Pope St. Evaristus
Date of birth unknown; died about 107. In the Liberian Catalogue his name is
given as Aristus. In papal catalogues of the second century used by Irenaeus and
Hippolytus, he appears as the fourth successor of St. Peter, immediately after
St Clement. The same lists allow him eight years of reign, covering the end of
the first and the beginning of the second century (from about 98 or 99 to about
106 or 107). The earliest historical sources offer no authentic data about him.
Ecclesiastical History Eusebius says merely that he succeeded Clement
in the episcopate of the Roman Church which fact was already known from St.
Irenaeus. This order of succession is undoubtedly correct. The
Pontificalis says that Evaristus came of a Hellenic family, and was the son of
a Bethlehem Jew. It also attributes to him the allotment of definite churches as
tituli to the Roman presbyters, and the division of the city into seven
diaconias or deaconries; in this statement, however, the
arbitrarily refers to the time of Evaristus a later institution of the Roman
Church. More trustworthy is the assertion of the
Liber Pontificalis that he
was laid to rest in Vaticano, near the tomb of St. Peter. The martyrdom of
Evaristus, though traditional, is not historically proven. His feast occurs 26
Oct. The two decretals ascribed to him by Pseudo-Isidore are forged.
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