Pope Saint Cornelius faced challenges from apostates and the Rigorists, but upheld that repentant lapsi could rejoin the Church with proper penance, before dying a martyr.
Pope St. Gregory, born into Roman nobility, became a monk, then Pope. Known for reforms, he championed the poor and introduced the Gregorian Chant. Celebrated on his election day.
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.
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.
Pope St. Hormisdas, once married with a son who also became Pope, ended the Laurentian schism and strongly backed St. Symmachus against antipope Lawrence.
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.
Little is known of Pope Saint John I's life before he took office as pope, except that he was born in Tuscany. After a journey to Constantinople concerning Ariansism, he was arrested by Theordric, Arian king of the Ostrogoths. Worn out by his journey and probably starved, John died in prison soon after. Pope St. John I is honored as a martyr.
Pope Saint Pius V (1566-1572) was a Domincan. He called the Council of Trent, Excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for schism, was the patron Palestrina, and organized the Holy League for the defense against the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto.