|Pope St. John I/Vatican|
Saint John I was a friend of the renowned Christian philosopher Boethius, who died in a similar manner.
Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians (and Catholics of the Ordinariate) also honor Pope St. John I, on the same date as the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope John I was chosen to become the Bishop of Rome in 523, succeeding Pope St. Hormisdas.
During his papal reign Italy was ruled by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric. Like many of his fellow tribesmen, the king adhered to the Arian heresy, holding that Christ was a created being rather than the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
[...] Read also: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08421a.htm
In 523, the Byzantine Emperor Justin I ordered Arian clergy to surrender their churches into orthodox Catholic hands. In the West, meanwhile, Theodoric was angered by the emperor’s move, and responded by trying to use the Pope’s authority for his own ends.
Pope John was thus placed in an extremely awkward position. Despite the Pope’s own solid orthodoxy, the Arian king seems to have expected him to intercede with the Eastern emperor on behalf of the heretics. John’s refusal to satisfy King Theodoric would eventually lead to his martyrdom.
John did travel to Constantinople, where he was honored as St. Peter’s successor by the people, the Byzantine Emperor, and the Church’s legitimate Eastern patriarchs. (The Church of Alexandria had already separated by this point.) The Pope crowned the emperor, and celebrated the Easter liturgy at the Hagia Sophia Church in April of 526.
Already exhausted by his travels, the Pope was imprisoned in Ravenna and deprived of food. The death of St. John I came on or around May 18, which became his feast day in the Byzantine Catholic tradition and in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (and in the Ordinariate).
In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, he is celebrated on May 27, the date on which his exhumed body was returned to Rome for veneration in St. Peter’s Basilica.