Pope Martyr - (-314)
Also known variously as Meltiades and Melchiades, this saint was the 32nd Pope, having succeeded to the See of Peter some two years after the death of St Eusebius on 17 September 309. It was during his reign (311-314) that there occurred the great battle at the Milvian Bridge in Rome, from which Constantine emerged as sole Emperor of the West. This was followed (in 313) by his famous Edict of Milan, declaring tolerance towards the Christian religion, cessation of all persecution and restoration of Church property, even giving his own palace at the Lateran to the Pope as his official residence, which position continued until 1313.
The poet Lactantius, a convert, wrote at that time: "We should give thanks to the Lord who has destroyed the wild beast who drove the flock from its pasture. Where is now the swarming multitude of our enemies, where are the hangmen of Diocletian and Maximian? God has swept them from the earth. Let us therefore observe the Lord's victory with songs of praise and let us honour him with prayers day and night, so that the peace which has been granted us after ten years of distress may be preserved to us!"
St. Miltiades died a natural death, but was included among the Church's Martyrs on account of the great sufferings he had undergone in the Maximian persecution. His body was buried in the Cemetery of St. Callistus, but the exact location of his tomb remains unknown.
Reflection :"Amen, amen I say to you, that you will lament and weep but the world will rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful but your sorrow will be turned into joy"(John 16:20).