16. Theophilus of Adana
Way, way back in 538 AD, Theophilus of Adana was a cleric in the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected to become a new bishop, but humbly denied the offer, and let his rival have the seat of power. He actually wanted to have an ecclesiastical position, instead of having all of the power and responsibility of a bishop. It’s very possible that he had ulterior motives, though. Theophilus wanted the position of archdeacon, which controlled where all of the donation money went.
He thought that if he gave his rival the bishop position, that he would have at least been grateful enough to return the favor and give him the seat he really wanted. However, the new bishop did not return the favor at all. He handed the archdeacon position to someone else, to completely turned his back on Theophilus of Adana. He was stuck as a humble cleric. That’s kind of like being voted as team captain, but letting your friend take the lead instead, and they thank you by sending you to the bench for the rest of the season.
This made Theophilus of Adana understandably angry. He tried to do a good Christian thing and got screwed over in return. he decided that the Church wasn’t as holy as they made themselves out to be. He felt like they were a bunch of hypocrites. So he decided to summon Satan to help him. He signed a contract in his own blood and denounced Jesus and the Virgin Mary. With Satan’s help, he was voted in as bishop a second time.
However, he felt so guilty over his pact with the devil, he confessed with another priest, and showed him the bloody contract. The priest decided that they should burn it. Theophilus of Adana looked very happy, looking up to the sky, as if God had forgiven him, but then, he died right afterward and collapsed on the floor.
Over the years, the legend of Theophilus of Adana has been re-told so many times, there are loads of different variations to the story. It’s so old, there is no telling how much of it- if any- is true.