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.
St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was the most learned of the Fathers of the Western Church. He was born about the year 342 at Stridonius, a small town at the head of the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself, her teacher Saturus, and others who knew them. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of ... 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
Although little is known about Simon Stock's early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning "tree trunk," derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit ... continue reading
By Deacon F. K. Bartels
The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us - The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition (328). Charged by God to ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes