During the reign of the Byzantine emperor Leo III (717-741), faithful eastern Catholics were subjected to a double threat. The emperor, an adherent of the Iconoclastic heresy that condemned the use of religious images, persecuted those who continued to uphold the Church’s teaching regarding these holy objects. At the same time, Moslem forces under the khalif Isam were pressing into the Byzantine territories of the eastern Mediterranean, persecuting all the Christians they encountered. The nobleman Eutychius was one of many prisoners captured by the invaders and imprisoned. Thereafter, a series of battlefield losses enraged the khalif, prompting him to order mass executions of Christian prisoners. In city after city, every Christian was slaughtered. Even after much torture, Eutychius refused to deny his faith, and was martyred at Carrhae, Mesopotamia (Harran, Turkey). Those venerating Eutychius’ relics obtained “healing of every kind,” according to the chronicler of his martyrdom, Saint Theophanes (+817). Theophanes himself suffered torture, imprisionment, and exile for opposing the Iconoclastic heresy.
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal life, and with the purpose of taking the place of the sensual romances 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
Sts. Cosmas and Damian were brothers, born in Arabia, who had become eminent for their skill in the science of medicine. Being Christians, they were filled with the spirit of charity and never took ... 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