Giovanni di Paolo, c. 1450: St. Fabian. He was a layman when he was elected Bishop of Rome by acclamation; it’s said that a dove landed on him in the midst of the crowd gathered for the election. As Pope he organized the parochial structure in Rome, appointed deacons and subdeacons to write the lives of martyrs so their memory wouldn’t be lost, and was himself executed for the faith by the Emperor Decius, in the first persecution carried out throughout the empire. (The artist has assumed great license; the church couldn’t afford for popes to be decked out in such jewels.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.