John and his younger brother Anthony were Lithuanian converts to the Catholic faith. While in the service of Lithuania's pagan Duke Olgierd, the two young men openly confessed their faith after the duke asked them whether they were Christians. In an effort to make them apostatize, Olgierd ordered the two to eat meat on a day of abstinence. Both refused and were thereupon imprisoned. After a year of incarceration, John lost his courage and renounced his faith so as to obtain his release. Olgierd was so pleased by this that he decided to release both brothers. Anthony reprimanded John for his inconstancy. Afterward, Anthony was imprisoned a second time for refusing meat on a day of abstinence. At length, John repented of his apostasy. Upon openly professing his faith, he was thrown into prison, where his brother Anthony joyfully welcomed him. The two received Holy Communion together before suffering martyrdom by hanging on separate days. A young relative of theirs named Eustace was also executed for being a Christian. All three are buried in the Holy Trinity Church of Vilna.
The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero , who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
- "excerpts taken from Victories of the Martyrs," by St. Alphonsus de Liguori Taken from the Acts of St. Anastasia, who is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, and commemorated by the Church [old calendar] on December 25, St. Anastasia was a spiritual child of St. ... 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
St. Romuald was born at Ravenna about the year 956. In spite of an infinite desire for virtue and sanctity, his early life was wasted in the service of the world and its pleasures. Then one day, ... 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