Popes in a Year
#8 - Pope Telesphorus
Pope from 125-136 A.D.
Died: 136 A.D.
How do we know he was pope?
St. Irenaeus (seriously, good thing he wrote this stuff down...) identified St. Telesphorus as Pope No. 8 and the seventh successor of St. Peter in
Give me the scoop on Telesphorus.
He was born in Terranuova, a little town on the tip of Italy's boot, and had Greek ancestry. Telesphorus is traditionally understood as the first pope to have been a hermit and monk prior to his papacy. St. Irenaeus describes him as having been a "glorious martyr" in the
, probably under the emperor Hadrian.
What was he known for?
St. Irenaeus also added, in a letter to Pope Victor I, that Telesphorus always celebrated Easter on Sunday instead of during the week, whenever the Jewish Passover was calculated. However, he still said, "it's okay guys" to the churches who didn't observe that tradition, choosing to stay unified with them instead of breaking up the Church unnecessarily.
Telesphorus is the patron and namesake of the town of Saint-Télesphore, located in the southwest corner of the province of Quebec, Canada.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 126 A.D., Roman emperor Hadrian demolished the old Pantheon and began building a new one in Rome, which just so happens to still exist today. What's more, since the 7th Century it's been a church dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs. Joke's on you, Hadrian.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Hyginus
SOURCES (and further reading)
Missed a day? Click here.
Click to share with friends!
About Popes in a Year
- We send these Monday-Friday (NOT on weekends)
- Know someone who wants to sign up? Send them to
Sent by Matthew Sewell on Wednesday, January 11 at 2:00AM