20. St. Fabian 236-250


Fabian was a Roman born farmer and Christian who came into town to join the crowd that was watching as the clergy struggled to elect a new Bishop. A layperson(a regular member of the Church),Fabian was unnoticed in the back of the crowd until a dove descended from above and perched on top of his head. Seeing this as a sign from God,the clergy and the crowd of Christians immediately and unanimously proclaimed Fabian the new Bishop! A symbol of peace was fitting as his reign was largely peaceful itself and he worked with the friendly rule of Emperor Philip to help bring back the body of Pope Pontian for proper burial,ended the Church schism caused by Anti-Pope Hippolytus and expanded Christianity into Gaul(which is modern day France and Belgium).
It was not to last. Emperor Decius came to power in 249 and began a new Rome-wide persecution of Christians. He demanded that Christians deny Christ and offer up a sacrifice to a pagan idol in front of imperial officials. Those that refused were arrested and executed. Fabian was one of the first to refuse. He was buried in the Catacombs of Callixtus until his body was moved to a tomb in the Church of St.Sebastian by Pope Clement XI in the 1700s. You can still view his original grave in Rome and his feast day is January 20th. Always be ready,you never know when God will choose you to do his work. Pope Fabian was more than ready.


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