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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

October 26

St. Evaristus, Pope and Martyr

        See Eus. Hist. l. 3, c. 34; l. 4, c. 1. The first part of Anastasius’s Pontifical, ascribed to Damasus; Tillemont, t. 2, p. 231. Berti, Diss. Chronol. t. 2, &c.

A.D. 112.

ST. EVARISTUS succeeded St. Anacletus in the see of Rome, in the reign of Trajan, governed the church nine years, and died in 112. He is honoured with the title of martyr in the Pontificals and in most Martyrologies. The institution of cardinal priests is by some ascribed to him, because he first divided Rome into several titles or parishes, according to the Pontifical, assigning a priest to each: he also appointed seven deacons to attend the bishop. He conferred holy orders thrice in the month of December, when that ceremony was most usually performed, for which Amalarius assigns moral and mystical reasons; Mabillon and Claude de Vert 1 give this, that at Lent and Whitsuntide the bishops were more taken up, but were more at liberty in Advent to give due attention to this important function; for holy orders were always conferred in seasons appointed for fasting and prayer. St. Evaristus was buried near St. Peter’s tomb, on the Vatican.
  The disciples of the apostles, by assiduous meditation on heavenly things, were so swallowed up in the life to come, that they seemed no longer inhabitants of this world, but of heaven, where their thoughts and affections were placed, and whither they directed all their actions, even their necessary attention to temporal concerns. If the generality of Christians now-a-days esteem and set their hearts so much on earthly goods, and so easily lose sight of eternity in the course of their actions, they are no longer animated by the spirit of the primitive saints, and are become children of this world, slaves to its vanities, and to their own irregular passions. If we do not correct this disorder of our hearts, and conform our interior to the spirit of Christ, we cannot be entitled to his promises.  2
Note 1. Explic. des Cérém. Pref. p. 28. [back]