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Anonymous wrote:
Hi, guys —

I was born on August 13th.

  • Is August 13th the feast day of any saint in the Church?


  { Is August 13th the feast day of any saint in the Church? }

Fr. Francis replied:

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, St Pontian and Hippolytus. Today marks the memorial of two relatively unknown saints, one a Pope and one a priest (of Rome) who, although unknown, have made a mark in the history of the Church as well as have a great lesson for us today.

The early 200's was a time of tremendous expansion (in numbers and in geography) for the Church as well as persecution. It was also a time of great cultural change in and around Rome. In the Western part of the Empire, believe it or not, up until this period of time the common language was Greek, but the culture was changing drastically and the language was changing to Latin in the West.

Pope Zephyrin was the first Pope to celebrate a Mass in Latin but his successor Pope St Callistus instituted it, promulgated it and all hell broke loose in the Church. Some thought the end of the Church was upon them. They stated Callistus had gone too far.

They felt Callistus had "liberalized" the Church too far and the world was taking the Church away.

Around this time, these forces of opposition elected for themselves their own "pope" an
anti-pope, the priest Hippolytus (the y is a short "i"). He set himself up to rule the faction that wanted to preserve Greek in Rome in the Liturgy. He wrote many commentaries on Scripture but perhaps the best known work of his is the Apostolic Constitution, in which he set down for posterity the form of the Liturgy, including what we know as the Eucharistic Prayer (Anaphora) all in Greek. We now know of it as Eucharistic Prayer II.

Not long after, Pope St Callistus was martyred.

Thanks for writing,

Fr. Francis
[Note: If you were born on a different day and wish to know if your birthday falls on the feast day of a saint in the Church, go here.]

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