When in the late fourth century the patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt obtained permission from the Byzantine emperor Theodosius to convert a pagan temple of his city into a Christian church, some of Alexandria’s pagans rose up in revolt. In the ensuing rioting, many were killed. A contingent of pagan militants turned the temple of the idol Serapis into a base of operations for their violence, going out on raids to capture Christians and drag them back to the temple. They then ordered the prisoners to offer sacrifice to the temple idol. The Christian captives, upon refusing to venerate the pagan god, were executed with great brutality. Having learned of these events in Alexandria, the emperor Theodosius recognized the victims as heroic martyrs. So as not to cast any shadow upon their sacrifice, the emperor acted with clemency toward the perpetrators, pardoning their crimes. The subsequent destruction of the temple idol Serapis accelerated the conversion of Egyptian pagans to Christianity, as the people came to realize that pagan prophecies of doom if the idol was destroyed had proved false.
When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend ... 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
Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of an order of nuns now called "Poor Clares." When she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, her heart burned with a great ... continue reading
By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.
This model of Christian manliness recommends himself to us not for any strange or exciting things he did (because he really didn't) but for the daily listening to and heeding the voice of Almighty God - in the home, in the synagogue and Temple, in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes