Bishop and classical scholar. Caius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius was born in Lugdunum, about 423. He was from a noble family and received a brilliant education in the classical style. Entering the military, he married Papianilla, the daughter of Avitus, who became emperor of the West in 455. Living at the imperial court, Apollinaris survived the deposition of Avitus in 456 and subsequently served as the chief senator and prefect of Rome from 468 to 469. He then retired to Gaul, where he carried on a vast correspondence that gives considerable insight into the political period. In 469, although unwilling and not yet a priest, Apollinaris was named bishop of Avernum. He was chosen because of his piety and because he was considered the only one capable of defending the people against the invading Goths, under Alaric. Apollinaris assumed the humble lifestyle of the bishopric and learned so much about ecclesiastical affairs that he was soon recognized as an authority. He opposed King Euric of the Goths in 474 and was exiled briefly. He was an outstanding orator and poet, and he introduced the days of public prayer called "Rogation Days." Twenty-four of his letters and poems survived and are a valuable resource on the period. Apollinaris is considered to be the last representative of the great classical culture of Rome which was being overrun by the Germanic invasions.
St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urbain. Her father, who was deep in the practices of heathenism, had a number of golden idols, which our saint destroyed, and distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urbain ... 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
Little is known of her life, and the information was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church. In 1802 the remains of a young woman were ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes