November 19, 2021: POPE ST. PONTIANUS
November 19, 2021: COMMEMORATION OF ST. PONTIANUS, POPE AND MARTYR
The Lord settled with him a covenant of peace, and made him a Chief that he may have the honor of Priesthood for ever.
Have regard, O Almighty God, to our weakness, and, as we sink under the weight of our own doings, let the glorious intercession of blessed Pontianus, thy Martyr and Bishop, be a protection to us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
The Church honours to-day a holy Pope of the persecution times, by name Pontian. Transported by order of the emperor Maximin to an island in the Mediterranean, he there suffered most cruel treatment, which earned him the crown of martyrdom. His second successor, St. Fabian, translated his body to the cemetery of Callixtus.
Another account of Pope St. Pontianus.
Saint Pontianus, son of Calpurnius, was created pontiff on the 26th of June, A.D. 230. Some learned men think, with Platina, that it was this pope who ordered the singing of the Psalms in the Church, both by day and by night; but other writers maintain that the custom is older. It is possible that Saint Pontianus published a decree on this subject, for the better regulation of the ecclesiastical practice. This latter is the opinion of Sangallo.
In ten ordinations Saint Pontianus created six bishops, six priests, and five deacons. He governed the Church more than five years.
His body, martyrized in the island of Tavolato, near the island of Sardinia, was removed to Rome, by order of Pope Saint Fabian, and buried in the cemetery of Calixtus. His martyrdom has been likened to that of Saint Stephen, as he was stoned to death. There is a beautiful legend that the stones and rocks hurled at him all miraculously fell short. As night fell, Saint Pontianus cried aloud: “Lord Jesus, wilt thou not give me also the martyr's crown?” Instantly the next stone struck him on the forehead, and he fell dead. Two epistles are attributed to him, but they are evidently apocryphal.
Taken from: The Liturgical Year - Time after Pentecost, Vol. VI, Edition 1903;
The Lives and the Times of the Popes, Imprimatur 1911; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume II, 1806.
Pope St. Pontianus, pray for us.