Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Hippolytus (170–235)

Saint Hippolytus (170–235)

Feast day: August 13

Saint Hippolytus was a presbyter in Rome. He had a strong passion for discipline and was a very important theologian and a productive religious writer. He maintained that the Pope should come down harder on heretics and stop listening so closely to a deacon by the name of Callistus.

When Callistus was elected Pope, Hippolytus felt that he was not hard enough on penitents. Others felt the same way, and they named Hippolytus as antipope. In 235, during a persecution, Hippolytus and the Pope at that time, Saint Pontian, were exiled together to the mines on the island of Sardinia. Saint Pontian had been Pope for five years. Hippolytus had been antipope for 18 years.

Not long after his banishment, Hippolytus was reconciled to the Church as well as to Saint Pontian. Hippolytus died after cruel treatment and fatigue in the mines.

(Image by BSonne, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)