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 His deacon, Mark, authored a biography of the bishop, a genuinely valuable historical document.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.
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
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 manners were those of a Gentile. St. Luke records that she was a notorious ... 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
Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his town and other lands to find some ... 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