Pope Martyr (-538)
St Silverius was the son of Pope St Hormisdas, who had been married before he became a priest. In 536 when Pope St Agapitus died, Silverius was only a sub-deacon in Rome, but on the insistence of the Ostrogoth King Theodatus, who wanted to forestall any action on the part of the Monophysite Empress Theodora at Constantinople, Silverius was consecrated Bishop and Pope. Theodora had in fact planned to have the Deacon Vigilius made Pope, thus hoping to let the Monophysites gain control of the Sees of Constantinople and Antioch. She now tried to obtain from Silverius the reinstallation of these Monophysite Prelates, and when he refused, attempted to gain her purpose by force and deceit.
When the Gothic general Witiges was devastating the surroundings of Rome, the Byzantine general Belisarius appeared on the scene; the Pope turned to him for help and permitted him to occupy Rome. But Belisarius now proceeded to carry out his Empress' plans, and on the basis of a forged letter, Pope Silverius was accused of treason and deported to Patara in Asia Minor. There the Bishop of Patara soon became convinced of his complete innocence and communicated the true facts to the Emperor at Constantinople. The latter had Silverius sent back to Italy for retrial, but as soon as he landed at Naples, he was kidnapped by Belisarius' men and taken to a small island, where, within a very short period of time, he died on 20 June 538 because of privation and harsh treatment - a death considered a martyr's death.
Reflection :"Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).