Pope Telesphorus

Pope Telesphorus (died c. 137) was the Bishop of Rome from c. 126 to his death c. 137, during the reigns of Roman Emperors Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. He was of Greek ancestry and born in Terranova da Sibari,[1][2][3] Calabria, Italy.

Pope Saint

Papacy beganc. 126
Papacy endedc. 137
PredecessorSixtus I
Personal details
Birth nameTelesphorus
BornTerranova da Sibari, Calabria, Italy
Diedc. 137
Rome, Italy, Roman Empire
Feast day
  • 5 January (Catholic)
  • 22 February (Greek Orthodox)
Venerated in
AttributesPapal vestments


Telesphorus is traditionally considered as being the eighth Roman bishop in succession after Saint Peter. The Liber Pontificalis mentions that he had been an anchorite (or hermit) monk prior to assuming office. According to the testimony of Irenæus (Against Heresies III.3.3), he suffered a "glorious" martyrdom. Although most early popes are called martyrs by sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, Telesphorus is the first to whom Irenaeus, writing considerably earlier, gives this title.

Eusebius (Church History iv.7; iv.14) places the beginning of his pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (128–129) and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–139).

In Roman Martyrology, his feast is celebrated on 5 January;[4] the Greek Church celebrates it on 22 February.

The tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of the Gloria are usually attributed to his pontificate, but some historians doubt that such attributions are accurate.

A fragment of a letter from Irenæus to Pope Victor I during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd century, also preserved by Eusebius, testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday, rather than on other days of the week according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover. Unlike Victor, however, Telesphorus remained in communion with those communities that did not follow this custom.

The Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a patron saint of the order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel.

The town of Saint-Télesphore, in the southwestern part of Canada's Quebec province, is named after him.

See also


  1. ^ SAINT TELESPHORUS (119-127). SAINT HYGINUS (127-139). SAINT PIUS I (139-142) Archived 2 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ The Pope Podcast: Pope Telesphorus Archived 1 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ it:Papa Telesforo
  4. ^ The Telesphorus commemorated on 5 January in the General Roman Calendar as in 1954 was in fact not the Pope but an otherwise unknown African martyr – Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 112).

Further reading

  • Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
  • Kelly, J.N.D. Oxford Dictionary of Popes. (1986). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
  • Benedict XVI. The Roman Martyrology. Gardners Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-548-13374-3.
  • Chapman, John. Studies on the Early Papacy. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971. ISBN 978-0-8046-1139-8.
  • Fortescue, Adrian, and Scott M. P. Reid. The Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451. Southampton: Saint Austin Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4.
  • Loomis, Louise Ropes. The Book of Popes (Liber Pontificalis). Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8

External links

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Sixtus I
Bishop of Rome

Succeeded by

The 120s decade ran from January 1, 120, to December 31, 129.


Year 125 (CXXV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Paullinus and Titius (or, less frequently, year 878 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 125 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


The 130s decade ran from January 1, 130, to December 31, 139.

== Events ==

=== 130 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

A law is passed in Rome banning the execution of slaves without a trial.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is completed at Athens.

Emperor Hadrian visits the cities Petra and Gerasa (Jerash).

A Triumphal Arch for Hadrian is built in Gerasa.

Canopus, Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Italy, is started to be built.

====== Asia ======

Huviska becomes king of the Kushan Empire in India.

The Scythian king Rudradaman I reconquers from the Andhra the lands annexed by Gautamiputra.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

Claudius Ptolemaeus tabulates angles of refraction for several media.

The Antinous Mondragone is sculpted.

c. 130–138 – Hadrian Hunting Boar and Sacrificing to Apollo, sculptural reliefs on the Arch of Constantine, Rome, are made.

c. 130–138 – Antinous, from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, Italy, is made. It is now kept at Museo Gregoriano Egizio, Rome.

=== 131 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Hadrian builds the city Aelia Capitolina on the location of Jerusalem.

The Praetor's Edict is definitively codified by Salvius Julianus on Hadrian's orders. This change means that senatorial decrees become a mere confirmation of the imperial speech (oratio principis) which initiated them.

Reorganization of the Imperial Council: Central administration is reinforced, and administrative positions are entrusted to Knights according to a very strict hierarchy. Under the reorganization, the Roman Senate is excluded from controlling the business of state.

