Saint of the Day ~ April 22

SAINT SOTER (?-175) and SAINT CAIUS (?-296), popes

Today, the Church honors two popes from the early years of Christianity, Saints Soter and Caius, who were recognized in Church history and tradition as holy servants of the Body of Christ.

Saint Soter was pope for eight years. He was born in Fundi, Italy, and was supreme pontiff from the year 166 until his death in 175.

Soter’s papacy was an example of what seems to have been the remarkable tradition of generosity exercised by the bishop of Rome. This tradition and Soter’s personal charity and paternal love for his universal flock can be evidenced from a letter by Bishop Saint Dionysus of Corinth to the pope, “From the beginning it has been your custom to do good to all the brethren in many ways, and to send alms to many churches in every city, refreshing the poverty of those who sent requests…”

Outside of this letter, which some have attempted to identify as part of the Second Epistle of Clement, there is nothing further which is known of this pope, who lived the virtue of charity and paternal love for the flock entrusted to his care.

Saint Caius was pope from 283 until his death on April 22, 296, just before the Diocletian persecution of the Church began. During his pontificate, Pope Caius decreed that no one could become a bishop unless he was first ordained a priest. Unfortunately, nothing else has survived the passage of time, as is often the case with records which date back so long ago in Church history. His reign as pope was during a time of relative peace in the Church.

We commemorate their joint feastday on April 22.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, dailycatholic.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Pastors ~ pope)

“All-powerful and Ever-living God, You called Your Saints Soter and Caius to guide Your people by their word and example. With them, we pray to You: watch over the pastors of Your Church with the people entrusted to their care, and lead them to salvation.

“We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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