragile and in need. His witness remains a shining light in the path of the Church, an unceasing invitation to live mercy as a way of life, as a concrete response to God’s infinite love for each of us.
This holy Pontiff, who sat on the chair of St. Peter for nine years, illustrated the Church with wise dispositions, no less than with his holy life, crowned with the palm of martyrdom. He was born, Evaristus, in Greece to a Jewish father. In his youth he attended the principal schools of his learned homeland, and to philosophical culture and…