St. Evaristus, Pope
St. Evaristus was the son of a Greek Jew, originally from Bethlehem, and was the sixth Pope of the Catholic Church. He is traditionally considered a martyr, but there is no documentation of the event. He is buried in the Vatican, near Saint Peter.
Saint Evaristus succeeded Saint Anacletus as pope. The text of the Liber Pontificalis, says of him:
“Evaristus, born in Greece of a Jewish father named Juda, originally from the city of Bethlehem, reigned for thirteen years, six months and two days, under the reigns of Domitian, Nerva and Trajan, from the Consulate of Valens and Veter (96) until that of Gallus and Bradua (108). This pontiff divided among the priests the titles of the city of Rome. By a constitution he established seven deacons who were to assist the bishop and serve as authentic witnesses for him. During the three ordinations which he conducted in the month of December, he promoted six priests, two deacons and five bishops, destined for various churches. Evaristus received the crown of martyrdom. He was buried near the body of Blessed Peter in the Vatican, on the sixth day of the Calends of November (October 25, 108). The episcopal throne remained vacant for nineteen days.”
Pope Saint Evaristus is assumed to have given his life by martyrdom at the same time as St. Ignatius of Antioch. He is often represented with a sword because he was decapitated, or with a crib, because it is believed that he was born in Bethlehem, from which his father emigrated.