October 25, 2023
John 14: 26
October 26, 2023
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On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in certain Irish calendars a Saint Bean in Ireland, who had been confused with the St. Bean whose feast is still observed in the Scottish diocese of Aberdeen, but on October 26, as founder of the bishopric of Mortlach in Banff which was the forerunner of that of Aberdeen.

Nothing else is known about him. The fourteenth century chronicler Fordun, states that he was made bishop by Pope Benedict VIII, at the request of Malcolm Canmore, who is said to have founded an episcopal monastery at Mortlach. If true, this would be between 1012 and 1024; but the See of Mortlach is generally said to date from 1063.

St. Bean’s dwelling place is supposed to have been at Balvanie, near Mortlach (Bal-beni-mor, “the dwelling of Bean the Great”). His feast day is October 26th.

Holy Saint Bean, Pray to God for us!



Today, October 26, we celebrate the feast day of Pope Saint Evaristus (died 107), fourth successor of Saint Peter. While little is known about this fifth pope, we do know that Saint Evaristus governed the Church for nine years, during which time he laid the groundwork for future Church policy. Saint Evaristus was profoundly committed to the expansion of vocations in the Church.

The institution of cardinal priests is ascribed to him, as he is the pope who first divided Rome into several titles or parishes, assigning a priest to each. He also appointed seven deacons to attend the bishop and conferred holy orders three times in the month of December which was quite unusual, given that these ceremonies were generally reserved for seasons of fasting and prayer.

Saint Evaristus lived in the second century. He was originally from a Jewish family in Bethlehem. He is often depicted in art accompanied by a crib, reflecting his close ties to Christ, due to the place of his birth. Saint Evaristus’ parents immigrated to Greece while he was very young, and the future pope was brought up in the Jewish faith. Pious, knowledgeable, and virtuous, Evaristus received the best education of the time.

As he grew, he was more and more drawn to Christianity, and eventually he became a priest, traveling to Rome, and engaging in ministry there despite the growing threat and persecution of Christians. He was much admired for his devotion to the Lord, service to others, and commitment to the teachings of Christ.

So loved was he that when Pope Anancletus (who had elevated him to bishop) was martyred, Saint Evaristus was selected to replace him. For his part, Evaristus proclaimed his belief that he was unworthy to take the throne of Peter, but the Lord saw to his ascension.

Pope Saint Evaristus led the Church for approximately eight years, during which time he organized the Roman See, instructed and encouraged the clergy, and prepared the faithful for the persecution that was imminent. He wrote several letters, each reinforcing the teachings of the Church.

In his first epistle, addressed to the bishops of Africa, Evaristus decreed that seven deacons were to monitor a bishop’s preaching, to ensure that he did not lapse from the true teachings. Evaristus did not wish to see undue accusations aimed at his bishops, yet reserved solely to the See of Rome the power to terminate any bishop as a result of this indiscretion. His second epistle drew a comparison between the lasting bond of husband and wife and that of a bishop and his diocese.

During Pope Saint Evaristus’ leadership, the clergy were strengthened and the Catholic believers grew at an astounding rate—chiefly due to his love and zeal for the truth of Christ. However, at that time of Church formation, Evaristus was eventually arrested during the reign of Emperor Domitian, and sentenced to death for being a Christian.

As he was taken to prison, his jailers were amazed to see the joy on his face, as he thought himself privileged to have been found worthy to suffer and die for Jesus. He was martyred by decapitation, and his remains were buried in the Vatican near the tomb of Saint Peter.

While little is known about the life of the fifth pope, we can feel certain of his commitment to, and love of, the Lord. Pope Saint Evaristus inherited a difficult task—to assume the leadership of a Church beset by persecution and suffering.

Rather than turning outward, this great leader looked within the Church, strengthening the roles of bishops and clergy, preparing the faithful to survive and thrive during their suffering, as Jesus did. His simple faith, love, and courage helped prepare the Church to weather the immense persecution.

St. Evaristus is traditionally considered a martyr, but there is no documentation of the event. He is buried in the Vatican, near Saint Peter. Saint Evaristus succeeded Saint Anacletus as pope. The text of the Liber Pontificalis, says of him:

“Evaristus, born in Greece of a Jewish father named Juda, originally from the city of Bethlehem, reigned for thirteen years, six months and two days, under the reigns of Domitian, Nerva and Trajan, from the Consulate of Valens and Veter (96) until that of Gallus and Bradua (108). This pontiff divided among the priests the titles of the city of Rome.

By a constitution he established seven deacons who were to assist the bishop and serve as authentic witnesses for him. During the three ordinations which he conducted in the month of December, he promoted six priests, two deacons and five bishops, destined for various churches. Evaristus received the crown of martyrdom. He was buried near the body of Blessed Peter in the Vatican, on the sixth day of the Calends of November (October 25, 108). The episcopal throne remained vacant for nineteen days.”

Pope Saint Evaristus is assumed to have given his life by martyrdom at the same time as St. Ignatius of Antioch. He is often represented with a sword because he was decapitated, or with a crib, because it is believed that he was born in Bethlehem, from which his father emigrated. His feast day is 26 October .


O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Evaristus shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move you to look with favor upon your flock and to keep it under your continual protection.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Pope Saint Evaristus, Pray for us!

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