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Thursday, January 5, 2023

It's Ironic that Today's Funeral for Pope Benedict...

...takes place on the feast day of a pope martyr, St. Telesphorus who occupied the chair of Peter from 125-136 and died during the first year of of the reign of Antoninus Pius, although there appears to be some confusion since Antoninus became emperor in 138 and Telesphorus is said to have died in 136, two years earlier. 

St. Telesphorus, pray for us.

Whatever the facts from our historical vantage point, his death is the first verifiable martyrdom after St. Peter and was attested to in the writings of both St. Irenaeus (c. 120-200) and the early Church historian, St. Eusebius (c. 260-341). What's also absolutely clear is that today's saint did not "flee the wolves."

St. Telesphorus is celebrated in the old calendar (St. John Newman in the new). He was the eighth pope and died a martyr's death during the first year of the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). Most of his pontificate was under Hadrian who, after the 2nd Jewish rebellion, was much less tolerant toward the Christians and desecrated many sites in the Holy Land.

Although I couldn't find any specifics about the pope's martyrdom, it's unlikely it was generated by Antoninus who practiced a tolerant attitude toward the Christians and is described as the fourth of the "Good Emperors" of Rome from the Nerva-Antonine dynasty.  

We can thank St. Telesphorus for a number of Church practices. The Christmas midnight Mass, the singing of the Gloria, and the extended Lenten fast are among them.

St. Sylvester, pray for us.
And let's not forget that Benedict died on the Feast of St. Sylvester, another pope, one who 
fought against the Arian heresy and called the Council of Nicaea. Are these dates "just a coincidence" or is there a message for us and a reminder to pray for Church leaders, especially the pope?

I'm asking the intercession of these two saintly popes today for their successor who addressed relativism and restored the Traditional Latin Mass saying it was "never abrogated" and that any priest had the right to offer it without the permission of his bishop. 

Was Benedict, in the end, a coward and betrayer who abandoned the flock? Did Jesus ask him "Quo Vadis?" as he resigned and left us to the brutal reign of his successor? Or was he a white martyr faithfully responding to the movement of the Holy Spirit who has His own reasons for allowing evil that good may come from it? Frankly, I don't know and won't speculate.

Only Benedict and God know. Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, and for the poor bride of Christ held hostage by evil men.


  1. All Catholics should watch (or re-watch) "the Conflict" (renamed the Catholics)...
    They reference Vatican IV. Today the modernists are smarter and will not call Vatican III or IV. Instead we have synods. This future is what will be in the wake of the Synod of Sodality.
    The opening conversation about the rebel pastor (at about 20min mark) is key... "...Is it souls he's after or the good of mankind.".... Sound familiar with the guy who sits on the See?
    The movie is about the remnant of the faith but the backdrop is the fallen Church and its removal of the traditional teachings and beliefs.

  2. That movie is, indeed, prophetic. It's online and I have it on the blog at: