(†223, Feast—October 14)
Callistus was a Roman, and ruled the Church in the time of the Emperor Antoninus Heliogabalus. He confirmed the institution of the Ember Fasts, the observance of which hath been received by tradition from the Apostles. He built the Church of St. Mary-beyond-the-Tiber, and enlarged the old burying-place on the Appian Way, wherein are buried so many holy Priests and Martyrs, and which hath since been called, on account of this enlargement, the Cemetery of Callistus.
It was by his reverence that the body of the blessed Priest and Martyr Calepodius, which had been cast into the Tiber, was carefully looked for, and, when it had been found, honourably buried. He baptized Palmatius, of Consular, and Simplicius, of Senatorial rank, and likewise Felix and Blanda, all of whom in the end underwent martyrdom. On this account he was thrown into prison, where he wonderfully healed a soldier named Privatus, who was full of sores, and so gained him to Christ; and this Privatus had hardly received the faith, before he was lashed to death with scourges loaded with lead.
Callistus sat as Pope five years, one month, and twelve days. He held five Ordinations in the month of December, wherein he ordained sixteen Priests, four Deacons, and eight Bishops. After being long starved, and repeatedly flogged, he was pitched head-foremost down a well, and so crowned with martyrdom, under the Emperor Alexander. His body was carried to the Cemetery of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, at the third milestone from the city, upon the 14th day of October, but was afterwards taken to the Church of St. Mary-beyond-the-Tiber, which had built by himself. There it lieth beneath the High Altar, and is held in great reverence of all men.