Bishop of Gaza and hermit also called Porphyrius, not to be confused with the thirdcentury Neoplatonist philosopher. Born in Thessalonika, Macedonia, he belonged to a wealthy Greek family but, at the age of twenty five, became a hermit in the desert of Skete, Egypt, later residing on the banks of the Jordan in Palestine, and finally in Jerusalem. With the help of his friend Mark, he gave away all of his inheritance, worked as a humble shoemaker for a time, and then received ordination as a priest. Against his will, he was made bishop of Gaza in 396, proving a brilliant and energetic prelate. One of his chief challenges came from the pagans of the region, but by the end of his life he had extirpated virtually all of the remnants of the old religion. He erected a church on the site of the most prominent pagan temple in the area as a symbol of his victory. His deacon, Mark, authored a biography of the bishop, a genuinely valuable historical document. Porphyrius died in Gaza on February 26.
She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580, of impoverished parents descended from ancient and distinguished families. He studied at the Jesuit college of Barcelona, entered the ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes