Pope St. Martin I (Reigned from 649-655)
Born at Todi in Umbria, Martin attempted at the beginning of his pontificate to recall Paul of Constantinople, a heretic, to the Catholic faith by sending letters and legates. But Paul, supported by the emperor Constans, banished the legates of the Apostolic See to various islands. The Pope, aroused by this crime, gathered at Rome a council of one hundred and five bishops, who condemned Paul. During the council, the emperor sent the exarch Olympius to Italy to depose the Pope. But Olympius soon died a miserable death, after failing to harm Pope Martin in any way.
Then, on the emperor's orders, Theodore Kalliopes took over the Lateran basilica and the nearby residence of the Pope and arrested Martin, first sending him to the island of Naxos and then bringing him to Constantinople. Here the holy Pope was chained and suffered mockery and insults. Exiled to the Chersonesus, he departed this life in the beginning of the eighth year of his pontificate, worn out with hardships and destitution for the sake of the Catholic faith. His body was later taken to Rome and was buried in the church dedicated to SS. Sylvester and Martin.
- Taken from Matins of the Divine Office