Phocas earned his living by cultivating a garden near the city gate of Sinope (now in Turkey). The quiet and beauty of the plot he cultivated proved quite conducive to his exercise of prayer in the course of his labors. He shared with the poor what he earned from his gardening, and opened his home to travelers lacking a place to stay. Phocas’ Christian identity became known to the pagan Roman authorities. Soldiers were dispatched to find and arrest him. Upon nearing Sinope, they stopped at Phocas’ door and received lodging from him, unaware that their host was the man they were charged to capture. At his table, they spoke openly of their mission before retiring for the night. As the soldiers slept, Phocas kept watch in prayer to prepare himself for martyrdom. The next morning, he revealed to them his identity. In a turn of events similar to the martyrdom of Saint Eudoxius (see September 5), the stunned soldiers were at first reluctant to carry out their orders against their kind host, but in the end they beheaded him. Phocas is venerated as a patron saint of both gardeners and mariners.
The massacre of the martyrs of Lyons with their bishop, St. Pothinus, took place during the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius in the year 177. Marcellus, a priest, we are told, by Divine intervention, ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Emma was a relative of Emperor St. Henry II and also known as Hemma. She was raised at Henry's court by St. Cunegund, and according to legend was married to Landgrave William of Friesach. Their two children were murdered during an uprising of mines owned by William. ... 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
The people of Olkusz in Bohemia in 1431 had every reason to be suspicious of their new pastor. They knew what a Cracow professor would think of their small rural town. But even more insulting, their ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes