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.
Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for own lives than in volumes by theologians. Yet Therese died ... 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
St. Pachomius was born about 292 in the Upeer Thebaid in Egypt and was inducted into the Emperor's army as a twenty-year-old. The great kindness of Christians at Thebes toward the soldiers became ... continue reading
By Deacon F. K. Bartels
The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us - The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition (328). Charged by God to ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes