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October 14

Saint of the day:

Saint Callistus I

Patron saint of cemetery workers

Saint Callistus I’s Story

Callistus was a slave in the imperial Roman household. Put in charge of the bank by his master, he lost the money deposited, fled, and was caught. After serving time for a while, he was released to make some attempt to recover the money. Apparently he carried his zeal too far, being arrested for brawling in a Jewish synagogue. This time he was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia. Through the influence of the emperor’s mistress he was released and went to live at Anzio.

After winning his freedom, Callistus was made superintendent of the public Christian burial ground in Rome–still called the cemetery of Saint Callistus–probably the first land owned by the Church. The pope ordained him a deacon and made him his friend and adviser.

Callistus was elected pope by a majority vote of the clergy and laity of Rome, and thereafter was bitterly attacked by the losing candidate, Saint Hippolytus, who let himself be set up as the first antipope in the history of the Church. The schism lasted about 18 years.

Hippolytus is venerated as a saint. He was banished during the persecution of 235 and was reconciled to the Church. He died from his sufferings in Sardinia. He attacked Callistus on two fronts—doctrine and discipline. Hippolytus seems to have exaggerated the distinction between Father and Son–almost making two gods–possibly because theological language had not yet been refined. He also accused Callistus of being too lenient, for reasons we may find surprising:
1) Callistus admitted to Holy Communion those who had already done public penance for murder, adultery, and fornication;
2) he held marriages between free women and slaves to be valid—contrary to Roman law;
3) he authorized the ordination of men who had been married two or three times;
4) he held that mortal sin was not a sufficient reason to depose a bishop;
5) he held to a policy of leniency toward those who had temporarily denied their faith during persecution.

Callistus was martyred during a local disturbance in Trastevere, Rome, and is the first pope–except for Peter–to be commemorated as a martyr in the earliest martyrology of the Church.




St Callistus I

(d. 222, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)

St Callistus I was originally buried in the Cemetery of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way. In the 8th century his remains were transferred to Santa Maria in Trastevere by Pope Adrian I (772-795). A few decades later during the pontificate of Pope Gregory IV (827-844) his body was relocated within this same church and placed directly under the main altar.

Santa Maria in Trastevere (Our Lady in Trastevere)

Via della Paglia 14 / Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

Rome, Italy

*This church is located in Trastevere.

*Relics of the two popes St Callistus I and St Cornelius (d. 253) rest under the main altar of this church. These relics are joined by others in particular those of the priest and martyr St Calepodius (d. 232).

*Within a small grated niche at the end of the right aisle are several stones and a chain. The large marble stone is said to have been used as a weight to drown St Callistus I in a nearby well.

*Also in the mosaics above the main altar St Callistus I is depicted as the individual next to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Churches of Honor in Rome

San Callisto (Saint Callistus)

Piazza di San Callisto

Rome, Italy

*This church is next to Santa Maria in Trastevere. It is not open often.

*Tradition claims that it was in the location where this church now stands that St Callistus I suffered martyrdom by being thrown down a well.






Pumpkin carbonara (Carbonara di zucca)

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 360 g of pasta of your choice
    (I used the paccheri of the gluten-free Gragnano factory)

  • 1 whole egg

  • 1 yolk

  • 350 g of weighted pumpkin without peel

  • 30 g of grated pecorino romano + qb for garnish

  • ¼ of onion

  • Some sage leaves

  • A sprig of parsley

  • A pinch of salt

  • Pepper as needed

  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


  • (preparation: 10 minutes cooking: 20 minutes)

  1. To prepare the pumpkin carbonara, start by cutting the
    pumpkin into medium-sized cubes, after removing the peel. 

  2. Chop the onion and let it brown in oil. 

  3. Then add the pumpkin, salt it slightly and let it jump for a couple of minutes.

  4. Season with sage, sprinkle with a ladle of water and cook over high heat for 7-8 minutes. 

  5. Meanwhile, prepare the egg sauce of your pumpkin carbonara: beat the egg and the yolk in a bowl with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. 

  6. Then add the pecorino.

  7. Mix it to the egg vigorously banging with a fork. 

  8. Keep it aside. When the pumpkin has softened turn off the heat. It must not be completely disposed of. 

  9. Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water and, just before draining it, keep aside some of its cooking water. 

  10. Add a pumpkin ladle and turn the fire back on.

  11. Drain the pasta al dente and transfer it to the pan . 

  12. Mantecatela for about a minute on high heat, adding a little 'cooking water if it should dry out too much. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Let it cool for 30 seconds, then pour the egg sauce and stir immediately, until it is mixed with the dough and the rest of the sauce. 

  13. Do this quickly: in the pumpkin carbonara, as well as in the original one, the egg must not thicken and become an omelette, but remain beautiful creamy . Then complete with chopped fresh parsley and a pinch of pepper.

  14. Serve the pumpkin carbonara immediately, garnish if you want with another little grated pecorino.












Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

Makes: 10 rolls

  • 500grams bread flour

  • 10grams salt

  • 7grams yeast

  • 1/3cup oil

  • 1cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)

  • 1/3cup water

1/4teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


  1. Measure flour into a large bowl, making a well in the center. Add salt, yeast and optional spice outside the well, making sure they don't touch.

  2. Add oil and pumpkin to the center of the well. Mix by hand until smooth dough forms. Depending on pumpkin moisture,If the dough is dry, add up to 1/3 cup water, 1 tsp at a time. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more flour. Dough should be firm and not sticky, cleaning the sides of the bowl.

  3. Transfer dough to lightly oiled work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. The was I check if it has been worked enough is to roll into a rope and dangle in the air. If you see the dough tearing instead of stretching, it needs more kneading.

  4. Form dough into a ball and transfer to oiled bowl to rise until double, about 1 hour.

  5. Punch down risen dough and cut into 10 equal pieces. Form dough into balls and place on parchment lines baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise until doubled, balls should just be touching each other.

  6. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a small pan of water on lower rack to create steam. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.






Spiced Pumpkin Butter


  • 1- 14.5 oz. can pumpkin puree

  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • ½ tsp. cloves

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • ½ cup apple juice


  1. Place pumpkin puree, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, apple juice, and pumpkin pie spice in a large saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly.

  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir frequently.

  3. Remove from burner and stir in vanilla.

  4. Cool completely then transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid.

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