Liturgical Year: Saint Telesphorus, Pope and Martyr

Saint Telesphorus, Pope and Martyr5 January

The holy Church of Rome commemorates today the holy Pope and Martyr Saint Telesphorus. This Pontiff began his reign in the year 127; and among his decrees, we find that of his prescribing the holy sacrifice of the Mass to be offered up on Christmas Night, in order to honour the hour when our Saviour was born: he also ordered that the Angelic Hymn Gloria in excelsis should be said, on most days, at the beginning of Mass. This devotion of the holy Pope towards the great Mystery which we are now celebrating, renders his commemoration at this season of the year doubly dear to us. Telesphorus suffered a glorious martyrdom, as Saint Ireneus expresses it, and was crowned with eternal glory in the year 138.


O God, who by the yearly solemnity of blessed Telesphorus, your Martyr and Bishop, rejoicest the hearts of the faithful; mercifully grant that we who celebrate his martyrdom may enjoy his protection.

Commemoration of Saint Telesphorus

Sanctify, Lord, the offerings consecrated to you: and being appeased thereby, mercifully look upon us, by the intercession of blessed Telesphorus, your Martyr and Bishop.

Commemoration of Saint Telesphorus

May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin, and by the intercession of blessed Telesphorus, your Martyr and Bishop, make us effectually partakers of this heavenly remedy.

– from the book The Liturgical Year: Christmas, volume 1, by the Very Reverend Dom Prosper Gueranger, Abbot of Solesmes, translated from the French by the Revered Dom Laurence Shepherd, Monk of the English-Benedictine Congregation, 2nd edition; published in Dublin Ireland by James Duffy, 15 Wellington-Quay, 1870