Pope Eutychian is said to have maybe allowed the blessing of beans on the altar. Wait,what? There is literally nothing known about this Pope other than a vague idea he blessed the produces of the field,but even that is kind of a guess. Poor guy. All records of his papacy were destroyed in the persecution that followed his time in office;he’s like a ghost Pope. We know he was there,we know when he died and where he was buried,but what he did during those eight years is a complete mystery. In a hundred years we’ll have a record of what Kim Kardashian had for lunch on whatever day of the week but a man who led hundreds of thousands of Christians (during a perilous time to be a Christian)is forever lost. Pitiful. Only God knows. Literally. Only God knows what he did. In the end though,isn’t that all that really matters for anyone?
Hardly anything is known about Pope Felix,as he only appears in our history during one incident with a eastern church in Antioch. A priest named Paul of Samosata started preaching that Jesus was merely a man until he was baptized and only then did he become the Son of God. People started complaining and when Pope Felix got news of this,he promptly removed Paul from that church. He basically fired him. Paul decides to ignore this and he refused to leave the Church or the house that the Church has given him. Cue Papal facepalm. Pope Felix is so irritated with Paul that he has to resort to ask Roman Emperor Aurelian to evict Paul. Do you know how crazy it is for the Bishop of Rome to ask for help from the Emperor? Just a decade earlier those guys made a hobby of murdering Popes;it’s like Luke Skywalker asking Darth Vader for help ridding his farm of Jawas……ummm,or something. Pope Felix’s feast day is on the day of his death on December 30th and he is buried in the Catacombs of Callixtus.
The persecution of Christians by Emperor Valerian was so severe and unrelenting that it was over a year before we could gather together to elect a new Pope. Dionysius was elected in 259 and shortly afterward,Emperor Valerian was captured and killed during a Roman battle with Persia(aw,that’s a shame. Ha.). A new Emperor named Gallienus came to power and he shockingly issued an edict of toleration of Christianity. Sweet baby Jesus,an intelligent and thoughtful human being is now running Rome;who’d ever guess that would happen? Churches,property and lands that were taken from the Church were now being returned and Pope Dionysius could actually catch a breath and start to reorganize and repair the Church without constant threat of losing his head. Literally. Being that previous Popes and some Christians actually looked forward to being martyred for their faith,it’s hard to say whether Pope Dionysius felt fortunate to die peacefully after nine relatively quiet years as the Bishop of Rome. His feast day is the day of his death on December 26th.Things were finally starting to look up for Christians. Will it last? Sigh. No.
St. Sixtus was a kind and thoughtful man from Greece. He was elected in the hopes of restoring peace throughout the fractured Church after many years of in-fighting,which he did successfully during his short term. Roman Emperor Valerian was everything that our Pope was not. A vile,and hateful human being,Valerian waged immediate war against Christianity and ordered that any Bishops,Priests or Deacons caught performing a Mass was to be put to death. On August 6th 258,St. Sixtus was performing a secret Mass in the chapel of the cemetery of Praextextatus when Roman soldiers arrived on the scene. Fearing for the Bishop,the entire congregation tried to shield St.Sixtus and help him escape,but Sixtus wouldn’t leave. He wouldn’t leave his people in the hands of the Romans. He and his six Deacons stood their ground and volunteered themselves so the congregation could escape unharmed. They were all beheaded on the spot. Sixtus’ faith in Christ and his faith in what he was doing nevered wavered and he and his Deacons gladly accepted their martyrdom. He was buried in the Catacomb of Callixtus and the following inscription on his tomb can still be read today.
“At the time when the sword pierced the bowels of the Mother, I, buried here, taught as Pastor the Word of God; when suddenly the soldiers rushed in and dragged me from the chair. The faithful offered their necks to the sword, but as soon as the Pastor saw the ones who wished to rob him of the palm (of martyrdom) he was the first to offer himself and his own head, not tolerating that the (pagan) frenzy should harm the others. Christ, who gives recompense, made manifest the Pastor’s merit, preserving unharmed the flock.”