As a priest in Rome, Hippolytus—the name means “a horse turned loose”—was at first “holier than the Church.” He felt that the Church must be composed of pure souls uncompromisingly separated from the world: Hippolytus evidently thought that his group fitted the description. He remained in schism through the reigns of three popes. In 235, he also was banished to the island of Sardinia. Shortly before or after this event, he was reconciled to the Church, and died in exile. He is, nevertheless, the most important theologian and prolific religious writer before the age of Constantine. His writings are the fullest source of our knowledge of the Roman liturgy and the structure of the Church in the second and third centuries. His works include many Scripture commentaries, polemics against heresies, and a history of the world.
Lord,may the loyal suffering of your saint,
Hippolytus, fill us with your love and make our hearts steadfast in faith. 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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