Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus of Rome

St. Pontian was Pope from 230-235. Hippolytus was a theologian who criticized several consecutive popes, including Pontian, for being too “soft” on sinners and heretics. His views were so extreme that he led a schismatic group of followers and was elected the first antipope. In the year 235 the Roman Emperor exiled both Pontian and Hippolytus to Sardinia, where they both died a martyr’s death. While in exile, Hippolytus was reconciled to Pontian, and their bodies were later returned to Rome together.

Religious extremism is very evident in our modern world, maybe even more so than it was in the time of Pontian and Hippolytus. How do you respond when someone attacks your religious beliefs? What does the story of Pontian and Hippolyuts’ reconciliation have to teach us today?