Roman Catholic Pope and Saint. Early in his life Callistus was a slave, and after earning his freedom some years later founded a bank in Rome where the baths of Caracalla now stand. He was accused of a crime, but subsequently freed, and later was accused by his Jewish creditors and again jailed. He was sent to work in the salt mines in Sardinia in the year 186. He was freed through the intersession of Pope Victor and afterwards went to live in Anzio, Italy and was supported by the local church. He chose to become a priest and was ordained by Pope Zephyrinus and placed in charge of the cemetery which eventually became the catacomb of the popes. He was elected Pope in the year 217, but an opposing minority resisted and thus caused the first schism in the church. During the five years of his papacy he was a fervent defender of traditional church teachings and for his pastoral passion. It is thought that his most important contribution to the church was his defense of the doctrine of the Trinity. He served as pope until his death in 223 and many later was elevated to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. He is listed as a martyr of the church, but under what circumstances is unknown.
Bio by: Saratoga