Pope Saint Callistus I was pope from about 217 to about 222, during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. He was martyred for his Christian faith. The only story of his life we have is from someone who hated him and what he stood for, an author identified as Saint Hippolytus, a rival candidate for the chair of Peter.
Although few people had as great an impact on the 20th century as Pope John XXIII, he avoided the limelight as much as possible. Indeed, one writer has noted that his “ordinariness” seems one of his most remarkable qualities. The date assigned for the liturgical celebration (where authorized) of Blessed John XXIII is not June 3, the anniversary of his death, as would be usual, but October 11, the anniversary of his opening of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Saint Cornelius (251-253) whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, Cornelius was elected Pope to succeed Fabian in an election delayed fourteen months by Decius' persecution of the Christians. The main issue of his pontificate was the treatment to be accorded Christians who had been apostasized during the persecution.
Pope Saint Gregory The Great (590-604) is certainly one of the most notable figures in Ecclesiastical History. He has exercised in many respects a momentous influence on the doctrine, the organization, and the discipline of the Catholic Church.
The pontificate of this first third-century pope was to see a storm of heresy rage around the pontiff, who had to keep a firm hand on the tiller of Peter's barque. According to the "Liber Pontificalis," Zephyrinus was a Roman, the son of Habundius. He ordered that all ordinations, whether of priests, deacons, or simple clerics, should take place before the assembled clergy and laity.
Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914) Perhaps nowhere in the history of the Church is there a better example of a man possessed of so many of the saintly virtues—piety, charity, deep humility, pastoral zeal, and simplicity—than in Pope St. Pius X.
Pope Saint Pontian who reigned from 230-235 holds the distinction of being the first pontiff to abdicate. Perhaps a Roman by birth, he was elected to succeed St. Urban I and devoted much of his reign to upholding the condemnation of the heretical aspects of Origenism and struggled against the schismatic movement which supported the antipope St. Hippolytus.
Pope Saint Hormisdas (r.514-523) was born at Frosinone in the Roman Campagna. Married before ordination, he had a son, Silverius, who also became pope. As a deacon, Hormisdas had staunchly backed St. Symmachus in his trouble with the antipope Lawrence and the pro-Byzantine faction. Elected with difficulty, St. Hormisdas began his career of peace with victory by receiving back into the Church the last die-hards of the Laurentian schism.
The papacy of Pope Saint Benedict XI began in 1303 and ended one year later in 1304. He was the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on a part of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Apocalypse.
Pope Saint Celestine V reigned a mere five months. The primary objective of his pontificate was to reform clergy. He abdicated on 13 December 1294, the last pope to do so until Pope Benedict XVI.