St. Evaristus lived in the second century. He was from a Jewish family in Bethlehem. They were living in Greece at the time of their son's birth. Evaristus was brought up in the Jewish religion. His father was so pleased with the boy's virtue and knowledge that he sent him to the best teachers.
Evaristus became a Christian when he grew older. So great was his love for his new faith that he decided to become a priest. At Rome, where he performed his ministry, everyone grew to admire and love him. So it was that when the pope was martyred, Evaristus was chosen to take his place. He felt he was completely unworthy of being pope, but God knew better.
These were times of persecution for the Church. Such bad lies were spread about the Catholic faith that the Romans thought nothing of putting Christians to death. Every man who became pope was almost certain of being arrested. For about eight years, Pope St. Evaristus ruled the Church. His zeal was so great that the number of believers grew larger every day. At last, however, he was captured.
The jailers were amazed to see the joy on the holy old man's face as he was led to prison. St. Evaristus thought himself very privileged to have been found worthy to suffer and die for Jesus. No better gift could have been given him than his martyrdom. Pope St. Evaristus died in 107.
Often our lives take unexpected turns, but if we find our strength in God, he will give us his peace.