Hadrian restores the monarchist policy of Claudius and Domitian. The equestrian order is given full legal status and attains the second order of the state.

Italy is divided into legal districts managed by consuls, a direct blow to the power and prestige of the Senate.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Edict of Hadrian prohibiting the practice of circumcision. Additionally, Hadrian prohibits public reading of the Torah under penalty of death, as well as observance of festivals and the Sabbath, the teaching of Judaic Law, and the ordination of rabbis.

The Temple of Baalshamin is built in Palmyra.

=== 132 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Athens) is completed using Cossutius' design.

The messianic, charismatic Jewish leader Simon bar Kokhba starts a war of liberation for Judea (Bar Kokhba revolt) against the Romans, which is eventually crushed (in 135) by emperor Hadrian. Rabbi Akiva is supportive of the rebellion.

The legion X Fretensis must evacuate Jerusalem, returning to Caesarea. The Jews enter the city and re-establish their system of sacrifices. They strike coins to celebrate their independence, which would last for only 30 months. The legion XXII Deiotariana, which advanced from Egypt, is completely destroyed.

Merchants in Britain build structures outside the forts of Hadrian's Wall and offer goods and services (including brothels) to Roman soldiers, who receive salaries in a region that otherwise has virtually no ready money.

Construction begins on the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome, today known as Castel Sant'Angelo.

====== Asia ======

Change of era name from Yongjian (7th year) to Yangjia of the Chinese Han Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

Chinese scientist Zhang Heng invents the first seismometer for determining the exact cardinal direction of earthquakes hundreds of miles away; the device employs a series of complex gears around a central swinging pendulum.

=== 133 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Sextus Julius Severus, governor of Britain, is sent to Judea (from 136 renamed Syria Palaestina) to quell a revolt.

==== Ongoing events ====

Roman Empire. The Bar Kokhba revolt in Judea (132–135).

=== 134 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

A law improving the lot of free workers is passed in Rome.

Arrianus, Roman governor of Cappadocia, repulses an attack of the Alani, a nomadic tribe from southeastern Russia.

Sextus Julius Severus, governor of Judea, begins in the summer a campaign against the Jewish rebel strongholds in the mountains.

The Romans retake Jerusalem. The largely destroyed city is renamed Aelia Capitolina.

====== Asia ======

Ilseong becomes ruler of the Korean kingdom of Silla.

==== By topic ====

====== Architecture ======

Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, Italy is completed.

=== 135 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

A Jewish diaspora begins as emperor Hadrian bars Jews from Jerusalem and has survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many join Mediterranean ports.

Jerusalem is renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina, in honor of Hadrian. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilds the legionary fortress in the city and constructs a Roman temple at Golgotha.

An altar to Jupiter is erected on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Canopus, Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Italy, is finished.

Alans threaten Cappadocia, repulsed by Arrian.

====== Asia ======

Last (4th) year of Yangjia era of the Chinese Han Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

Epictetus writes the Enchiridion (approximate date).

=== 136 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The war against the Suebi begins. They will be defeated by the senator Tiberius Haterius Nepos Atinas, governor of Pannonia, in 138.

Emperor Hadrian chases the Jews from Galilee and receives a triumphal arch near Scythopolis.

The Roman province of Iudaea (plus Galilee) becomes Syria Palaestina, the name Palestine as a designation for this land was used since at least 5th century BC (mentioned by Herodotus).

Hadrian dictates his memoirs at his villa near Tivoli (Tibur) outside Rome.

Hadrian uncovers a new conspiracy among certain senators. He adopts Lucius Aelius as his heir.

====== Asia ======

First year of Yonghe era of the Chinese Han Dynasty.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Pope Hyginus succeeds Pope Telesphorus as the ninth pope.

Change of Patriarch of Constantinople from Patriarch Eleutherius to Patriarch Felix.

=== 137 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Tax laws are passed for trade in Palmyra. The caravan city grows rich by importing rare products from the Persian Gulf, and by exporting items manufactured by the Mediterranean world to the East.

=== 138 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

February 25 – Emperor Hadrian makes Antoninus Pius his successor, on condition that he adopts Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.

July 10 – Hadrian dies after a heart failure at Baiae and is buried at Rome in the Gardens of Domitia beside his wife, Vibia Sabina.

Antoninus Pius succeeds Hadrian as Roman Emperor and asks the Senate to confer divine honors for Hadrian.

