When in 840 the Phrygian city of Amorion (Hergan Kaleh, Turkey) fell to invading Moslem Saracens, forty-two Byzantine Christian soldiers were taken captive and brought back to Syria. The men were shackled with chains and kept in dungeon cells, where they became ill from the harsh conditions. Doctors were sent to treat the prisoners in order to persuade them to apostatize, but all the men persevered in professing the Christian faith. They were thereupon kept in prison for seven years. On March 5, 848, the officers learned that they were to be executed the next day. In preparation, they spent the whole night in prayer. Before their execution, the Saracen caliph made one final effort to persuade an officer named Theodorus to apostatize. The latter confessed that in the past he had faltered in his profession of the Christian faith, but that now God was giving him an opportunity to atone for his past infidelity: “He is presenting to me this favorable occasion of dying for him. I hope that he will receive my sacrifice of expiation and wash me in my blood.” Theodorus and his forty-one companions were beheaded.
For James there was no indication that this was the day that his life would change. The dawn for him was not the bright beginning of a new day, but the end of long fruitless night of fishing. As ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had ... 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
If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of holiness that would Philip Neri. Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from 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