It may be inferred that the average reign of the early Bishop of Jerusalem was short indeed, for St. Simeon, the second incumbent, died in 116, and St. Narcissus, who died early in the 3rd century, was its thirtieth Bishop. St. Narcissus was almost eighty years of age when he ascended the episcopal throne of Jerusalem. More that a century had then elapsed since the city had been destroyed by the Romans, and it had since been rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina by the Emperor Hadrian.
In 195, St. Narcissus, together with Theophitus, Bishop of Ceasarea in Palestine, presided over a Council held by the Bishops of Palestine in the last-named city, and it was decreed that Easter is always to be kept on a Sunday and not with Jewish Passover. According to Eusebius, the holy Bishop wrought several miracles. Notwithstanding his sanctity, the holy man was basely calumniated by certain members of his own flock, but God soon made his innocence known and the imprecations with which the calumniators had sought to confirm their words were terribly verified in their case.
The holy man left Jerusalem and retired into solitude, where he spent several years. Three Bishops governed the See in succession during his absence. On his return to his diocese, the faithful besought him resume the administration, which he did; but, bending under the weight of extreme old age, he made Alexander his coadjutor. He continued to serve his flock and other Churches by his assiduous prayers and his earnest exhortations to unity and concord. He died about the year 222. Eusebius testified that he once changed water into oil to supply the lamps of the church on the Vigil of Easter.
PRAYER: God, You made St. Narcissus an outstanding exemplar of Divine love and the faith that conquers the world, and added him to the roll of saintly pastors. Grant by his intercession that we may persevere in faith and love and become sharers of his glory. Amen.