St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr
April 3 [New] November 12 [Traditional]
D. C. 656
Born at Todi, Umbria, Italy, he came to Rome and was known for his great learning and piety. He was Pope Theodore I's nuncio to Constantinople and succeeded him as Pope on July 21, 649. He called a council at the Lateran the same year, which condemned monothelitism [a heresy that said Christ had only one will, not two] and censured the imperial decrees of Heraclius, Ekthesis, and of Constans II, Typos. When Martin's condemnations were published in the East, Constans, who was a monothelite, was furious and sent Theodore Calliopas to Rome to bring Martin to Constantinople. Though Martin was ill and had taken refuge in the Lateran, Calliopas' soldiers broke in and forcibly took the Pope captive to Constantinople, where he arrived in the fall of 653. He was imprisoned for three months under terrible conditions and then tried and convicted, without being heard, by the Senate of treason and sent back to prison for another three months. His life was spared at the plea of the dying Patriarch Paul of Constantinople and he was exiled to Kherson in the Crimea, where he died on September 16 of neglect and ill treatment, the last of the Popes to die a Martyr.
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