Death. Everlasting life. A reality that modern culture has almost completely lost. Yet, Saint John Henry Newman evoked this theme in his novel, Callista in an excellent and most beautiful way. Undoubtedly it is important how we live, but it’s more relevant how we die.

As Cardinal Wiseman’s Fabiola, this novel has again a pagan feminine main character, Callista. The greek girl, unhappy with her life, gains the heart of young Agellius, a Christian who wants to marry her. The plague of locusts makes Agellius flee, but Callista approaches Catholicism especially through the priest Caecilius. A critical moment comes in Callista’s life when she is obliged to worship the idols. Will she offer incense for the pagan gods or refuse and die as a martyr?

I will let Saint John Henry Newman answer this question for you.


  • Author: Saint John Henry Newman (1801 – 1890)
  • Original title: Callista
  • Original language: English
  • Genre: Novel
  • Publication year: 1855
  • Public: Adults