With all the contemporary uproar about banks, bailouts, and "lost funds," today's saint is an interesting one.
Pope Saint Callistus began as a slave who formed a bank with his Christian master's charity fund - donations to be given to poor widows. One day it was discovered that all the money was gone, and Callistus immediately fled Rome. Legend says that he was identified in Portus but that he jumped overboard the ship in order to escape. He was captured and brought back to Rome. Soon after he was imprisoned for fighting with Jews at a Synagogue - apparently over money lost through bad loans.
Callistus was sentenced to the mines of Sardinia, but was later released through the intervention of aRoman priest. Returning to Rome, Pope Zephyrinus appointed him to oversee the catacombs on the Appian Way. Callistus eventually became a deacon and then succeeded his patron Pope Zephyryinus to the See of the Saint Peter, becoming Pope in AD 217.
His rocky beginning led to the criticism of Saint Hippolytus who was erected as the first "antipope." However, when Pope Callistus was sentenced to the mines for being a Catholic along with Hippolytus, the men were reconciled and died together as martyrs.
Much of this account is taken from the writings of enemies of Callistus, so they may be exaggerated. Still, it seems that today's saint lived a most peculiar life from bankrupt slave-banker to a Pope-martyr.
Saint Callistus, pray for us.