Construction begins on the Theater of Philadelphia (Amman).

Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Italy, is finished.

==== By topic ====

====== Commerce ======

The silver content of the Roman denarius falls to 75 percent under emperor Antoninus Pius, down from 87 percent under the reign of Hadrian.

=== 139 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The Tomb of Hadrian in Rome is completed; emperor Antoninus Pius cremates the body of Hadrian and places his ashes together with that of his wife Vibia Sabina and his adopted son, Lucius Aelius, in the mausoleum.

Marcus Aurelius is named Caesar. He marries Faustina the Younger, daughter of Antoninus Pius.

Antoninus Augustus Pius and Gaius Bruttius Praesens become Roman Consuls.


Year 136 (CXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Commodus and Civica (or, less frequently, year 889 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 136 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 137 (CXXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caesar and Balbinus (or, less frequently, year 890 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 137 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


There is also a beatus named Calimerius of Montechiaro (ca. 1430-1521).Calimerius (Italian: Calimero, Byzantine Greek: Καλημέριος) (died 280 AD) was an early bishop of Milan. He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and his feast day is on July 31.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Dionysius the Areopagite

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Dionysius the Areopagite is the main Roman Catholic church of Athens, Greece, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Athens. It is located in central Athens, at the junction of Panepistimiou Avenue with Omirou Street and is dedicated to Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, disciple of the Apostle Saint Paul and the first bishop of Athens.

Gloria in excelsis Deo

"Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Latin for "Glory to God in the highest") is a Christian hymn known also as the Greater Doxology (as distinguished from the "Minor Doxology" or Gloria Patri) and the Angelic Hymn/Hymn of the Angels. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.

The hymn begins with the words that the angels said when the birth of Christ was announced to shepherds in Luke 2:14 (in Latin). Other verses were added very early, forming a doxology.

January 5

January 5 is the fifth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 360 days remain until the end of the year (361 in leap years).

List of Greek popes

This is a list of Greek popes. Most were pope before or during the Byzantine Papacy (537–752). It does not include all the Sicilian and Syrian popes of Greek extraction from that period.

List of canonised popes

This article lists the Popes who have been canonised or recognised as Saints in the Roman Catholic Church they had led. A total of 83 (out of 266) Popes have been recognised universally as canonised saints, including all of the first 35 Popes (31 of whom were martyrs) and 52 of the first 54. If Pope Liberius is numbered amongst the Saints as in Eastern Christianity, all of the first 49 Popes become recognised as Saints, of whom 31 are Martyr-Saints, and 53 of the first 54 Pontiffs would be acknowledged as Saints. In addition, 13 other Popes are in the process of becoming canonised Saints: as of December 2018, two are recognised as being Servants of God, two are recognised as being Venerable, and nine have been declared Blessed or Beati, making a total of 95 (97 if Pope Liberius and Pope Adeodatus II are recognised to be Saints) of the 266 Roman Pontiffs being recognised and venerated for their heroic virtues and inestimable contributions to the Church.

The most recently reigning Pope to have been canonised was Pope John Paul II, whose cause for canonisation was opened in May 2005. John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011, by Pope Benedict XVI and later canonised, along with Pope John XXIII, by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014. Pope Francis also canonised Pope Paul VI on October 14, 2018.

List of extant papal tombs

A pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Catholic Church. Approximately 100 papal tombs are at least partially extant, representing less than half of the 264 deceased popes, from Saint Peter to Saint John Paul II.For the first few centuries in particular, little is known of the popes and their tombs, and available information is often contradictory. As with other religious relics, multiple sites claim to house the same tomb. Furthermore, many papal tombs that recycled sarcophagi and other materials from earlier tombs were later recycled for their valuable materials or combined with other monuments. For example, the tomb of Pope Leo I was combined with Leos II, III, and IV circa 855, and then removed in the seventeenth century and placed under his own altar, below Alessandro Algardi's relief, Fuga d'Attila. The style of papal tombs has evolved considerably throughout history, tracking trends in the development of church monuments. Notable papal tombs have been commissioned from sculptors such as Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Most extant papal tombs are located in St. Peter's Basilica, other major churches of Rome (especially Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, Santa Maria sopra Minerva and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore), or other churches of Italy, France, and Germany.

