About Today

Illustration of Pope John I By Artaud de Montor, Alexis François [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

May 18

Saint John I, Pope and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Pope Saint John I was a Tuscan pope elected to the papacy in 523 A.D. In his time, Arian kings and Christian rulers were warring. Byzantine Emperor Justin I had recently declared an anti-Arian decree, Latin and Greek Churches had come to allegiance, and the Arian king, Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths and of Italy felt under attack. As king of the empire, Theodoric required Pope Saint John I to travel to Justin’s empire and to negotiate towards Arianism. Despite his protests, Pope Saint John I obliged and went to Constantinople with a huge entourage. Emperor Justin greeted him warmly, maybe even prostrating himself to the supreme pastor, and agreed to hear Theodoric’s requests. Neither Emperor Justin nor Pope Saint John I amended their beliefs towards Arianism; and sadly, when Pope Saint John I returned, Theodoric had him arrested under charges of conspiracy. Pope Saint John I died a martyr in prison from neglect and poor treatment. He is buried at the Basilica of St. Peter. [1]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “Pope St. John I””
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate this Saint as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

Liturgy of the Hours for December 05