List of non-extant papal tombs

This is a list of non-extant papal tombs, which includes tombs not included on the list of extant papal tombs. Information about these tombs is generally incomplete and uncertain.

Chronologically, the main locations of destroyed or unknown papal tombs have been: the obscure tombs of the first two centuries of popes near Saint Peter, the repeated waves of translations from the Catacombs of Rome, the demolition of the papal tombs in Old St. Peter's Basilica, and the 1306 and 1361 fires in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

Papal tombs have also been destroyed by other instances of fire, remodeling, and war (most recently, World War II). Others are unknown due to creative or geographically remote methods of martyrdom, or—in the case of Pope Clement I—both. Burial in churches outside the Aurelian Walls of Rome (Italian: fuori le Mura)—in the basilicas of Paul or Lorenzo—have not generally survived.

List of popes who died violently

A collection of popes who have had violent deaths through the centuries. The circumstances have ranged from martyrdom (Pope Stephen I) to war (Lucius II), to a beating by a jealous husband (Pope John XII). A number of other popes have died under circumstances that some believe to be murder, but for which definitive evidence has not been found.

Pope Sixtus I

Pope Sixtus I (42 – 124, 125, 126 or 128), a Roman of Greek descent, was the Bishop of Rome from c. 115 to his death c. 124. He succeeded Pope Alexander I and was in turn succeeded by Pope Telesphorus. His feast is celebrated on 6 April.

Saint-Télesphore, Quebec

Saint-Télesphore is a municipality located in Vaudreuil-Soulanges Regional County Municipality, Quebec (Canada). The population as of the Canada 2011 Census was 762. The municipality is situated west of Saint-Polycarpe and east of the provincial border near North Lancaster, Ontario.

Saint Peter's tomb

Saint Peter's tomb is a site under St. Peter's Basilica that includes several graves and a structure said by Vatican authorities to have been built to memorialize the location of Saint Peter's grave. St. Peter's tomb is near the west end of a complex of mausoleums that date between about AD 130 and AD 300. The complex was partially torn down and filled with earth to provide a foundation for the building of the first St. Peter's Basilica during the reign of Constantine I in about AD 330. Though many bones have been found at the site of the 2nd-century shrine, as the result of two campaigns of archaeological excavation, Pope Pius XII stated in December 1950 that none could be confirmed to be Saint Peter's with absolute certainty. Following the discovery of bones that had been transferred from a second tomb under the monument, on June 26, 1968, Pope Paul VI claimed that the relics of Saint Peter had been identified in a manner considered convincing.The grave claimed by the Church to be that of Saint Peter lies at the foot of the aedicula beneath the floor. The remains of four individuals and several farm animals were found in this grave. In 1953, after the initial archeological efforts had been completed, another set of bones were found that were said to have been removed without the archeologists' knowledge from a niche (loculus) in the north side of a wall (the graffiti wall) that abuts the red wall on the right of the aedicula. Subsequent testing indicated that these were the bones of a 60- to 70-year-old man. Margherita Guarducci argued that these were the remains of Saint Peter and that they had been moved into a niche in the graffiti wall from the grave under the aedicula "at the time of Constantine, after the peace of the church" (313). Antonio Ferrua, the archaeologist who headed the excavation that uncovered what is known as Saint Peter's Tomb, said that he wasn't convinced that the bones that were found were those of Saint Peter.The upper image shows the area of the lower floor of St. Peter's Basilica that lies above the site of Saint Peter's tomb. A portion of the aedicula that was part of Peter's tomb rose above level of this floor and was made into the Niche of the Pallium which can be seen in the center of the image.


Telesphorus or Telesphoros can refer to:

Telesphorus (mythology)

Pope Telesphorus

Telesphorus (general)

Terranova da Sibari

Terranova da Sibari (Calabrian: Terranova di Sibbari) is a town and comune in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy. It is located on a hill between the river Crati and the last stretches of the Sila Mountains, at some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Ionian Sea. Refugees from the ancient city of Thurii founded Terranova after the destruction of their city in the war against Croton.

Once known as Terranova del Vallo and Terranova di Calabria Citra, it received the current name after the unification of Italy, referring to the ancient cities of Thurii and Sybaris.

The main attractions include the feudal castle, the Torre Acquanova fountain and six medieval-Baroque churches.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
Virgin Mary
See also

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